Earthquakes page on NewsOK gets powerful upgrade
If you live where I live on the top side of Oklahoma County, the rumbles and shakes aren't so jarring anymore.
Was that thunder? Or did the dog run into the chair? (It's a clumsy dog.)
Was it an earthquake? Or are the kids roughhousing in the other room?
I asked the same type of rhetorical questions about 18 months ago in this space. That's what goes through my head when I feel the house shake a bit.
The truth is that if you look up and wonder if that was as earthquake, it probably was. Then you go about your day. It's usually no big deal.
Only once have I stood up and thought a moment about what I should do next if the walls started to move. That was about exactly one year ago. A few things fell off the wall that day, but the walls stood firm.
For most of the recent seismic activity through the last few years, we've had a page that documented and mapped the earthquakes based on data from the USGS. We even post the news automatically on the NewsOK home page when there's an earthquake large enough that you might have felt it. And for the last couple of months, we've been sending alerts through our NewsOK App -- and app that you can download for free.
But our earthquake page just took a big step forward in utility. On Thursday, we launched the Did you just feel an earthquake? feature.
The new designs and features were the concepts of developer James Duncan, who is known in The Oklahoman's building as true all star at his craft. James continued to noticed the spike in traffic we get on the NewsOK Earthquakes page after an earthquake is felt. But it sometimes takes the USGS up to an hour to confirm the data and issue its initial findings. So we have don't always have immediate data to share with our readers.
But the reader has a story to tell. They felt something. And if they felt something, it's likely someone else felt something. If there are other dots on the map -- other people who felt something in the same area -- then the story starts to tell itself before all the data come in.
With James' efforts, you can now go to the NewsOK Earthquake page and let others in our community know where you were when you felt the ground move.
And so our earthquakes page just became infinitely more powerful. It combines the the data from the USGS with the immediate reports of hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans.
That's what I call an upgrade.