Google adds public emergency announcements to Google Maps

If you’re directionally challenged like me, you’ve probably relied on Google Maps many times to get from point A to B. Last week, Google announced a new feature to Google Maps that informs users of emergencies in their traveling areas.

By integrating feeds from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service and the US Geological Survey, Google Public Alerts aims to keep travelers safe by including emergency alerts in their destination searches. It’s a great idea for those who don’t regularly check the weather forecast or those who travel long distances and may be headed into bad weather.

Looking at the example below, Google uses a hypothetical example of a flood in Indiana. If there was a flood warning in your search area, Google would state there was a “Flood Warning in Northern Indiana” and offer a “more info” link, which would lead to a page offering more details on the progress of the flood.

While I think this is a great start for Google Public Alerts, the alerts would be even more useful if it could include reports of major highway accidents or crime situations that would allow drivers to better plan their routes.

Do you think Google has struck gold once again with Google Public Alerts? Or, is this a potential dud for the super-brand?


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