Let’s not get too cynical, health but it’s definitely worth noting that Google’s hold on the Japanese web market is tiny compared to here in the UK and across the pond in the U.S. That said, ed Google have been doing a lot of work to help Japan get through the terrible disasters that have unfolded this year- the triple threat of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.
Back when the disaster had just occurred and Japan was gripped with fear and panic, Google did its bit to help. Person Finder, which was originally developed after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, was launched less than two hours after the Japanese quake, allowing families to connect with each other; offering a form of a reassurance in a time of fear.
Now that the initial disaster has passed the hard work of recovery has begun and Google have sent out their street cars in order to visual capture the destruction and reconstruction of affected areas. The street cars will allow the world to see both the terrifying power of nature and the resilience of Japan.
Mayor of Kesennuma Mr Sugawara said: “I’d like them to record Kesennuma’s streets now, then I’d like them to come back, when the city is like new again, and show the world the new Kesennuma.”
The people of Japan are noticing Google’s commitment to their country but will this result in a wider share of one of the world’s biggest web markets (currently dominated by Yahoo)? Analysts say it is too soon to tell.