The IT world has become a major tool against natural disasters, both as prevention and as help tools. Discover some of the hi-tech projects used during the recent typhoon that hit the Philippines and those that are coming as Google Loon.
In recent years, the Internet has helped actively to solve some global problems, such as literacy, education, and prevention of diseases, but also during the political crisis. Its role has become crucial in disaster response, time as a communication tool (especially in social media), people locators or network provider.
The latest example is that of the Philippines, during the super typhoon Haiyan, one of the most terrible on record that hit the Pacific Islands at a speed of 200mph (320 km / h).
The most affected were the Central Islands Leyte, Samar and Cebu and the city of Tacloban was one of the most devastated. The budget is tragic: 5000 victims, more than 20,000 injured, 4 million homeless and still 1600 missing persons.
Technology has responded immediately: one of the most used tools in the hours following the disaster was the one to find missing persons, such as Google People Finder, which makes a match between the name and other details of the person you are looking for which data are been included in the system.
There was also a ‘call’ to the tech community to begin developing projects that can help those affected: the largest social network for developers, Geeklist, is developing a number of applications that can respond to the greatest technological needs after disasters natural. These are the 5 projects they’re working on:
- Receive online information transmitted from areas with blackouts through HAM radio and the Philippine Association Radio PARA).
- Create sites for convidifere stories of children affected by the typhoon and a Facebook app to collect donations and pass word with the friends.
- An app to help victims of trafficking to seek the safest way to save themselves, using data collected on the internet as the compiled list that you can find online.
Internet inside the balloons: Google aims to connect the Earth
One of the main inspirations for Google when he started his latest extravagant project Loon, was to help people get back ‘online’ in the event of natural disasters. So we try to understand how it works and how it can help Loon connect the Earth. According to recent statistics, 61% of the global population still has no access to broadband , but very soon the Internet could reach every corner of the Earth, no matter how far they may be. The new bold yet simple plan worked out by the time Google is to connect the entire world through the balloons, floating in space on the ground by sending the wi-fi signal: it sounds so strange that actually can work.
The technology behind the Loon project is very simple: these polyethylene balloons flying at high altitudes pushed through the solar panels that generate power for the transmitters that send the signal to the ground, where the antennas to 100 km away with one the other, send the return signal to the balloons. So if you are within antenna you’re online! This network will fly balloons in the stratosphere using the current at about 20 km altitude, but can also be controlled from the ground for a change of course or for a safer landing.