The search for the Kim family and Google Maps!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 Labels:
I would like to help find the Kim family, but being about 800 miles away makes that almost impossible. Why not allow me to help on my lunch hour and during breaks at work and when I get home? Why not provide a way to help, for the thousands of others like me who want to volunteer their time? But how can I help?

I can zoom into the suspected areas using Google Maps and help with the search, can’t I? Well, I could, if Google Maps was updated with current satellite imagery for the suspected locations!

Google Maps Search and Rescue

Without much effort, a network of thousands of people could be created to scour different maps looking for key targets. With regards to the Kim family, those targets would include their car on suspected routes and James himself walking towards the main road, etc. This would be possible if Google was given current satellite imagery from the government (or NAVTEQ or whoever) for the suspected locations and made them available on their site.

Better yet, Google could create a special web-site specifically for Search and Rescue operations. The web-site would provide access to the date-time-specific satellite imagery. Volunteer searchers could be automatically linked in to help search different date-time-specific imagery (if available) for specific targets and provided links for instructions and images showing what the targets look like from the air and other tips.

Google could even be allowed temporary access to the government’s high-resolution imagery satellites, for even more thorough coverage. The high-resolution images can get close enough to pinpoint and clearly read license plates!

In my own community, it seems like there are at least a few kids who get lost each year camping somewhere along the Wasatch Mountains. We have a fantastic turnout of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people to help search for them. But, imagine getting additional thousands and maybe even tens of thousands of volunteers combing the same areas over and over! What a major benefit to finding missing people. This would significantly help during Amber alerts as well – something else worth volunteering for.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Kim family. What can I do to help?
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