ShakeMap (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/shakemap) --rapidly, automatically generated shaking and intensity maps--combines instrumental measurements of shaking with information about local geology and earthquake location and magnitude to estimate shaking variations throughout a geographic area. The results are rapidly available via the Web through a variety of map formats, including Geographic Information System (GIS) coverages. These maps have become a valuable tool for emergency response, public information, loss estimation, earthquake planning, and post-earthquake engineering and scientific analyses. With the adoption of ShakeMap as a standard tool for a wide array of users and uses came an impressive demand for up-to-date technical documentation and more general guidelines for users and software developers. This manual is meant to address this need.
ShakeMap, and associated Web and data products, are rapidly evolving as new advances in communications, earthquake science, and user needs drive improvements. As such, this documentation is organic in nature. We will make every effort to keep it current, but undoubtedly necessary changes in operational systems take precedence over producing and making documentation publishable.