Facebook introduced its “Disaster Maps” feature in India on Thursday, five months after it was first launched to assist aid organisations in the aftermath of calamities.
The social media giant will make data from its maps available to the National Disaster Management Authority and the non-profit Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society. Facebook made the announcement at the Disaster Response Summit in New Delhi on Thursday.
Disaster Maps will help organisations get information on “where populations are located, how they are moving, and where they are checking in safe during a natural disaster”, the company had said in June. Facebook collects the data by tracking its users’ location.
“In times of disaster, our platform is a valuable source of information – whether it’s letting your friends and family know you are safe with the ‘Safety Check’ feature or using Facebook to raise donations for relief efforts,” said Ritesh Mehta, head of programmes for India, South and Central Asia at Facebook.