Ways to help Haiti

Lots of people are thinking about ways to help Haiti after their horrible 7.0 earthquake.

Google recently introduced a page with a large number of resources for the Haiti earthquake, including the ability to donate money.

Also, a bunch of Googlers have worked to bring updated satellite imagery to Google Earth. You can also click to see the earthquake’s aftermath on Google Maps.

Finally, it turns out that Google’s Map Maker (which allows regular users to contribute to maps) can help with this disaster. Google added support for Map Maker in Haiti last year after Haiti suffered through Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. In less than a year, Google Map Maker has become one of the most accurate maps of Haiti, and Google is sharing the raw data with the UN. The Google Maps API provides the latest Map Maker info as a map tile set. You can read more in the blog post.

How can you help? I’d start with Google’s resource page for the quake or this page on CNN.

Update, Jan 16, 2010: Google has created (with help from the U.S. State Department) a Person Finder for the Haiti Earthquake that you can embed on your website, too:

Update, Jan 21, 2010: Google also gathered 15cm imagery (much higher quality) and just pushed that live on Google Maps.

46 Responses to Ways to help Haiti (Leave a comment)

  1. Hey Matt,

    While we are on the donation giving theme of things – I hope one day Google will consider helping fundraisers raise money online – especially here in the UK, we have sites like JustGiving.com, but they take commision. bmycharity.com are getting their as none of your fundraising cash goes in their pocket, but technically/marketing wise, they have a long way to go.

    Or, if Google does do something of the sorts, please let me know as I’m currently planning out a 24hr run in aide of (50/50 split) Children with Leukaemia (on the rise in the UK) & Help for Heroes.

    Cheers,
    John

  2. I was glad to see sites like Youtube displaying a bright blue slide-in ticker at the top of the page with a call to action for help on the Haiti crisis. Many people are generally willing to donate and help out but when dealing with large masses of people there is a significant case of inertia, so the request or action needs to be simple and laid out for them – in this case, directing users to a page where they can easily donate, whether they just log in with a Google Checkout or Paypal account, a form to enter their credit card details, or mobile operators sending an SMS to their customers asking them to reply to a text if they would like to donate a nominal sum like £2/$2.

    Another thing everyone can do to help, and it doesn’t cost you anything, is to raise awareness. Talk to people, speak to your friends and family about the disaster, to help people realize the severity and seriousness of the event, and by doing so you increase the net effect of change, as more people will donate and our governments will feel a bigger obligation to provide more aid.

  3. Matt,

    We work with a nonprofit that works exclusively with Haiti. This might be the fastest way to help people out.

    http://www.restavekfreedom.org

    Thanks,
    Josh

  4. mnuez

    Hey Matt, this isn’t about Haiti (not because I don’t care but because I’m not biased by the immediate – 40K Americans dying a year from lack of healthcare is an issue I don;t want to be distracted from) but it’s about a really bad and stupid idea that google thinks is real smart – the phasing in of the home page.

    It totally sucks and is terrifically annoying. I don;t want to feel like the page is loading slowly which is precisely how everyone who idn;t on broadband feels when they see that stupid homepage load slowly. Please tell someone that this is too clever by half and that they shyould please just have it load all at once as in days of yore.

    Thank ya,

  5. This is a great opportunity for Google to really help out the world…Keep up the great work Matt. See you somewhere soon.

    @KRONiS

  6. Will be praying for Haiti. Let’s all help them so that they can recover and begin again.

  7. It’s always amazing to see how Google managed to accumulate such a huge amount of information on its various applications. It’s wonderful to see it being put into such good use.

  8. Damian

    Things like this are horrible and it’s made even worse as it always ‘seems’ to happen in places where it is always going to be harder to fix (although I know it would be hard where ever this happened) and I don’t mind making a small contribution because a few dollars from me will be wasted on lunch, but it goes a lot further in Haiti right now.

  9. I’ve been watching in horror the conditions and loss of humanity in Haiti. Glad to see so many charitable people doing what they can. Thanks to Google for the site. The map is amazing.

  10. Google always help to people indirectly or directly. In that bad situation we have to co-operate.

  11. Marian

    Matt,

    Could you guys add something to the current page dedicated to Haiti that pulls in lists of Missing individuals found on various sites (Facebook, http://www.icrc.org/familylinks, http://www.beextra.org/haiti, etcand get the US Dept of State’s list and see if the UN has one as well) so as to create 1 central area for people to go to and find out the status of their missing relative/friend? It would be very helpful for people and if anyone would be able to do it, I believe it would be you guys. You could maybe keep it up-to-date via RSS feeds, and people could update it either on say Facebook or your page and it would update wherever the information originated from.

    Just an idea.

    Marian

  12. Agree with Damian! Cheers to… Google!

  13. Matt,

    Are you able to resolve all the Haiti scamware site listed prominently for such search terms as “haiti donate”.

    ZDNet talks about this further http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=5244&tag=nl.e539

    ,Michael Martin

  14. You can also text Haiti to 9099 and it will automatically bill $10 to your cell account. They have already raised $5 through these small donations. I made my donation this morning on a whim while driving to work. Donations go to the red cross. Step up and do it. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to make a small difference instead of doing nothing.

  15. Sorry, they have raised 5million dollars thought these small donations.

  16. World Vision is urging people to give small cash donations ($10) and encourage their friends to do the same. At the moment, cash is what’s urgently needed the most (sounds crass, but unfortunately true). One things are more stable, then the need for blankets, clothing etc., will be welcome. Right now, it’s hard just to get to people in need.

  17. Matt, YOU could help ANY charity by showing AdSense on your site and have Google donate all proceeds to charity.

    In fact, any official Google pages should/could show AdSense and donate all proceeds to charity.

