Visualization of data through earthquake search can be done by 4th graders.
Things have changed since I first posted this information. Now, it’s harder to find the column data but easier to visualize it once you do locate it.
You will see columns of data. Select the Lat and Long columns by dragging the mouse over the first 25 or so. Other columns will be automatically selected at the same time, but don’t worry about that.
Once selected, then copy the information (into the clipboard with command+C)
Open an empty Excel spreadsheet.
The first cell should be automatically selected for you.
Use Command+V (paste). The selected data will appear.
You will now have to “massage the data” by selecting columns and going to “edit-delete” for each you don’t want.
You need to have just two columns, one for LAT and one for LONG.
Select the data in the two columns and choose “insert” from Excel’s menu. Choose Scatter Plot.
You will see the beginnings of an outline showing the tectonic plates.
Choose one set of LAT/LONG
Go to Google earth.
Paste the two numbers in the Google Earth Search bar. You will see exactly where the quake happened.
Below is OLDER information, but I’m keeping it here just in case:
In Safari (haven't tested this in Firefox) we'll go to
Select screen file format
Go to Optional Search Parameters
Choose 2011 10 1 for starting date
Choose 2011 11 1 for ending date
Choose 6 for magnitude
This will return a screen list of lots of data that's hard to read.
Copy data except for the headings to clipboard.
Paste data into first cell.
With that cell selected, choose Data (top menu) +"text to columns" and then click "finish" in the little window that shows up.
This sorts out the data into discrete columns.
Next, we delete the columns except for lat and long and magnitude. Select the column, then edit-delete. This leaves us with three columns.
(With a LOT of data initially, you can create a scatter plot that mimics the earth's fault lines.)
Then copy the first set of lat and long.
Open Google Earth. Paste into the search box. Google will go to that site.
To add earthquake layers in Google Earth, we choose "Earth Gallery" just to the right of the Layers in the left nav. Pane and then click on the second item in the first row, "Real-Time Earthquakes." This shows where all the earthquake activity is taking place. We'll look at some of the layers
We'll use the measure tool to determine the distance between Jakarta and the subduction zone (to the SW) and save the path.