Upon his return to the U.S., Mr. Cook was frustrated by the logistical difficulties of sharing the visual data collected in East Java (i.e., slides and photographs) with researchers who had been unable to take part in the survey. After considering several different development approaches, he decided that a World-Wide Web (WWW) site would best satisfy his needs for an easily-implemented multimedia presentation format that was not platform specific. Specifically, the WWW offered a user interface that was established and standardized with browsers such as Mosaic and Netscape, which either directly or indirectly supported digital images and movies; and WWW-document development was straightforward.
Shortly after beginning work on the East Java WWW documentation, Mr. Cook realized the need for a more general, on-line, tsunami-information resource. With support from the tsunami research community, Tsunami! has been developed to satisfy the public's need for current, descriptive information about tsunamis and the serious threat they pose to coastal communities. In keeping with it's original purpose, Tsunami! also serves as a forum for the distribution of the visual and quantitative data gathered in recent tsunami surveys.