J. Luke Blair, James Lienkaemper, Scott Haefner, Marco Ticci, USGS Earthquake Hazards Team, Menlo Park, Calif.

Exploring Your Earthquake Hazards Using Google Earth

  • DINNER MEETING - Tuesday, December 5, 2006
  • Location: Stanford University

  • 5:30 PM-Social (3/4) Hour: . . . Hartley
  • 6:15 PM-Dinner: . . . Hartley
  • 7:30 PM-Meeting: . . . GeoCorner Room 320-105

    see Map showing Mitchell and GeoCorner Room 320

    Anyone wishing to attend the lecture only is welcome at no cost.

    This will be the 384th meeting since 1954

    screenshot of Google Earth
    (click image for a larger view)


    This presentation summarizes USGS' efforts to provide important earthquake hazard information to the public through Google Earth software. Virtual globe programs such as Google Earth can be used as an easily accessible platform to communicate relevant geospatial data to the public. This popular software program is an interactive map of the Earth that can display user-generated geospatial datasets stored in Keyhole Markup Language (KML) format. KML files can be generated manually or exported from popular geographic information system (GIS) programs such as ArcGIS.

    Currently, USGS provides script-generated, global earthquake epicenter locations, along with Shakemaps (shaking intensity maps) in KML format in real-time (Scott Haefner). Additionally, USGS released two "Virtual Tour" web sites presenting geologic information of the Hayward Fault (Jim Lienkaemper) and the great 1906 Earthquake (Luke Blair & Marco Ticci) in Google Earth. Methods are now being generated to convert geologic hazard maps in the San Francisco Bay Area into KML format. Although USGS, California Geological Survey (CGS), and other groups have collected a wealth of geologic information in the Bay Area, little has been done to organize and provide this data in an accessible manner. By converting geologic maps into KML format, data can be downloaded and viewed as overlays on aerial imagery and 3D terrain provided in Google Earth. Our goal in this effort and as a public scientific organization is to find modern and effective ways of providing important geologic hazard information to the public.

    Go to the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program Google Earth Files.

    Reservations: The preferred way to make reservations is simply to email Janice Sellers at by Dec, 1, tell her you will attend, commit to pay, and bring your payment to the meeting. Janice always emails a confirmation; if you don't get one, assume email crashed yet again and email her a second time. A check made to "PGS" is preferred, payable at the meeting.

    If you want to pay in advance:

    Stanford faculty and students: Please make dinner reservations by Dec. 1. Contact Dr. Elizabeth Miller via her mailbox (and leave check), Geological and Environmental Sciences Office, Geocorner - Bldg. 320 (Rm. 205). Make checks out to "PGS."

    All others, including faculty and students from other Bay Area universities and colleges and USGS: Please make dinner reservations by Dec. 1. Contact Janice Sellers, at 1066 28th Street, Oakland, CA 94608-4547, (510) 268-8254 . Send check made out to "PGS" to Janice.

    Dinner is $30.00. Includes wine (5:30 to 6:15 PM.) and dinner (6:15-7:30 PM.).

    For students from all universities and colleges, the dinner, including the social 3/4-hour, is $5.00 and is partially subsidized thanks to the School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University (Note, no-show reservations owe the full price).

    Doris, whose wonderful crew prepares our meals, asked that we let you know that people who are late RSVP'ing and people who show up without a reservation will be welcome but that they will be eating on paper plates with plastic utensils (food supply permitting).

    Dues for Academic Year 2006-2007 ($10.00) should be sent to Janice Sellers, 1066 28th Street, Oakland, CA 94608-4547. Janice's phone: (510) 268-8254.

    Officers: Ray Wells, President; Dwight Harbaugh and Elizabeth Miller, Co-Vice Presidents; Mike Diggles, Secretary; Janice Sellers, Treasurer; Bob Coleman, Field-Trip Czar

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    Date created: November 28, 2006
    Last modified: December 1, 2006
    Created by: Mike Diggles, Webmaster-Secretary, PGS.

    c/o U.S. Geological Survey, MS-951, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 329-5404. email Mike Diggles at

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