Google Delves Into Volcanoes, Earthquakes

    August 28, 2007

The last post on the Official Google CPG Blog provides a “Back to School Recap.”  The Official Google Data APIs Blog informs readers about “Calendar Gadgets via Gdata.”  And that’s all fine and well.  But over at the Google LatLong Blog, they’re keeping us clear of lava flows.

Google Delves Into Volcanoes, Earthquakes
Google Delves Into Volcanoes, Earthquakes

“They” are Scott Haefner and Dina Venezky, two geologists who work for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).  Haefner and Venezky explain, “The USGS monitors, assesses and issues warnings of natural hazards, including earthquakes and volcanoes. . . .  Now you can track both real-time earthquakes and volcanic activity on Google Maps using the USGS Mapplets.”

Of course, these Mapplets will be more useful to some people than to others – I don’t know of any active volcanoes in Indiana, for example – but the effort is still appreciated.  If nothing else, it’s resulted in some graphics that would go well with a Popular Science article.

Back to the USGS software, then.  “The Earthquake Mapplet plots the past week of earthquakes around the world, showing the location, time and magnitude,” write Haefner and Venezky.  “Each earthquake includes a link to the USGS earthquake website for more information . . .”

They later continue, “The Volcano Mapplet displays the latest U.S. volcano updates, showing the current level of both ground-based and aviation hazards.  Clicking on an alert icon provides a summary of the volcano update along with a link to the USGS Volcano Hazards Program website for additional details and images.”

Right.  Once again, there’s nothing wrong with run-of-the-mill, search-related stuff.  Google’s also got your back when it comes to magnitude 8.0 earthquakes, though.