Friday, 26 November 2010

Earthquake Warning - Random Hacks of Kindness

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[edit] Earthquake Warning

[edit] Owner

Proposed by:

Contact (name, email, phone, skype): Steve Hakusa <>, Pablo Mayrgundter <>

Best way and times to contact during RHoK 2.0 Dec 4/5 2010: email

[edit] Summary

[edit] Example

The epicenter for the Haitian Earthquake was 25km from Port-au-Prince and 13km deep, meaning 28km propagation distance; this equates to 5.6 seconds away from the less-damaging primary waves, and 9.3 seconds away from the very damaging secondary waves. Also, large earthquakes may take place over many tens of seconds, so the time to react is significant.

If detection and notification could be done before this time, people in the city could have had a chance to brace for impact, take cover or run outside. Also, notification that the shaking is an earthquake, instead of say a big truck going by, may prime a person to be ready to react.

[edit] Use Case/User Story/Scenario

"Ana is at home before the earthquake strikes. Her phone (or computer, or TV) issues a loud alert warning of an impending earthquake, along with a count-down in seconds; Ann grabs her child and takes cover under the kitchen table. Part of the roof falls in but the table protects them and they are able to crawl out of the rubble."

[edit] Description and Constraints

False positives may lead people to ignore later true positives. Thought should be given of how to clarify alerting behavior to users, before, during and after an alert is issued.

Solution should be likely to be near to people, e.g. phone, radio or TV.

[edit] Phone Client

Modern smart-phones typically have accelerometers and high-accuracy GPS and timers and are likely to be near their user, often also at night; however mobile phones are mobile! They also have low power resources. A phone client may need to operate only when otherwise idle, not moving and plugged in.

A phone is also a good target for user alerts, since it will likely be with them. Thought should be given to how alerts can be distributed to phone users, including to users who do not operate sensors.

[edit] Similar projects and Resources

[edit] What next and Sustainability

[edit] Current State and Solutions

QCN is a solution using a distributed p2p sensing network. The project is still developing and could use a mobile client.

BOINC, the platform on which QCN is built, has an Android client port: