Shakemap Converter

Shakemaps are useful for carrying out contingency planning for an earthquake event. Normally these are distributed as grid.xml files which are not usable in InaSAFE or QGIS. The Shakemap Converter tool imports a grid.xml file as a GEOTIFF file so that it can be used within InaSAFE.

Two different interpolation algorithms can be used during the import process - Nearest Neighbour and Inverse Distance. After the conversion, the tool automatically creates InaSAFE keyword metadata for the layer so that it can be used immediately for analysis.



To use this tool effectively:

  • Select a grid.xml file for the input layer.
  • Add the title of the shakemap that will be used for the keywords.
  • Add the source of the shakemap that will also be used for the keywords.
  • Choose where to write the output layer to.
  • Choose the interpolation algorithm that should be used when converting the xml grid to a raster. If unsure keep the default.

You can obtain shake data for free from the USGS shakemap site.

When you download the grid file, you should right-click on it and choose Save as in order to ensure that it is saved properly. OSX and Linux users may also consider using command line tools to fetch the grid file:


curl -O<shake id>/download/grid.xml


wget -C<shake id>/download/grid.xml


Replace the <shake id> in the commands above with the actual shake id.