Tsunami, Earthquake Data Added To Data.gov - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Software // Information Management

Tsunami, Earthquake Data Added To Data.gov

The federal Web site has added 112 new data sets in the last week, including some on the disaster in Japan, significant earthquakes in the United States, and airborne radiation levels.

Best Government Web Sites
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Best Government Web Sites
Recent global events in Japan seem to have spurred the addition of new data sets to the federal data transparency site.

Data about tsunamis and earthquake activity as well as a new map interface released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that gives a view into radioactivity levels in the air have been posted on Data.gov as part of 112 new data sets made available on the site in the last week.

Japan was hit by a massive earthquake on March 11, followed by a tsunami that destroyed coastal areas in the north of the country. An explosion at the country's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station followed the next day, causing radiation to escape into the environment and atmosphere. The clean-up and recovery effort as well as the threat of radiation continues.

Data sets containing information tracking both earthquake and tsunami activity around the globe are now available on Data.gov, including RSS feeds for tsunamis in the Indian Ocean and Hawaii; a data set about all of the significant earthquakes in the United States between 1568 and 2004; and digital elevation models of coastal areas in the United States that could be affected by a tsunami, such as California and North Carolina.

An interactive map for monitoring radiation in the air also has been posted on the site courtesy of the EPA.

RadNet is a national network of monitoring stations that collect air, precipitation, drinking water, and milk samples for analysis of radioactivity. The RadNet Map Interface for Near-Real-Time Radiation Monitoring Data posted on Data.gov collects data from monitoring stations Radnet has in U.S. states and presents it for public consumption. The EPA uses RadNet data to decide if action must be taken to protect public health.

To date there have been more than 380,000 data sets posted to Data.gov, part of the Obama administration's Open Government Directive to be more transparent with information and its activities.

However, funding for the site and others the White House has launched in the last couple of years to foster transparency could be in jeopardy, according to an open-government advocacy group.

The Sunlight Foundation said in a blog post that the Electronic Government Fund, which provides money for open-data sites, could be cut from $34 million to $2 million for the remainder of this fiscal year if a bill before the Senate is passed.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Can Cloud Revolutionize Business and Software Architecture?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/15/2021
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
How CDOs Can Build Insight-Driven Organizations
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  1/15/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll