Feeds

Google sends Street View car into Fukushima dead zone

Displaced residents of Namie can't go home, can at least Google it

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Google’s Street View project took an unusual left turn this week after one of it's familiar camera mounted cars took to the streets of Namie – a town in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture deserted nearly two years ago after the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

A Google spokesperson confirmed to The Reg that the unusual project to photograph the town’s streets was undertaken at the behest of its mayor, Tamotsu Baba.

"We hope that publishing panoramic imagery of Namie-machi will allow people to view the current state of the town in order to learn about what happened there,” Google said in a statement. “We also hope this will keep alive memories of the disaster for the future generations."

The cars will only work during the week with the project expected to be completed within a fortnight “weather permitting”.

Namie’s 20,000 residents were displaced after an explosion at the nearby Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear reactor following the devastating Sendai earthquake and subsequent tsunami which wracked north-east Honshu in March 2011.

Reports suggest it could be over a decade before they’re allowed back into the town permanently, although at least that’ll mean Street View avoiding the kind of privacy issues this time around that have plagued it in the past.

Street View Japan deserted nuclear town

As this picture shows, the streets of Namie remain pretty much as they were in the aftermath of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake – the collapsed roofs, broken street lights and shuttered businesses a poignant reminder of the destructive power of nature, and man.

Google has been getting some good publicity in Japan this week, after it also announced the extension of its public alert system to the country.

The service will aim to integrate information from the Japan Meteorological Agency and other sources into search, Maps and Google Now pages – a handy feature for a country forever living in the shadow of earthquakes and tsunami. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.