Create the Map for Earthquake Preparedness

Scenario
Earthquake, one of the most devastating natural powers on earth. The Valdivia earthquake is the most significant earthquake ever measured, occurred in 1960, Chile, which the energy released is over 10 million atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima. Strong earthquakes might often cause other related natural hazards, such as landslides, tsunamis, and the soil liquefaction. And also, when an earthquake strikes cities, factories and power plants, it is possible to trigger great fires, nuclear accidents or dam failures and bring heavy casualties. The famous case recently is the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, Japan, which has resulted in a severe tsunami and destroyed several towns along the coastline. The ten-meter high tsunami even caused the following accident of Fukushima nuclear power plant, which the cores of reactor melted and released radioactive elements to the air and the ocean. Even in well-developed countries like Japan, earthquakes can still bring enormous loss of properties and human lives.
Goals
Since the earthquake is so destructive and unpredictable, everyone should always be prepared for it. It is particularly important for the people lived around the Pacific Ring of Fire, over 90% of earthquakes occur in this region. Except prepare a kit that carries emergency supplies, and practice disaster drills regularly, it is also essential to know the latest earthquakes information and the risks to access related hazards.

For achieving that goal, we need to establish an online map that can instantly integrate and visualize the information provided by earthquake monitoring and reporting organizations.

Solutions
To build an online map that can reflect the real-time earthquake information, we must first access the monitoring data provided by geological agencies. In this case, we selected the data offered by United States Geological Survey (USGS). As one of the world’s most prestigious geology institutions, USGS provides various products for costless use.

The first product we choose is the near real-time report of earthquakes, which contains the magnitude, the precise time, the depth and the location of earthquakes. By importing data to SuperGIS Server and its API, we have created an interactive online map that visualized earthquakes with dots and the gauge.

The first product we choose is the near real-time report of earthquakes, which contains the magnitude, the precise time, the depth and the location of earthquakes. By importing data to SuperGIS Server and its API, we have created an interactive online map that visualized earthquakes with dots and the gauge.

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▲ Fig.1 Displaying earthquake data with dots and the gauge.
The second service we used is the coastal vulnerability index (CVI), which is an index calculated by geomorphology and tide factors such as regional coastal slope, shoreline erosion rates, tide range and wave height. The purpose of CVI is to estimate the vulnerability of different coasts in the US when facing a sea-level rise, such as a tsunami event. This index is published as WMS format so that we can easily connect it with SuperGIS Server and integrate with the earthquake data.
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▲ Fig.2 The coastline of California was colored for its CVI.
Results
With SuperGIS Server and its API, we successfully built an online map that can use for the earthquake preparedness. This map integrated the near real-time report and the CVI to provide an overall understanding of potential risks that a major earthquake might cause. Besides, users can also filter different time scales and base maps to get more detailed information. By publishing such an interactive and informative map online, citizens will be more aware of the natural hazards they faced and willing to know related issues about disaster prevention.
Benefits
It will gain many advantages when you choose SuperGIS Server as your web GIS platform. In this case, the powerful capability of SuperGIS Server enables users to connect web resources from the earthquake monitoring organization. And then SuperGIS Server APIs were utilized to create interactive and informative visualizations such as the gauge and popup windows, so the users can absorb the information more intuitively. Moreover, SuperGIS Server can also publish map services as WMS format, a standard format developed by Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), which allows other users to reuse your geospatial data via different GIS platforms just like what USGS has done.
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