summary:ShakeCast overview will help you get started quickly with the documentation. The other topics in this help provide additional information and detail about working with other aspects of ShakeCast.
## System Overview
[ShakeCast](https://code.usgs.gov/ghsc/esi/shakecast/shakecast)®, short for ShakeMap Broadcast, is a freely available, post-earthquake situational awareness application, for delivering ShakeMap and other earthquake products from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to critical users and for triggering established post-earthquake response protocols. ShakeCast automatically retrieves earthquake shaking data from ShakeMap, allows utilities, transportation agencies, and other large organizations to automatically determine the shaking value at their facilities, set thresholds for notification of inspection priority for each facility and then automatically sends notifications of potential impacts, and generates maps and other web-based products for emergency managers and responders.
In general, businesses, utilities, and agencies could develop their own strategies and tools for the utilization of ShakeMap given their unique facilities and communication paths. However, such efforts can be costly and complex. The USGS facilitated this process with the development of ShakeCast, by building a more general use tool that accomplishes most of the critical user needs. These features are particularly useful when an organization has a significant portfolio of facilities in an affected region and must prioritize with limited resources. However, additional needs are common in that a user is typically interested in obtaining detailed site-specific information. Much of these includes the licensing basis, response protocol, loss estimate, and ground failure potential, to name a few.
## Software History
The current [ShakeCast version 4, released in 2019](https://code.usgs.gov/ghsc/esi/shakecast/shakecast/-/releases), is a complete re-design of the application aimed at alleviating the pain points of its consumer base, while improving functionality. The official release of ShakeCast V4 and on—as well as newer versions of USGS’s ShakeMap, “Did You Feel It?”, and PAGER systems—have been developed in Python due to its functionality and near-ubiquity in computer science courses and academia. Our aim is to be more intuitive and include new features that both general users and administrators will find helpful, based on best practices in software development as well as direct feedback from many ShakeCast users. Many of the modifications are based on direct user feedback, feature requests, and culling of vestigial functions. Developing and incorporating advanced fragility assignments into the ShakeCast Workbook requires related software modifications and database improvements; these enhancements are part of an extensive rewrite of the ShakeCast application (Wald et al., 2017).
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worldwide through the CC0 1.0 Universal public domain dedication.
## Service Model
As a distributed software application, ShakeCast can now be installed either “in-house” within a user’s network and their physical or virtual operating systems (Figure 1), or more commonly by running an “instance” of the ShakeCast software as a cloud-hosted service after cloning the system disc image provided by USGS.
Businesses, utility and other lifeline managers, emergency responders, and others have an urgent need for information about the impact on their own facilities so they can make informed decisions and take quick actions to ensure safety, restore system functionality, and minimize losses.
## Who should probably not use ShakeCast
Individual users without a significant number of facilities and knowledge of their inventory. ShakeCast requires significant commitment of time and both IT and earthquake engineering expertise.
## User Case: State Departments of Transportation (DOTs)
Caltrans has been collaborating with the USGS since 2005 to develop and continuously improve a robust and operational ShakeCast platform. ShakeCast is particularly suitable for earthquake planning and response purposes by Caltrans and other State DOTs, in part because they can utilize existing NBI databases—which they are required to keep up-to-date—to implement shaking-based inspection priority and impact assessments. Since 2017, USGS has partnered with Caltrans and nine other State DOTs under a Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF) to fully implement ShakeCast for these departments, and to add customized configurations to each and functions pertinent across all. An additional goal of this TPF solicitation was to "connect the DOTs" to bring this technology to all states with seismic hazards, as the major earthquakes anticipated to occur in the future will cross state borders (Figure 2) (Turner et al., 2018).