Saroo Brierley, an Indian man who was separated from his family when only five-years-old, utilized Google Maps to locate his long lost mother.
Brierley was with his older brother on a train back in 1986 where he dozed off, and woke up several hours later in Calcutta — not knowing where he was — only to find his brother missing. Brierley would spend some time in the streets there before being taken in by an orphanage. He was eventually adopted by a couple in Australia. Although thrilled to be adopted at the time, as Brierley grew older, he became more and more curious of his blood relatives.
After conducting some basic time/speed/distance calculations of the trains in India, he came to the conclusion that Khandwa was the town in which he originally departed from.
“When I found it, I zoomed down and bang, it just came up,” he said. “I navigated it all the way from the waterfall where I used to play.”
He made his way back to Khandwa, and with the help of locals, Brierley located his biological mother’s house. His mother — while shocked at his reappearance after 25 years — took him by the hand into her house. Unfortunately, his older brother wasn’t quite as fortunate as his body was found a few months after Brierley’s disappearance.
Moral of the story: do not take the power of the internet for grated, kids.