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Google Maps plays a role in combating landmines, explosives

Posting in Technology

Google Maps is now used for more than getting you to work -- charities have tapped into the technology to help war-stricken areas.

In a guest post on Google's official blog, Guy Willoughby, Executive Director of the HALO Trust says the U.K. non-profit is using Google Maps for Business and Google Earth Pro to detect and clear landmines worldwide.

To date, Google's service has been used to clear over 1.4 landmines in post-conflict areas globally in order to make areas once again safe and liveable for local people. The charity, whose slogan is "Getting mines out of the ground, for good," works in a dozen countries to find and remove landmines and buried explosives -- and the ability to use and create maps has become an invaluable tool to keep residents and teams safe.

In Kosovo, for example, the community's farmers tell HALO where they've seen signs of mines and where accidents have occurred. This data is then taken and added to field team maps, complete with detailed satellite imagery, to plot mine locations.

These maps can then be given to families who live near mines, to crews who clear them, and to donors and other organizations that support the non-profit.

Via: Google

— By on September 17, 2013, 4:16 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure