Google Street View Covers Japanese Tsunami

Images cover 44,000 kilometers of damage.

Google's Street View leaves little to the imagination when it comes to seeing first hand the devastation of last March's Japanese tsunami.

The Mountain View-based search company is used to dealing with a lot of criticism with its mapping feature that allows users to view real-life images of almost any location in the world right from their computer.

But in a blog post Tuesday, the company said it hopes these images will do good. Google announced that it has posted images from 44,000 kilometers of Japan's ravaged Northeastern area.

"In the case of the post-tsunami imagery of Japan, we hope this particular digital archiving project will be useful to researchers and scientists who study the effects of natural disasters," Kei Kawai, senior product manager for Google's Street View, wrote on the company's blog. "We also believe that the imagery is a useful tool for anyone around the world who wants to better understand the extent of the damage."

The images offer 360-degree views of both inland and coastal regions devastated by the tsunami.

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