When the floods started and destroyed parts of Uttarakhand a few weeks back a lot of people swung into action to help with rescue and relief efforts including Google which launched their Google Person Finder service within a few days of the flood.
Now, App Company has launched an iOS app which brings the service to iOS devices. The iOS app provides a message board for survivors, family, and loved ones affected by a natural disaster to post and search for information about each other’s status and whereabouts.
Mohit Jain, one of the developers of the app, says, “The goal of the application is to reach maximum masses and especially to those who are affected by natural disaster. The purpose is served if it can be useful to save or reconnect a single life.”
The iOS app is very simple and uses the public Person Finder API provided by Google to function.
The main function of the app is to search for missing persons and one can look through the records by just name or just part of a person’s name. The results would provide a description of the person, along with the status and photo if available.
One can also search by SMS, in case you don’t have a data connection. Using the web view, one could report information on someone you know and assist with connecting people.
The app also does provide databases of other People Finder missions like China Earthquake and the service will be put into use when the next natural disaster strikes too.
While the app is available only for iOS devices, the developers have also released a mobile web application for Android, Blackberry, Windows, Symbian and other platforms which provides all users with the ability to search and add to the Person Finder database. The mobile web version is available at http://m.personfinder.appcompany.co/.
Earlier, Google had also launched a crisis map for the flood affected region to provide quick information on the ground situation. The map provides information on areas impacted by the floods, relief centers and shelters, medical centers and road closure information. Last week, the Uttarakhand government launches a search engine to track hospitalized flood victims. All these tools have definitely helped in rescue and relief efforts.
Download: Person Finder (iOS)