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Note: This is a pair programming activity! You must work with a partner on this project! There are many pieces that could trip you up, so having two pairs of eyes and two brains on one set of code will be an important tactic to minimize errors and generate ideas.

In this training, we attempt to put together much of the work from this week. We'll be using jQuery's ajax() function to make calls to a third party API. We will be using live data from the USGS (United States Geological Survey), specifically a data set showing significant earthquakes (M4.0 or greater) from the past week.


Developers will be able to:

  • Use AJAX to grab data from the USGS earthquakes API
  • Use a template string to display data from an AJAX call on your HTML page
  • Use the Google Maps API to embed a map


Starter code

Get started with the code provided in index.html and scripts/app.js.


Our goal is to:

  • List information about each quake.
  • Display a Google Map with a pin at the epicenter of each quake.

Here's a screenshot of what the final product could look like:


If your partner forked the repository originally, you should fork their repository after you finish working together so that you'll have your own copy of your work to edit in the future. Link your own repo to your personal website.


Part 1. Rendering Data

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the dataset by opening it in your browser:

  • What is the structure of the data?
    • How many earthquakes does it list?
    • How would you grab the first earthquake?
      • How would you grab it's title?
      • How would you grab it's geological coordinates:
        • latitude?
        • longitude?
      • When did it happen?
        • How many hours ago is that?

Write out the AJAX call that will grab the data and console.log the list of earthquakes.

Part 2. Add the title data to the page

Add each title to the page: Loop over your JSON response object, and each title to the page using jQuery. Aim to put each title inside the <div id="info"> section of the page. For example:

<div id="info">
  <p>M 4.2 - 1km ESE of Fontana, California / 123 hours ago </p>
  <p>M 3.1 - 6km SSW of Columbus, Ohio / 77 hours ago </p>

Pro-tip: When in doubt, work in your Chrome Javascript Console! You can manipulate JSON, test your ideas, and even render elements to the page without ever touching your app.js file!

Switch to Template Strings: We encourage you to use template strings. At a certain point it's easier to work with a template than to build HTML strings by hand.

Part 3. Add Google Maps

  • Your next goal is to integrate Google Maps:
    • Follow the tutorial at Google Maps Javascript API

      • Note that you would normally need to sign up for an API key, but we've provided one (See index.html line 18)
      • Be VERY careful when you copy and paste code!
    • Please center your map on your city:

      • Austin: {lat: 30.2682, lng: -97.74295}
      • San Francisco: { lat: 37.78, lng: -122.44}

      NOTE: The proper implementation will entail writing your code for Google Maps integration in app.js only. There is no need to alter index.html as some resources may recommend.

Part 4. Add pins to your map

Once you've got the map to show up, your next goal is to drop a single pin on your city. This is a sanity check.

  • Next, can you add only the first earthquake to the map?
  • Can you add pins for all the earthquakes to the map?
  • Finally, can you replace the pin with the earthquake.png icon?


Extend your template:

  • Calculate how long ago the quake occurred and add it to the page. E.g. "28 hours ago". Currently, the time that the API returns is in Unix time (seconds since 1/1/1970). That's a nice format for computers, but not a nice format for humans.
  • Parse the title to only include the location, E.g. Instead of "M 4.2 - 1km ESE of Fontana, California", it should just say "Fontana, California."
  • Create a visual indicator of the magnitude of a quake. For instance, maybe a 4.0 is indicated by a "yellow" dot, a 5.0 by an "orange" dot, and anything larger is "red".
  • Create a button that allows us to switch the map from having a 'weekly' view to a 'monthly' view of all quakes. Hint: look through the USGS website to see available endpoints.
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