Earthquake mapping

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 at 1:20 PM



I was working kind of late last night, and around 8:04 pm, I felt the floor underneath my desk shake and move. For a second I thought the Google Halloween party was getting wild, but then I realized I was experiencing my first earthquake!

Equipped with my mapping skills, I went to explore what exactly happened. I found some cool things about the earthquake by using Google Maps, and I thought I would pass this info along to you:

Where did it happen?
A search through user-generated content on Google Maps quickly provided the answer. Many of our My Maps users created maps pointing to the center of the earthquake minutes after it happened. To access this data, search for "Alum Rock Earthquake" scroll down the search results, and click on "see more community maps."

Add earthquakes to your map:
I didn't think our post from the folks at the U.S. Geological Survey would come in handy quite so soon! Their Earthquake Mapplet shows all of the earthquakes that have taken place throughout the world in the last week. Click on the "Save to My Maps" link to customize your My Maps tab and include earthquake data.

Explore earthquakes in Google Earth:
A 3D view of earthquakes is very useful to understand their impact. If you have Google Earth installed, check out this Earthquake KML from USGS. Fly to San Jose, click on the big orange circle, and choose "View ShakeMap" link to see the full impact of the earthquake.