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Global map of major earthquakes revelatory

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 9th, 2012
Catholic Online (

A global map of every single major earthquake that has taken place on Planet Earth since 1898 has shown some startling results. There have been at least more than 203,000 major temblors, with the edge of the Pacific Ocean being shown as particularly dangerous.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The map, rendered in startling neon colors was created as a side-project by mapping manager John Nelson. The Michigan-based designer works for data-visualization software maker IDV Solutions.

Nelson recently revealed on the IDV blog that "I've been looking at really general sources of existential risk and visualizing them via the kitchen sink school of thematic mapping. So the earthquakes map was just a matter of time.

"Here, data from and the USGS and UC Berkeley have been sliced out into veneers based on magnitude, then glued onto and image that began it's life at NASA's Visual Earth and wrung into the Times projection."

Nelson waxes poetical: "The result looks an awful lot like a fleet of Nickelodeon tankers spilled the world's supply of floam."

Among the major earthquakes John has mapped are the Great San Francisco Earthquake that killed 3,000 people and last year's disaster in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 185 people and destroyed many buildings.

Nelson has also created maps to show the path of each tornado in America over the last six decades using the Fujita Scale, or F-Scale, measures tornadoes based mainly on the amount of damage they cause to buildings and vegetation.

The map shows 61 years worth of tornado tracks. Nelson's map shows the path of the violent storms, with the brightness of the lines indicating the strength. The map uses U.S. Government data of where tornadoes "touched down" between 1950 and 2011 and has spread around the world in the last few weeks.

Fuelled by the success of this map, the creator is looking to bring out a new, interactive version, which will include 2012's data and allow you to filter the map by strength, year, location, seasons and other factors.


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