It's hard to believe that just seven months ago Japan was rocked with an earthquake and tsunami. In good taste or not, Google had its Street View team drive over 27,000 miles through the torn up region to update its panoramic maps. The views remind us all just how catastrophic a natural disaster can be.
We've all seen photos and footage of the destruction dealt to Japan, but to experience a virtual walk through the the barren rubbled streets is just mind blowing.
Some might feel it's too soon to be showing such a comprehensive look at the battered land, but Google defends it as an educational necessity:
In the case of the post-tsunami imagery of Japan, we hope this particular digital archiving project will be useful to researchers and scientists who study the effects of natural disasters. We also believe that the imagery is a useful tool for anyone around the world who wants to better understand the extent of the damage. Seeing the street-level imagery of the affected areas puts the plight of these communities into perspective and ensures that the memories of the disaster remain relevant and tangible for future generations.
You can view the it all here.
After skipping through this, the saddest Street View I've ever seen, I went ahead and donated to the Red Cross for Japan. If you're feeling generous as well, you can do so by visiting the Red Cross website here. I'm sure the people of families and those affected from the natural disasters in Japan would appreciate it.