CISNDisplay: Earthquake notification and mapping for emergency responders

CISN Display is an integrated Web-enabled earthquake notification system designed to provide earthquake information for emergency response at 24/7 operations centers. First responders, organizations with critical lifelines and infrastructure, and emergency responders are invited to register for an account.

The application provides users with maps of real-time seismicity and automatically provides access to Web-related earthquake products such as ShakeMaps. CISN Display also offers an open source GIS mapping tool that allows users to plot freely available layers of public highways, roads and bridges, as well as private layers of organizational-specific infrastructure and facilities information.

Cypress viaduct collapse

Latest Version: v 1.7 released August 14, 2013 (v 1.72 expected rollout 2017/12/01)

The CISN is pleased to announce the availability of CISN Display version 1.7 released August 14, 2013. Version 1.72 is expected to become available 2017/12/01. Updated features and bug fixes can be found at the Revision History site, which will be updated with v 1.72. The CISN has 4 servers online to provide reliable access to earthquake information. The CISN has also implemented a login service on the available QuakeWatch servers. This change is to ensure that the CISN will be able to manage system resources so that critical users in the emergency response community will have access to the data.


User Accounts:

  1. Review our access policy: At this point, the CISN does not have the resources to provide this tool to the general public, thus access is limit to emergency managers and other critical operations.
  2. Review the system requirements: Below are the minimum system requirements for operating CISN Display.
    • Java Runtime Environment 1.6.X or higher (available at https://java.com/en/)
    • Pentium-III, 1GHz CPU speed or comparable hardware
    • 384 Mb RAM or more
    • IP Address (private or public)
    • Access to Internet on ports 39977/39988
  3. Check to see if someone in your organization is registered already: If your organization is already registered, then try to reach your local contact.
  4. Request an account: If your organization doesn't already have an account, please fill out the form to request an account. Your request will be reviewed, typically within 1-2 business days. You will receive an initial email to confirm your email address, and then a follow-up email when your request is reviewed.
  5. Create a user account: Once approved, you will be sent a registration code. You will use the registration code to create a user account for yourself. The registration code is valid for up to 3 users within your organization, so you may share it with appropriate staff. (Note, the number of users for an organization may be added as needed).
  6. Maintain your account: Here we provide the tools for you to manage your organization's account, including maintaining your profile and providing access to other users in your organization. You may also download CISN Display and related programs such as the QuakeWatch Emailer and the QuakeWatch server programs.
  1. Check to see if someone in your organization is registered already: If your organization is already registered, then try to reach your local contact.
  2. Request an account: If your organization doesn't already have an account, please fill out the form to request an account. Your request will be approved, typically within 1-2 business days. You will receive an initial email to confirm your email address, and then a follow-up email when your request is approved.
  3. Create a user account: Once approved, you will be sent a registration code. You will use the registration code to create a user account for yourself. The registration code is valid for up to 3 users within your organization, so you may share it with appropriate staff. (Note, the number of users for an organization may be added as needed).
  4. Maintain your account: Here we provide the tools for you to manage your organization's account, including maintaining your profile and providing access to other users in your organization. You may also download CISN Display and related programs such as the QuakeWatch Emailer and the QuakeWatch server programs.
  1. Maintain your account: Here we provide the tools for you to manage your organizations account, including maintaining your profile and providing access to other users in your organization. You may also download CISN Display and related programs such as the

Related Software:

In addition to CISN Display, other related software packages are available to CISN Display users. These packages may be downloaded from the CISN Display user account pages.

  • QuakeWatch Emailer: QuakeWatch Emailer is a package that allows users to configure personalized earthquake notification. Similar to CISN Display, it relies on the QuakeWatch servers to distribute earthquake notifications. Users can configure the software to provide earthquake notifications for in multiple areas and various magnitude ranges.

    Users may wish to use CISN Display in order to easily define notifcation boundaries. See the help within the QuakeWatch Emailer program.

  • QuakeWatch relay server: Organizations with particularly restrictive firewalls may wish to install a local QuakeWatch server within their organization. The QuakeWatch server software can be used to support multiple instances of CISN Display within an organization, with a single connection through the firewall.

Documentation and Suport:

Support documents for CISN Display:

In addition to these resources, we have established a listserve on CISN Display. Interested users are invited to join the listserve and share ideas, suggestions, and experience in using the software. You may register to receive email messages or just browse the archive.

More limited documentation is available for the related software programs QuakeWatch Emailer and QuakeWatch server.

GIS Data: Publicly available GIS layers

Listed below are publicly available GIS layers that may be plotted on the CISN Display interface. These layers were compiled through the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Mapping Center and the TransStats 2002 Transportation Database. The list of layers (where available) are grouped by FEMA region, which cover all 50 states and US territories. These layers include the following infrastructure and political boundaries, and are packaged together in a single zip file.

  • County Lines
  • Major Roadways
  • Major Railways
  • Airport Runways
  • Federal-aid Urban Areas

The grouping of layers into federally recognized regions is done as a convenience to the emergency response community. However, all users are welcome to download their own sets of GIS layers from the publicly accessible US Census Bureau website. Furthermore, if users have additional organizational layers that are compliant with the CISN Display's open source mapping tool, then those layers may also be plotted for display on the map interface. Instructions for uploading new layers to the map interface may be found in the CISN Display's User's Guide, under section 4.2.7 "Adding a New Layer".

Download Pre-packaged 2002 Public Infrastructure Layers - Updated Oct, 2004

*GIS layers for these territories were not available from the BTC Web site



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