Google launches personalized storm tracker

Searches for oncoming storms will display information such as maps, forecasts, reminders and preparedness instructions

Google launches personalized storm tracker

World Bulletin / News Desk

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Google on Thursday launched a personalized storm-tracking feature for its Web search engine to help users better prepare for future natural disasters.

When searchers use Google to look up information about particular tornadoes, hurricanes or other storms, the platform will automatically display an array of useful information, including maps, weather forecasts and preparation instructions from U.S. federal agencies.

Maps will show the user’s location in relation to an oncoming storm and feature forecasts provided by the government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Google will also display the estimated arrival time and wind-speed of the storm, all provided by NOAA.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Ready.gov emergency preparedness initiative will also provide key preparation guidelines.

Notably, Google is tailoring this information for specific users, so the guidelines will be different depending on the storm and the user’s context.

"If you search for a specific storm when it’s still several days away, you may see a map of the developing weather event and a recommendation to start preparing an emergency kit," Pete Giencke, a data engineer at Google, explained in an official blog post Thursday.

"If the storm is only hours away from your location, you might receive a reminder to start charging your phone in case power goes out. And if you search when the storm is nearby, you'll get the most urgent information, like how to avoid injury from fast-moving water or flying debris."

While Google is working on a storm-tracking feature for natural disasters around the globe, the current release is available only for the United States, a Google spokesman said.  

Last Mod: 28 Ağustos 2015, 10:22
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