When a major earthquake event occurs, the earthquake web applications can receives millions of requests for its basemaps.
The Earthquake Applications team had 2 major reasons for updating - Maintainability and Performance:
The old recent earthquakes mapping interface was built using Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) and other scripting tools that needed to be updated regularly on the server. The system often had issues that took hours or days to correct because of the complexity of the code. Over time, it simply became unmaintainable.
2. Better Technology:
As mentioned in the previous slide, GMT and many other programs that were used to create and keep the original basemaps application running, were constantly becoming more and more outdated. We needed to move in the direction of newer technology to be able to keep up with the current web mapping trends.
As part of this upgrade effort, USGS Earthquakes Hazards group recently coordinated with The National Map and National Atlas basemap efforts on getting TNM US cities (population > 10000), US roads, US lakes, streams, rivers, US urban areas, and various regional borders (states, provinces, etc.) as the basis for updating the Earthquake basemap in the United States.
USGS NEIC, National EarthQuake Information Center, Golden, CO