J-SHIS was established to help prevent and prepare for earthquake disaster by providing a public portal for seismic hazard information across Japan. Here is the history of J-SHIS.
The National Seismic Hazard Maps for Japan are regarded as a comprehensive compilation of past ten years of achievements of the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (HERP) in seismic hazard evaluation. They contain an enormous amount of information including the data required for mapping such as seismic activity models, seismic source fault models, subsurface structure models, and other models.
As a part of its studies on utilization of seismic hazard maps, the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) has set up an engineering application committee (Chair: Hiroyuki Kameda) to explore into the issue. The Committee’s report recommends that the seismic hazard maps should be considered as a sharing platform of the seismic hazard information by regarding the maps as a group of information incorporating the underlying data used in the evaluation process, such as the seismic activity models, seismic source models, and subsurface structure models, rather than mere maps as final products. In order to put this recommendation into practice, NIED developed an open web system for seismic hazard maps, and started its operation in May 2005 under the name “Japan Seismic Hazard Information Station (J-SHIS)”, which was the name proposed in the report above.
Four years have passed since the launch of operation of the J-SHIS. During that time, remarkable progress has been made in the technology to distribute map data via the Internet. By incorporating such latest technology, NIED developed a new J-SHIS system. The new J-SHIS manages various data in an integrated manner. It includes the new National Seismic Hazard Maps for Japan which consist of the Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Maps (PSHM) for Japan with a 250 m mesh resolution and the Scenario Earthquake Shaking Maps (SESM) based on detailed strong motion estimation of earthquakes occurring at major active fault zones, as well as the deep subsurface structure models for Japan and 250 m mesh geomorphological land classification models used for the required calculations. The new J-SHIS also provides these data in a user-friendly manner by superposing them on background maps.
The new J-SHIS is a web mapping system based on open source software which allows general users to easily view various data on their Internet browsers. Especially, the notable new functions have enabled the users to overlap the seismic hazard maps on Google maps including the layer transparency function, to freely move and zoom in and out the maps, to view the seismic hazard maps with a 250 m mesh resolution, to search a precise location by addresses and postal codes, to select and show a source fault on the browser, and to display attribute values for each mesh. The new system has been in operation since July 2009.