Google is helping refugees wade through Greece’s red tape

Google is helping refugees wade through Greece’s red tape
Credit: Malcolm Chapman / Shutterstock.com

Only last month, our own Mic Wright wrote about how tech isn’t solving humanity’s biggest problems; consumers and companies are far more interested in looping GIFs, laptops that are also tablets and all-you-can-eat ad-free video.

It’s refreshing to see Google put their smarts to good use to help refugees arriving in Europe with the most crucial resource they need: information.

The Crisis Info Hub gives refugees quick access to essential information when they land in Lesvos
The Crisis Info Hub gives refugees quick access to essential information when they land in Lesvos

The company has built a lightweight mobile-friendly site that includes locations for registration, lodging and medical facilities, and also lists essential emergency contacts and currency exchange outlets.

The open source project makes it easy for others to contribute critical information via Google Docs. It’s currently live on the Greek island of Lesvos and will become available in more locations soon.

With many Arabic-speaking refugees heading to Germany, Google has updated its Translate service to enable these users to make sense of English and German signs and documents even when they’re offline.

Of course other resources can and are helping migrants in distress, but both initiatives harness technology to reach a large number of users instantly. It’s what we think technology should be doing in times of distress.

More ideas like these, please.

An update on our response to the refugee and migrants crisis [Official Google Blog]

Read next: Making things pay: How our objects will soon shop for us, securely

Shh. Here's some distraction

Comments