Google Takes Street View To Post-Tsunami Japan


Google adds ‘before and after’ images of areas of Japan affected by March’s earthquake and tsunami

Google has uploaded a series of images of post- tsunami Japan to its Street View service.

The before and after pictures depict the sheer scale of devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami, which hit the east coast of northern Japan in March.

Scale of Destruction

The images encompass 28,000 miles of road and 28 cities and village across six regions of northern Japan, including the North-East disaster zone and the three prefectures worst affected by the natural disaster, Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima.

Users are able to compare images of the regions before and after the disaster, with 360 degree images linked to a map of the area.

The images were mostly shot in July and residents will be able to upload photos and videos online as part of the wider ‘Memories For The Future’ Project. Google hopes that the archive will be of assistance to scientists researching the impact of natural disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami.

“It is our hope that this will help people rediscover lost memories of their homes and towns,” said Google.

The project is the latest Street View initiative that Google has implemented. In October, the company announced plans to expand the service to cover a number of indoor locations in the UK, USA, France, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, while the service has spread as far as Antarctica.

However many are concerned that Street View is an invasion of privacy. In May last year, Google admitted that its Street View cars had accidentally collected 600GB of data from personal and business networks, including emails, passwords and web browsing information.

This sparked investigations by authorities in numerous countries and the Czech Republic went so far as to tell Google that it could not expand the service in the country. However Scotland Yard declined to launch a UK investigation and Google was cleared by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

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