Google is expanding its philantropic activities in India, writes BusinessWeek. Why mention it here? Google Earth plays a bit part:
Page has volunteered to loan out Google engineers to work with the hospital’s technology team to build a robust IT infrastructure to handle the volume of patient data. He has also offered to train the hospital’s technicians at Google’s offices and provide Google Earth technology to map India’s large blind population.
But the big picture is also interesting: Philantropy is an absolute good, regardless of motive. Nevertheless, should India’s government try to play hardball with Google Earth over Google Earth’s high resolution imagery of India (to which it objects), it will now need to explain to its electorate how a company that is helping India’s 12 million blind is evil exactly, and why preventing access to imagery that is publicly available anyway is more important than alleviating the suffering of its people. (Via the Purple Bubble 2.1)