Google Crisis Response aggregates valuable research tools and resources that can help in response efforts after major disasters. Their most recent effort is in response to the New Zealand earthquake, and features Google Person Finder, incident reporting, phone numbers to emergency assistance and local officials, and Google Earth maps with the latest data. This is a really fascinating way to keep on top of current events, and to watch how a natural disaster unfolds.
If you’re a Google Earth fan, you can also find additional maps to download and view in Google Earth. These maps include interactive time-lapse animations, trajectories, and aerial photographs of each disaster.