Google has launched a new feature called SOS alerts which will be available in Search and Maps. With SOS alerts, Google aims to help people by providing real-time and updated information on areas hit with crisis or disasters. In addition to providing information, Google will also notify users if they are close to the affected area to alert them of the situation. This feature is available for both Android and iOS users. Also Read - Happy Father's Day 2021: Google Doodle wishes dads with cute pop-up greeting cardAlso Read - Google might be working on a 'Find My' network clone for Android users
On Google Search, the SOS Alert feature works with the relevant keywords typed like the location s name or the incident. The results will be a collated set of information which includes top stories, maps, emergency phone numbers, websites, and translations of useful phrases. All the important information on the affected area will be displayed on top. As aforementioned, users in the nearby affected areas will also get notifications as alerts to read the updated information. Google will also allow users who are not in the affected areas to help by including donation opportunities in the SOS Alert.
The SOS Alert feature has been integrated into Google Maps as well. While using Maps, if there are any disasters or affected areas around, Google will add icons in red color which can be tapped on to learn more information. On tapping the icons, Google Maps will show immediate help channels like phone numbers and websites. There will also be a link titled More on Google Search for users to find elaborate details on the incidents. ALSO READ: Google Maps will now show real-time information for buses in Kolkata
Google says that the information on the affected areas will be collected from the web, social media, and Google products for users. It appears that Google will have to filter out the collected information so as to avoid fake news which becomes quite common during these situations. Google also says that the information will be provided in primary languages of the affected areas. ALSO READ: Google Street View goes beyond Earth, enters the International Space Station
While developing the SOS Alert feature, Google has worked with international organizations like the Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration and more. Google doesn t promise every major crisis to be reported, but assures that broader areas will be covered simultaneously. ALSO READ: Google Search app will now show all the events happening around you