Lost Boy Uses Google Maps to Locate Family 26 Years Later

Here’s a story about how someone’s will and determination can help them find the answers they are in search of.

More than 25 years ago, Saroo Brierley’s destiny was altered forever after falling asleep on a runaway train.

Brierley’s family was so poor that him and his brothers used to hop trains to other towns in India in order to find food. But one day, the train he hopped on took him to all the way to Kolkata (then called Calcutta), more than 1,000 miles from his home.

Subsequent to waking up all alone on a lonely stretch of train tracks, he didn’t know what would come of his unplanned journey.

At first,  Brierley lived out on the streets, then he wound up in a juvenile home and, ultimately in an orphanage, where he was later adopted by a loving Australian family who lived in Tasmania.

But although he was rescued from a life of living in the system, or worse, having to survive on the streets, he never forgot about the family he left behind in India. His adoptive mother even put up a map of the country on his bedroom wall so that he could have a piece of home with him at all times.

One day, more than two decades after dozing off, he took the remembered landmarks and early childhood memories and began looking for answers. What he found has become one of the most inspiring stories we have ever heard.

In what may be the most powerful Google ad to date, Brierley discusses how he rediscovered his family by using Google Maps and GoogleEarth.

“The Technology is all there,” he says, “it is just our drive and determination that make it all possible.”

If you’re interested in hearing more about Saroo Brierley’s incredible story, he recounts everything in his new book, A Long Way Home.