The recent unprecedented floods in Pakistan have wrecked havoc in the country, displacing
millions of people, destroying their livelihoods and affecting critical communication, health
and education infrastructures.
It is often said that response to any natural disaster starts with a map. Pakistan Army
established a Geographic Information System and has complemented the efforts with data
from Google Map Maker to better coordinate the flood relief operations. Since the formal
launch of Google Map Maker in Pakistan in 2008, Pakistani citizens have posted more
localized information and data through this service than any other country. At present
thousands of points of interests are available in Google Map Maker. To better coordinate
the flood relief operations, this information is highly valuable in a disaster situation like
floods in Pakistan and has proved beneficial in Pakistan Army’s efforts to update existing
information, locate infrastructure in rural places and establish the extent of damages.
Google has also launched flood specific online services, which have resulted in better
coordination of efforts by other governmental departments and NGO’s as well as over 1 million
US dollar in aid to different NGO’s working on ground in Pakistan.