Google Street View to map abandoned Fukushima town

The search giant said it is photographing the Namie's abandoned streets at the request of town officials

A small Japanese town, abandoned because of radiation concerns after the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in 2011, is working with Google's map service to keep its memory alive.

Google said it will map the streets of Namie, in Fukushima Prefecture northeast Japan using Street View. The town is about 20 kilometers from the nuclear power plant that suffered meltdowns and released radioactive materials after a powerful earthquake and tsunami struck the region two years ago.

The Internet company said in a blog posting that the mapping will take several weeks, and the company aims to post the data online in a few months time.

"All of the residents of our town, 21,000 people, are currently evacuated all over Japan. Everyone wants to know the state of the disaster area, there are a lot of people that need to see how things are," said Tamotsu Baba, town mayor.

"I think there are many people all over the world that want to see images of the tragic conditions of the nuclear accident."

Baba said the town is happy to cooperate with Google in the filming project.

Namie was split between two evacuation zones established by the Japanese government after the Fukushima disaster. It is partly in the "security zone" where access is limited and partly in the "planned evacuation zone," where residents were told to leave within a month's time.

Google said its staff is following recommended national and local guidelines for safety during filming. The company posted about the project on its Japanese blog, including a short video.

"We hope that this project will also help protect against the fading of memories of the disaster, as we approach the two-year mark from when it occurred," wrote project manager Keiichi Kawai.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGoogleMaps

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?