Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Technology can be cruel—Google Earth contrasts pre- and post-tsunami Japan

by Larry Geller

We lived in Japan for many years and have a great feeling of sadness for the people who have suffered multiple tragedies. And of course, it’s far from over, hundreds of thousands of people are still in great pain.

So I fired up Google Earth to have a look at some of the places in the news. For example, the town of Minamisanrikui in Miyagi Prefecture. Here it is, or rather was, at some time in the recent past when the satellite picture was taken (click for larger):

Minamisanrikui japan

I was hoping for some “street views.” but there were none. But there is a little camera icon in the middle of this view, so I clicked on it, and got this (again, click for larger):


It was actually a bit of a shock, I was expecting a view of some shop or building or famous place.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.


A picture speaks a thousand words. There is no way to describe the destruction.

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