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How Google Earth Reunited A Family 25 Years Later [Video]

How Google Earth Reunited A Family 25 Years Later [Video]
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A new ad tells the story of an Indian man who was separated from his family as a boy and found them a quarter of a century later.

Daniela Walker
  • 21 october 2013

A year ago, an article in Vanity Fair told the story of Saroo Brierley, an Indian-born Australian businessman who was reunited with his birth family twenty-five years later through will power, fuzzy memories and Google Earth. Now, Google has taken Brierley’s story and condensed it into a three minute web film, an emotive advertisement for the power of Google’s technology.

Brierley was separated from his older brother at a train station when he was five years old, and was eventually adopted by an Australian family. But Brierley always had flashes of memory of the town where he grew up and one day decided to use the zoom power of Google Earth to analyze streets and neighbourhoods of towns near the train station to find any familiar environments. Eventually he was able to do the impossible, and locate his birth mother in a country of over a billion people.

While the story itself is incredible (and is now detailed in Brierley’s book A Long Way Home), Google was very clever to snap up Brierley to promote their product, which lead to his family reunion. Says the company:

This incredible true story spans decades, miles and continents. If it weren’t for hope, determination and technology, Saroo would have remained forever lost.

Watch the video below to see Brierley tell his story:

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