In a move it says will help people quickly access the information they need “in times of crisis,” Google Maps announced the launch of SOS alerts in Canada today.
The new alerts will help people quickly access “authoritative, real-time information” in those crucial moments immediately following a disaster – such as an earthquake.
After an earthquake strikes, tapping on the crisis card will display the earthquake’s “shake map” – a visualization that shows you its epicenter, its magnitude, along with colour coding to indicate how intense the shaking was in surrounding areas.
This information can help you quickly assess the reach of the earthquake and and identify areas likely to have experienced the highest impact.
In addition, users will soon see “a prominent alert” if their escape route is affected by crisis activity, and when/where possible, the system will direct users away from the disrupted area.
Google Maps also has other ways for people to to stay connected while getting information as quickly as possible.