If you have seen the news over the previous month you would of seen the devastating results of what was recorded as a 9.0 Earthquake off the coast of Japan.
The results wiped out entire towns, thousands died and thousands more missing.
Google have released a website which cunningly uses its popular features of Google Translate and Google Maps. The Website itself is aimed to offer a way for you to give support via a message. From the home screen you can send a message, read messages or view a map of origin for all the messages sent. Sending messages seems rather modern, with a real-time translation of your message as you type and with a minimalist look and feel, Google has created a very nice and effective tool.
I do like the added option to donate to a selected list of charities offering relief and aid to Japan.
'On March 11th, a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake occurred near the northeastern coast of Japan, creating extremely destructive tsunami waves.
As the country turns from immediate disaster response to the next phase of rebuilding, this site will help deliver messages of hope and support from all over the world to the people of Japan. Write your own message and have it automatically translated into Japanese, or read messages from around the world.'
Although the idea behind this is to bring a community together to help and offer support and relief in a time of need for Japan, I do get the feeling that Google just wanted to show off products in a new way which keeps up with current events, a sort of showcasing of what you could achieve if you used these products in your own projects.
I found the map slightly irritating to use. The way the messages load on the screen takes a long time, filling up from the bottom until all the messages have loaded on the map. Secondly the map lets you scroll off the screen in to nothing but a grey background. May be thatâ€™s a Firefox issue but, I donâ€™t tend to venture outside my browser of choice.
My overall view is that this website is nice, it has a big name behind it in the terms of Google, it showcases Googleâ€™s use of products and loads very nicely with the use of jQuery. I do dislike the expanding home screen menu. If this was static with the same hover over effect would have still had the same impact. Colouring could have been slightly more visual, but I think it was designed specifically to have minimal colour and content.
What do you think of Googleâ€™s new website? You can see it here: www.messagesforjapan.com/
Author: / Posted: 11-04-2011