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Earthquake App a Rare Misstep for California Watch

Although San Diego Union-Tribune science reporter Gary Robbins applauds California Watch for embracing non-tradition revenue streams, he suggests that their 99-cent earthquake-focused myFault application registers about 2.0 on the consumer value scale. From his review:

It’s a clunky, poorly-designed app that badly depicts the location of many fault zones and fails to include all or part of many well-known systems, making this seismic hazards software worthless. The faults are not labeled, and the designers didn’t include important basic data, such as the dates of notable earthquakes on significant faults or how large of a quake can be expected to occur on a system.

The spring 2011 article series offshoot was developed by Chase Davis, who juggles daytime Center for Investigative Reporting duties with nighttime entrepreneurship. When contacted by Robbins, Davis defended his decision to bypass information readily available from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

But Robbins is having none of it. For example, he notes that the app says there are no earthquake fault zones near Del Mar in San Diego County when in fact there is in that region the potentially very troublesome Rose Canyon fault.

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