Natural Hazards Notifications with Earth Alerts

earth-alertsEarthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, tropical cyclones, wildfires, landslides, are natural hazards from which you want to stay away. But what if there is an app that can monitor these hazards almost in real time? Nevertheless, this would be a solution for the ones living in dangerous areas. Especially if you live in the U.S., Earth Alerts is the perfect tool for taking in consideration the natural disasters that might occur in your area.

Earth Alerts is a one man project that started back in 2005. It is a single application for monitoring multiple types of natural hazard events using online resources provided by organizations such as the National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey and Smithsonian Institution. All types of notifications, reports and images gathered in a single U.I., provides the user with enough information regarding natural hazards from his area of living.

eartalerts

Unfortunately the app provides full information only for the US territory, although there is an option to choose any location from around the globe, this is not sufficient to create a complete report. Using all kinds of public feeds, the app performs a cyclic update process at various time intervals. The drawback here is that sometimes the update process tends to be “permanent” without delivering the desired information especially if you choose another location outside US.

In case you are interested more on weather information, Earth Alerts is not the perfect solution for you because it does not provide an extensive weather data. The app includes only basic weather tracking, current conditions, local forecasts and radar/satellite imagery. But if you are fascinated by the power of nature or if you are interested of keeping track of natural hazards around the world, Earth Alerts is a suitable product.

download Earth Alerts

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Google’s Biggest Problem – Focus

I’ve been watching Google over the past few years and they have one major problem – focus.

Google has a lot to look forward this year – a reincarnation of GoogleTV, Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich, the LTE capable Galaxy Nexus, the list goes on and on really. Its clear, the company is moving and shaking. However, they have one big problem in my opinion – they lack consistent, company-wide focus.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen Google introduce a number of different products. It seems that they are GREAT at introducing ideas, but in my opinion, don’t spend enough time developing a clear strategy for each one. The following are a few of their more notable disasters.


Google Buzz
Buzz was Google’s first foray into social networking. Buzz was supposed to take on both Facebook and Twitter. It was received with a great deal of anger and frustration, as no one seemed to understand why Google bothered to create and introduce the service. As a result, failed miserably.


Google Wave
Wave was Google’s attempt to bring email, instant messaging and social networking together. It made a bit of a splash, but exited as less than a ripple. It was overly complicated and competed directly with Gmail, Google’s flagship, non-search related product.


Google Desktop Search
It did what you might think – helped you index and search through all of your local content.


Google is great at introducing and then retiring a great many products. Also of note, Google Gears, Google Video and Google Pages. All of these things were introduced with a great deal of fanfare, were adopted to a varying degree of success and penetration, and then either abandoned, ignored or half-heartedly supported as the public struggled with finishing the product’s definition (what it was supposed to do) and direction (where the product would eventually go).

Come back next time and we’ll address Google’s most successful product to date and try to figure out exactly what and where Google wants to take it.

read Google’s Biggest Problem – Focus Part 2

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