Posts tagged earthquake

Are you ready for a 9.0 earthquake?

Check out this article about how “Patrick Corcoran’s  job every day is to go out into the world to tell people to prepare to meet their doom. Or, rather, to prepare to escape it.

“The Full-Rip Nine”

Thanks to Carol Dunn and King 5 News, I spent the morning reading this remarkable article by Bruce Barcott on the potential for a massive earthquake in the Cascadia subduction zone. He outlines, in dramatic fashion, potential effects from a 9.0 quake that runs up and down the coast of the Pacific Northwest. (You can learn more about these risks, in a more visual medium, from the excellent documentary Cascadia: The Hidden Fire).

Since the Depiction offices are located right in the midst of the region, this is obviously fairly important to us here, both personally and professionally. And as Carol pointed out on Twitter, “Reading is a good start, but action is the way to reduce harm.”

FEMA has some excellent advice on that score here. You should also build a disaster plan–and Depiction is a particularly good tool for doing that visually.

One of the hazards Barcott mentions is “liquefaction”:

In Seattle and Portland, the strong shaking begins to induce liquefaction, a process in which the sandy soil that portions of both cities are built on turns into a thick, slurry-like liquid. Parts of Portland rest atop sediment laid down by the Willamette River, and Seattle’s water­front sits on tidal flats overtopped by loose fill. In a quake, this unconsolidated fill loses its ability to support heavy structures.

The downtown areas aren’t the only places at risk from liquefaction, though. I put together a depiction that includes liquefaction risk for much of the Puget sound region (7.15 mb). There are many large areas, but also pockets of risk scattered all across the region. (This isn’t the only hazard you should be watching for–see Barcott’s discussion of unreinforced-masonry buildings as well–but it’s a place to start.) If you don’t have Depiction, you can explore the above file with the Depiction free reader.
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Depicting Fukushima Video

Tim posted a new video on YouTube, discussing his depiction of the Fukushima Daiichi plant issues.YouTube Preview Image

This is a powerful use of our software, I must say. Please comment or contact us if you have any questions.

Depiction of the Week: Christchurch Earthquake

Christchurch, New Zealand was just hit with an earthquake. It was “just” a 6.3 quake, but as you can see from the Depiction of the Week, the epicenter was square in the middle of the city, and just a couple miles below the surface.Christchurch Earthquake

For more on rapidly building these kind of earthquake simulations, see this video, “90 Seconds to Map an Earthquake“.

UPDATE: The depiction has been updated with newer information from the USGS, as well as reports from the Christchurch Earthquake Ushahidi instance.

Earthquake in Indiana

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake shook Indiana just north of Indianapolis this morning, apparently causing little damage. Read this article for more details. The USGS has data posted here, though it apparently hasn’t been reviewed yet. This makes the Formidable Footprint (January) and Great Shakeout (April) exercises coming up seem very well timed.

I downloaded the USGS shapefile and did a quick depiction of the MMI (a relative intensity index). Indianapolis is to the south and Fort Wayne to the Northeast in this image.

Depicting the epicenter and relative feel of the quake

Depicting the epicenter and relative feel of the quake

Drop me a line if you’d like more info on how I depicted this.

Depiction encourages all our staff, readers and users to prepare for the hazards in your area. For more info, visit

Have a safe and happy New Year!

Vector One Blog on Depiction

We’ve released another update today, with a few tweaks and for things that weren’t quite right in the big 1.2 release last month. Jeff Thurston of Vector One blog and magazine took the opportunity to highlight some of the recent improvements we’ve made. As before, he is very complimentary, particularly of our collaboration features:

The email fea­ture is slick — I think. Why? Because in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion many peo­ple will depend on send­ing quick emails with infor­ma­tion. The avail­able icons to quickly iden­tify and locate or markup maps is what makes this soft­ware extremely use­ful for emer­gency and relief situations.

He also has some screenshots from the Haiti earthquake scenario on the Depiction downloads page.

To see how a map like that one can be built very rapidly, check out our ‘90 Seconds to Map an Earthquake‘ video from January.

Getting Haiti data into Depiction

We’ve had several inquiries about looking at data related to the Haiti earthquake in Depiction. Our video showed how easy it is to get basic earthquake data into Depiction–and you can now view a related depiction online–but what most people are concerned about at the moment is the recovery situation.

There is now a great resource for that kind of data that can be easily loaded into Depiction. CubeWerx and the Carbon Project have put up two different web services with data relating to Haiti and the earthquake. One is a WMS, which brings in images, and another is a WFS that brings in shapes and point data–including building locations, building footprints and more.



To add these into a depiction, just go to Add>>Web service, paste the URL into the field, note which type of service you are using, and hit Show content. That will load up a menu of the different layers included in the service, which you can add as various element types.

Much of this data comes from OpenStreetMap, which has been doing incredible work mapping the situation there. Depiction tiling & Quickstart already brings in some of the data included in these services, such as road networks, but most of it is unique. Here’s what just a very quick use of the WFS gave us:

UPDATE: Many more WMS feeds are available here.