Mapping for Good

Aiding humanitarian relief and disaster response

globe image

Experience the stories in 3D with the Google Earth plugin

Explore stories on the globe
or in the timeline below.


New imagery aids Haiti recovery

When a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti and caused severe destruction across the country, requests from relief organizations for Google Earth to share updated satellite imagery flowed in thick and fast.

In the wake of the devastation, first responders and aid workers went to work on the ground as citizens around the world pitched in to help in whatever way they could. To get the complex international aid effort underway, up-to-date mapping data was essential. Together with imaging partner GeoEye, Google Earth went to work publishing updated satellite imagery of Haiti to illustrate the extent of damage and current conditions on the ground. This information was made available to both relief organizations and for public consumption. With the hope of increasing awareness and furthering relief activities, a collection of the Port-au-Prince area at even higher resolution was added to complement the existing imagery.

Google Earth imagery of the Presidential Palace and an area of Port-au-Price in late 2009 (left) and after the earthquake in January, 2010 (right).

Mapping technology has proven to be invaluable to both relief organizations and the public in the wake of a natural disasters such as the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Google Map Maker played a role in the disaster relief as well. Haiti was originally opened on Map Maker in response to hurricanes that hit the region more than a year before the earthquake. Committed individuals later contributed rich data for the country that now appears in maps of Haiti on Google Earth and Google Maps. Today anyone with local knowledge to share can help continue to build a better map of Haiti.

During the Haiti Earthquake, International Medical Corps used Google Maps and Google Earth to visualize the disaster and map their response efforts.