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USGS Earthquake Data Visualized with Shake Finder

Shake Finder displays earthquake data collected by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The project demonstrates the use of AJAX API queries combined with data visualization. In this case, API calls to the USGS endpoint—selected with UTC dates, times, and a maximum magnitude—returns a data object. The data object is parsed and extrapolated into a display object, then handed to the Cesium API for display as visualization. The visual object, in this case a box, is colored by magnitude, and the height is relative to the magnitude of the earthquake. See where near you it’s shaking!

Daniel Jenner, student at Thinkful Full-Stack development course, was a beginning Javascript student just learning the intricacies of AJAX API’s. After searching for something that was easy to use and understand, wasn’t cross-origin restrictive, and included some really interesting data that was fun and informative to look at, he settled upon the USGS earthquake data. The USGS provided the endpoint and API documentation on requesting geoJSON data, and it returned an easy-to-parse data object. To display this data and he picked Cesium. Cesium’s extensive API documentation, deep features, and abundant tutorials make it easy to create understandable and informative visualizations of the USGS data.