Mapping disasters in real-time – AlertMap

We seem to have been reeling from one-disaster to another this year. Our students have been very interested in (and concerned about) the floods here in Australia and the earthquake in Christchurch. The earthquake in Japan, and the potential for disaster that the Nuclear power stations pose, has the boys looking at the news media often.   There are of course many disasters that are constantly occurring that are not reported in our news media.

Alertmap is a tool that will show what is happening and where. It is a real-time map of disasters that logs and plots emergencies and tragedies as they happen around the world.

It covers various kinds of disasters. These are plotted on a Google-based map and include events such as the natural disasters (eg. earthquakes, floods, typhoons, tsunami), bushfires, epidemics, insect invasions, nuclear events, vehicle accidents and more. At the moment Japan has its own tab in red but you can also use the continents tab for other specific regions.

The events are divided into current emergencies, short time events, long time or rolling events. Each event is rated and color-coded to indicate how critical the event is to human life and property.

You can click on any icon on the map to show details of the event, including the co-ordinates, country, state, and date. The array of icons are explained under the help tab. The map takes data from the internet so it can plot them as they are happening. You can then follow a details link for extra information. The screen below shows the first summary page and you can follow other tabs for further information.

Below the map lists of disasters in table format. You can follow the links here just as you can from the map.

Also worth noting is that the site is free with no sign-up required