Did You Feel It?

Did You Feel It?

Did You Feel It? is a Web site produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to tap the abundant information available about earthquakes from the people who actually experience them. By taking advantage of the vast numbers of Internet users, USGS seeks to get a more complete description of what people experienced, the effects of the earthquake and the extent of damage. With the help of citizen scientists, USGS can do this almost instantly.

By contributing experience of the earthquake, either immediately afterward, or whenever it is possible for to do so, citizen scientists will have made a contribution to the scientific body of information about this earthquake. They will also ensure that their areas have been represented in the compilation of the shaking map. This is a two-way street. Not only will citizen scientists add valuable information on the extent of ground shaking and damage, but in the process USGS hopes citizen scientists will learn more about how other communities fared and gain a greater understanding of the effects of earthquakes.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: David Wald, Supervisory Research Geophysicist
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: USGS National Earthquake Information Center
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Questionnaire
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages

    Visit the USGS Did You Feel It? Web site.

See more projects in FreeQuestionnaireAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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