Google Maps and Google Search Debut SOS Function
Google today announced its Google Maps and Google Search apps will soon show critical information regarding natural and other disasters that may strike. The SOS Alerts, as they are called, will appear at the top of search results and within maps as people look for information concerning the disasters or impacted areas. In Google Search, results will include pertinent news stories or broadcasts, emergency numbers, and relevant web sites. Those close to disaster areas may receive push alerts with the same information. In Google Maps, Google will showcase data concerning the event, phone numbers and web sites, as well as placement on the map and real-time information regarding road closures or changes to mass transit. Google partnered with agencies including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross to gain access to the information. Google is bringing SOS Alerts to its mobile Search and Maps apps for Android and iOS. The same information will also be available to desktop machines.
Google Takes Steps to Ensure Search Results Are Locally Relevant
Google today said it has updated the way it handles queries in Search and Maps when people travel. Moving forward, people will be served search results based on their actual location, not the domain they've indicated on the web (such as .com, .uk, .de, etc.) Google says people using Search in the U.S.
Latest Google Maps Update Makes It Easier to Locate Your Events
Google has updated Google Maps and now lets users access more personal information regarding their locations with a quick search. Google Maps culls more data from users' Gmail accounts and will automatically make event details available to Maps.
Facebook to Share Real-Time Map Data with First Responders
Facebook this week said it plans to provide humanitarian and other aid organizations with real-time access to its maps during natural disasters and other emergencies. According to Facebook, it will strip user identities from its map data while still showing where people are moving, where people might be marking themselves as safe, and other, similar trending information.
Google Threads Voice Commands Deeper Into Google Maps
People can now use their voice to take full command of Google Maps when in the car. Google updated Maps today and added more support for "Ok, Google"-based voice commands.
Google to Surface iOS App Content in Search Results
Google today enabled a new functionality that will let the Google Search app find content within iOS apps and include that data in search results. Users will then be able to select the search results and go directly to the associated app on their phone.