Tuesday, July 29, 2008

LA Times Covers Today's 5.4 Magnitude Earthquake But Don't Get Shook Up About Their Maps

The LA Times relied mostly on a Google Maps mashup and the USGS to provide maps for the immediate story and coverage of the 5.4 magnitude earthquake that shook southern California this afternoon. The embedded map of the epicenter was just fine but they had the opportunity to make the maps more informative and they had the information but just failed to make it more visible for readers. Just below the mashup were two links to USGS maps: one to the shake map and one to the aftershock forecast. Now, if I'm a resident in that region, I want to know the magnitude of shaking that occurred, especially if I have to justify an insurance claim, and I want to know the predictive aftershock potential. So, the links were there in the online story, but my perspective is that they were buried.

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