us researchers release japaneselanguage app to crowdsource earth shaking
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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US researchers release Japanese-language app to crowdsource earth shaking

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Arab Today, arab today US researchers release Japanese-language app to crowdsource earth shaking

University of California
San Francisco - XINHUA

Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, released on Sunday the Japanese-language version of a smartphone application, or app, to crowdsource ground-shaking information.

The app, known as MyShake, initially unveiled on February 12 this year at the university on the U.S. west coast, was designed to detect earthquakes and eventually warn users of impending jolts from nearby quakes.

MyShake runs in the background and draws little battery power, collects information of local shaking from a phone's onboard accelerometers, analyzes it and, if it fits the vibrational profile of a quake, relays it together with the phone's GPS coordinates to the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.

As the app currently works only with devices operating on the Android platform, it is available through the Google Play Store.

Richard Allen, the leader of the app project, said that "we think MyShake can make earthquake early warning faster and more accurate in areas that have a traditional seismic network, such as Japan."

It "can provide life-saving early warning in countries that have no seismic network," said Allen, who works as the director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and a professor and chair of UC Berkeley's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Since the English version's release three months ago, more than 170,000 people have downloaded the app from around the world, and on any given day 11,000 phones provide data to the system, according to a news release from UC Berkeley.

It has recorded earthquakes as small as magnitude 2.5 and as large as magnitude 7.8 in Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Japan and across North America.

"This is cutting-edge research that will transform seismology," said UC Berkeley graduate student Qingkai Kong, who developed the algorithm at the heart of the app.

"The stations we have for traditional seismology are not that dense, especially in some regions around the world, but using smartphones with low-cost sensors will give us a really good, dense network in the future."

The researchers have plans to release Spanish- and Chinese-language versions of MyShake and work on a version that works with iPhone.

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