The tool is an easy registry creator to help victims and loved ones communicate during emergencies.
Natural disasters such as the EarthQuake/Tsunami in Japan last night disrupt traditional channels of communication. When homes are destroyed, cell communications towers toppled, and people taken to emergency rooms or worse, there is very little in the way of a full organized registry of people who may be missing.
For this, Google (GOOG) deploys its People Finder tool. People Finder is a simple tool to allow people affected by the quake and those who are trying to communicate with them to register their status. It is built with open standards so other registries can plug into it.
The tool is bi-lingual (multi-lingual) as well.
Google Ideas is a think/do tank that studies where technology can help solve the world's problems. This is a good example of such an endeavor.
A quick search for a common name in English yielded three results: More
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