GeoNet solid as a rock

GeoNet solid as a rock

It’s safe to say that GeoNet has gained in popularity since the first Christchurch earthquake. 

Last week, the organisation’s data centre manager, Kevin Fenaughty, wrote in a GeoNet blog that the website had more than 7.8 million page views in the seven days after Wellington’s first shake-up on 19 July. 

GeoNet also sent 24 million push notifications to smartphones, with the busiest day being two days after the first quake.

Before the quake, Fenaughty wrote, the GeoNet app had 48,000 users. In the week after the Wellington event that figure ballooned to 89,000.

Funnily enough, though, Fenaughty says while background traffic grow every time there’s a new quake, GeoNet’s new system for detecting quakes has actually decreased traffic.

“The big difference is that in the old days [of the Christchurch quakes] people would have to wait a long time to get their answers, they’d have to wait 20 minutes,” he says.

“Our new system which is automated, it’s largely through within two minutes.”

Supplying people with information faster has led to decreased page views, Fenaughty says, as they aren’t constantly refreshing the GeoNet home page. 

Fenaughty says the organisation has had “no problems at all” staying online after Wellington’s series of quakes.

The biggest hit GeoNet has had was in July of 2012, when a magnitude 7.0 quake shook the country from Bay of Plenty to Otago. 

“But nothing broke so people could still get online, so that was peak traffic for us,” Fenaughty says.