A family is reunited using interactive satellite imagery.
A small child is accidentally separated from his family and ends up thousands of miles away from home. Twenty-five years later, he is able to use the connected satellite imagery of Google Earth to find his way home again. Sound like a fairy tale? It happened to Saroo Brierley.
Over twenty years ago in the city of Khandwa, India, four-year-old Saroo boarded a train with his brother. He fell asleep and awoke a few hours later to an empty carriage travelling in an unknown direction. The two brothers had lost each other. Saroo couldn’t find his way back home, and after surviving on the streets of Calcutta was eventually adopted by an Australian couple living in Tasmania.
This could have been the end of the story. Instead, images of his mother and the streets of his childhood lingered in his memory.
Unable to forget his former life in India, he began browsing Google Earth in hopes of finding his hometown and long lost family. He spent the next six years searching for his home online, a task akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
Finally, Saroo spotted something he recognized: the same train station he and his brother had left from 25 years ago. He had found his hometown after years of searching. Now a man in his 30s, he packed his bags and got on a plane to India in hopes of finding his family.
By comparing his own visual memories with a virtual map, Saroo found his childhood home – and the best part of it all, his mother was there to greet him.