Google Street View Commemorates Japanese Disaster

By Miguel Leiva-Gomez December 13, 2011

Google just published a repository of images representing the area where Japan was hit by a tsunami and earthquake in March of this year. Viewers in Google Earth’s street view feature can now take a tour of the disaster-stricken area and compare it to what it looked like before the disaster.

Google’s street view vehicles did a rendezvous of the area and drove about 27,000 miles (44,000 kilometers) in order to render the entire vicinity. The goal was to capture the images revealing how badly Japan was hit by the disasters that killed more than 20 thousand people. In July, the vehicles shot 360 degree panoramic photos showing the large mountains of debris and rubble, pancaked buildings, and boats turned upside down.

Google street view is a feature that allows you to navigate the streets of the globe without leaving your desk. The company accomplishes this by means of several vehicles equipped with special rendering cameras, which drive all over towns and cities, taking 360 degree pictures. When you navigate street view, a couple of arrows show up allowing you to navigate in any particular direction. A click of the mouse takes you to the next segment where Google took a picture.

The new repository of photos taken by Google includes 82 different cities in the provinces of Aomori, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Iwate, Miyagi, and Yamagata – areas that have all been affected by the disasters.

Google mentioned on its dedicated site for Japan’s disaster that it hopes to help people rediscover their towns and homes. Google’s repository is seen as a type of therapy for those who lost their homes and families to the disaster.


Miguel Leiva-Gomez is a professional writer with experience in computer sciences, technology, and gadgets. He has written for multiple technology and travel outlets and owns his own tech blog called The Tech Guy, where he writes educational, informative, and sometimes comedic articles for an audience that is less versed in technology.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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