Search giant Google as part of its plan to help users in a time of crisis has introduced SOS alters to Maps. Additionally, these alerts have also been added to other Google services such as News and Search. By integrating these new yet useful features into existing services, the company is aiming to provide real-time information related to natural or in some cases human-made disasters. This way, people who may or may not be in affected area can keep themselves updated with all the necessary details.
Google has explained in a recent blog post that users may see an SOS alert at the top of search results when looking to know more about the incident on Search or finding a location in Maps. These alerts keep users engaged with Maps and top stories and return emergency phone numbers, websites, and translations of useful information. Users get a notification on their mobile device, directing them further to more details, which depends on how close they are to the affected area.
In the case of Maps, users will notice a specific expandable SOS icon on the map. It will provide more information about the crisis upon tapping the icon, and users will have all the important details, phone numbers, and websites handy. The map will also provide real-time updates such as road closures in addition to traffic and transit situation.
In the event that users are outside of the affected area, looking for information about the incident, they can search for relevant terms or location. In that case, users will see SOS Alert alongside a timely overview of the situation.
“In times of crisis, access to timely, actionable information is crucial. Working alongside trained responders and volunteers on the ground, technology plays a vital role in providing information to help keep you and loved ones safe and informed. SOS alerts is a new set of features in Google Search and Maps to help you quickly understand what’s going on and decide what to do during a crisis,” said Google.