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 newsletter!

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

Tags GoogleInternet-based applications and servicesMaps

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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?