How Google Helped Boston Marathon Victims

April 16, 2013

Quickly after the news went viral on the internet about the Boston Marathon’s tragic bombings, Google put their technology to good use. Google’s Person Finder tool was updated to help victims of the Boston Marathon and their families connect.

Anyone looking for a missing person or anyone with information to share about a person can do so via this platform. Person Finder is an incredibly easy tool to use. You simply navigate to one of two options: “I’m looking for someone” or “I have information about someone”.

If you are searching for someone, users can submit the person’s full or partial name and navigate through a results page with potential matches. If the person being searched for is not found, the searcher can create a new record for a missing person that allows others to update with relevant information about the person’s whereabouts and status.

People can add information to these profiles with notes that include description, Twitter updates and Foursquare potential locations to be found.

Of course, Google has requirements when providing information about a missing person. Required fields for updating the status of a missing person includes: Message (a message for this person or others seeking this person), Have you personally talked with this person AFTER the disaster?, and About you (name is required, phone number, email and updates are optional).


Even amidst such a chaotic event, it is somewhat relieving to know that Google and other technological tools are quick to provide solutions and are productive in helping victims reconnect with their families.

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