Saturday, January 9, 2010

Watching Today's 6.5 Quake on Twitter - Courtesy Of USGS

Tonight's 6.5-magnitude earthquake which struck off California's northern coast put a new US Geological Survey (USGS) Twitter Based Earthquake system to the test.

Thanks to some TARP funds, USGS developed the
Twitter Early Detection project or TED. The system gathers real-time, earthquake-related messages from the social networking site Twitter and applies place, time, and key word filtering to gather geo-located accounts of shaking.

While only anecdotal evidence, Twitter users report information about quakes in a matter of seconds, whereas accurate scientific information can take from 2 to 20 minutes. By adopting and embracing these new technologies, the USGS potentially can augment its earthquake response products and the delivery of hazard information.

I think this innovative use ofnew technologies by USGS is awesomeness! Check out the google map of tweets from today's earthquake here.