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Google Earth reconnects man with long-lost family

Google Earth reconnects man with long-lost family

Posting in Technology

Using Google Earth and vague memories of his childhood, one man reconnected with his family after 25 years.

An Indian man was separated from his family for 25 years, until he tracked them down using Google Earth and Facebook.

In 1987, after a long day of begging at a train station in India, 5-year-old Saroo Brierley and his brother boarded a train to go home. When they awoke 10 hours later they were in a part of the country they had never seen.

The two boys had many setbacks as they tried to get home: Brierley nearly drowned, was almost abducted and sold into slavery and his brother passed away.

Brierley was eventually picked up and declared a lost child. Then he was adopted by an Australia couple and moved to Tasmania to start a new life.

He never stopped thinking about his parents, though.

Ten years ago, Brierley started using the Internet to help piece together his past with only vague memories of his hometown. He viewed images on Google Earth until he identified his hometown: Ganesh Talai.

From there he joined a Facebook group dedicated to the town and started emailing group members. After collecting enough information, Brierley boarded a plane to India and reconnected with his family.

"To this day, I still can't believe I managed to find my family, considering India's population size and how young I was when I lost them," Brierley tells The Mercury.

Lost Boy Uses Google Earth to Find His Way Home After 25 Years  [Gizmodo]

Photo via Google Earth

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Amy Kraft

Weekend Editor

Contributing Editor Amy Kraft is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for New Scientist and DNAinfo and has produced podcasts for Scientific American's 60-Second-Science. She holds degrees from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure