Online maps document Minnesota bridge collapse aftermath

Google (GOOG) is making people aware of user-generated maps of the Minneapolis / St. Paul bridge collapse. This map [click here to view] shows the bridge, labeled with photos and emergency information.

In this post [click here to view] on the Google LatLong blog, a product manager also links to other maps that might be useful. The BBC made similar use of Google Maps last month to document the Berkshire floods.

The maps demonstrate how online maps from Google or competitors Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft (MSFT) can be used to help people understand how news events unfold. Much like informational graphics in newspapers or magazines, maps combined with text, photos, audio and video relay information in ways that static pages do not.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.