Thursday 9 September 2010

Christchurch quake info goes online

The digital community in Christchurch has been doing their bit as a hungry international online audience has been eager to learn about the massive 7.1 earthquake and the 120 after-quakes since Saturday morning.

There's have been several million searches for "Christchurch earthquake" via Google since early in the weekend, proving to be one of the most popular online searches.

Two Kiwis have put together some online resources. Paul Nicholls, an e-learning developer at the University of Canterbury, has created an amazing visual display depicting the scores of quakes in Canterbury since Saturday. After the 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit at 4:36am Saturday, there's been hundreds of aftershocks - many of them widely felt around Christchurch, some causing further damage.

The Christchurch Quake Map presents a time-lapse visualisation of the earthquake and its aftershocks.

"It's primarily to help those outside the affected area, to understand what those of us in Canterbury are experiencing," Paul Nicholls said. "It plots earthquake data from GeoNet on a map using the Google Maps API, with the size of the circle denoting the magnitude, and the colour showing the focal depth.

"When you visit the map, it will start playing through the earthquakes, once it finishes loading. You can pause and resume using the controls to the ri
ght of the map, and also jump to the start or end, speed up or slow down the playback," Paul Nicholls says.

"The university is closed this week due to the quake, but I've been able to do some of my duties from home," he said.

Another clever computer nerd has created a unique interactive Google map to show what's open and working around Christchurch, in the aftermath of the earthquake. Dave Knight designed it to help residents and emergency organisations, amid the continued chaos.

Like all google maps, they're collaborative and can be edited by anyone.

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