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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Google Maps helps North Plainfield community yard sale -- and much more

Friends of the North Plainfield Public Library
created a  Google Map of this weekend's
borough-wide Yard Sales.

Short-cutting to Route 22 on Westervelt Avenue Saturday afternoon, I noticed a number of yard sales in North Plainfield.

On my return trip, it dawned on me that this weekend is the borough-wide yard sale event (an idea that the City of Plainfield could enlist the FOSH folks in presenting?).

And then I remembered that the North Plainfield TAPinto website had posted a story on the yard sales -- that the Friends of the NP Public Library had put all the yard sale locations on Google Maps and made them available to the community.

What a great idea!

Years ago, I had created a similar map for all of Plainfield's liquor licenses, but Google Maps was much less user-friendly then -- plus the technology has advanced. I never bothered to update the map since it was such a pain in the butt.

But you can see -- and enlarge -- the North Plainfield yard sale map here. (By the way, that yard sale continues on Sunday -- lots of stuff!)

Later Saturday, my copy of The Living Church -- an Episcopal magazine -- arrived in the mail. Glancing through it, I noticed a story on the Church of South India (CSI) aiding in flood relief.

Kerala State, in southwest India, has a significant Christian presence. The Church of South India is a merger of Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian churches effected more than 60 years ago.

This year's monsoon season caused 35 of 36 dams in the region to fail, causing flooding that displaced more than 700,000 people.

CSI has mobilized all its physical resources -- schools, parish halls and administrative offices -- to aid those displaced by the flooding.

But its young people have used technology in new and exciting ways to save lives.

First, they set up a special Facebook page (see here) to link those displaced by the flood with family members and other help.

Second, they are using Google Maps to pinpoint people's locations and share that with rescue teams.

The Diocese of Kerala gave them a shout out and thanked them as young IT professionals for putting their skills to work in this lifesaving way.

Something for our own Emergency Management and CERT teams to keep in mind in our own country, don't you think?

 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

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