    I have mentioned this numerous times before, but you keep ignoring the suggestion.

  18. While this is certainly tragic, millions of people are dying every day due to lack of funding. It’s a REAL shame ONLY the news worthy gets the most donations.

  19. Agree with Damian! Cheers to… Google!

  20. From all news reports, what they need immediately is expertize and machinery, not money. Without BOTH (and NOW) 10 of thousands more will die. Come on USA. You can throw unlimited expertize, machinery & money when it comes to war, but not when it comes to saving lives. Same goes for ALL wealthy Countries.

  21. I appreciate Google as well as Americans who are responded quickly to aid Haiti victims. I am glad that Indian govt also announced the help in terms of Money. But I say they would have send some medical help and as said by Dave … should send some machinery to Haiti. I pray god to give strength and stamina to Haiti people to recover fast from this disaster.

    Haiti People do not worry you are not alone in this world we are with You.

    God bless them

  22. Please Tweet this message or email your subscribers.

    “Text the word “Haiti” to 90999. A $10 donation will be made to the American RED CROSS”

  23. Website owners can simply upload news releases in their sites about the situation there so people will know more…

  24. Excellent initiative. Kudoz to the people at Google who came up with this. Thousands of people are going to be buried in mass graves, without any documentation. They will be lost to their relatives and friends. This is one step in the right direction.

    How about dropping a bunch of care packages and include cheap digital photo cameras. This in conjunction with a simple upload function on a web page to register the dead as quickly as possible before they will have disappeared. They have no internet access yet, but a 4 GB card in the camera has space for a lot of pics. The organisation of the info can come later.

    May I use this space to advertise our ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses initiative? http://www.exjws4haiti.com

    Thanks

    – Rien

  25. Matt, This is not about Haiti. We need to worry about here first. And by the way when you roll out google caffeine could you please eliminate the spammers in google maps. It is hard to compete with someone that creates 20 false locations for plumbing in Atlanta. A lot of people use google maps. I would really like to see you guys deliver a real location in your maps it’s quite frustrating trying to eliminate the false companies. I thought google did search and specialized in it. If you did you would delete about 80% of the google maps plumber listings in Metro Atlanta because they are all false. We are compiling a real list of locations along with a business license tied into our results for my plumbing directory to eliminate spammers from the search results on our website.

  26. this is good gesture Matt. Let the whole world unite to help those who need it desperately.

  27. Matt, This is not about Haiti. We need to worry about here first.WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Spam out of Google SERPs over saving lives. have you no shame?

  28. Matt, This is not about Haiti. We need to worry about here first.

    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Spam out of Google SERPs over saving lives. have you no shame?

  29. Matt, please delete my 2 false postings above, sorry.

    Matt, This is not about Haiti. We need to worry about here first.

    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Spam out of Google SERPs over saving lives. have you no shame?

  30. I think this os an excellent time for Google to step up and make a real name for them by donating help to people who really need it. Google should start shwing some sort of real charatable donation, fund raising opportunity. I am sure they could come up with something. Can’t they?

  31. Forgive my cynacism – I can’t help but think Google’s reasons (present company excepted Matt) for donating time & resources are not entirely selfless and in the most part to gain exposure & positive PR. Is the branding on the people finder tool really just there to lend credibility? Either way, no doubt these efforts will ultimately help people in a desperate situation and it’s good to see an example of web technology connecting people for the right reasons, so keep it up.

  32. This is a great list. thanks for sharing.

  33. Could you guys add something to the current page dedicated to Haiti that pulls in lists of Missing individuals found on various sites (Facebook, http://www.icrc.org/familylinks, http://www.beextra.org/haiti, etcand get the US Dept of State’s list and see if the UN has one as well) so as to create 1 central area for people to go to and find out the status of their missing relative/friend?

    Marian, you’ll be happy to know that some Google engineers worked and created such a person finder. I updated the post with the link: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/staying-connected-in-post-earthquake.html

    Dave (Original), I’ve decided not to show AdSense on this website because I want to avoid even the appearance of any potential conflict of interest.

  34. That’s a real shame (appearances are only superficial and mean zip), Matt. A charity could benefit hugely and save at least 1 life per week. Please reconsider. You could always ONLY show charity ads. Or, put some prominent text to state that all proceeds are donated to charity.

    Thanks for answering, regardless, much appreciated.

  35. we should try to contribute not only in our personel capacity but as much we can play role in our company & community, its so horrible for the people suffering from this disaster, i have seen this when it came in Pakistan and taken 80,000 peoples life.

  36. Amidst the horrible tragedy, it’s encouraging to see how cutting edge technology is put to good use. Well done, Google.

  37. Gowrishankar

    Way to go Google. Heartening to see corporate involvement not being restricted only to monetary benefits but also things that actually help at the grass roots.

  38. Marian

    Thank you, Matt. I knew if anyone could do this, it would be you guys. Now we just need to work on spreading the word. I will certainly tweet about it and spread the word as best as I can.

  39. Tom

    All the corporations should learn frim Google…

  40. Kitty

    Wow! What great technology. I hope everyone is able to get in touch their loved ones! Great work.

  41. I’m impressed with how quickly Google responded to this disaster by making these very helpful resources available. You are a force for good.

  42. Cheers to Google, it’s not all about money but a gesture to the world!

  43. Google is doing an awesome job in helping the people in Haiti. I recently received an email with a link to donate and I did.

  44. Another thing everyone can do to help, and it doesn’t cost you anything, is to raise awareness. Talk to people, speak to your friends and family about the disaster, to help people realize the severity and seriousness of the event, and by doing so you increase the net effect of change, as more people will donate and our governments will feel a bigger obligation to provide more aid.

  45. A tragedy like this unites all humanity in grief and compassion.

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