Visualization as I see it.

Tag Archives: earthquake

Tweets During the Japanese Earthquake

Twitter has just published a couple of videos that visualize the flow of tweets before and after the March 2011 earthquake.

The first video shows @reply tweets in the hour preceding and following the earthquake, to (pink) and from (yellow) Japanese Twitter accounts.  You can clearly see the sudden jump in the volume of tweets following the earthquake.


The second video shows tweets originating in Japan (red) and then being retweeted (green) around the globe in the hour following the earthquake.

Twitter reports that the volume of tweets spiked to 5000 tweets per second five times in the hours following the earthquake and tsunami.  A vivid example of Twitter’s reach as a global communications tool.


New York Times Visualization of the Japanese Earthquake Fault Plane

Visualization of the magnitude of the quake

Shortly after the devastating Japanese earthquake on March 18 2011, the New York Times published an excellent series of visualizations showing the quake’s fault plane, magnitude and the predicted tsunami spreading across the Pacific Ocean.

What I found particularly enlightening was the depiction of the fault plane.  I’d previously thought of earthquakes as emanating from a point source – the word epicentre reinforces this notion.  In fact, the earthquake arose from a section of the North American plate, several hundred miles in length, being thrust upwards by the movement of the Pacific plate beneath it.  The epicentre is the focus of the earthquake at which the force is greatest.

Kudos to the New York Times for their enlightening graphics.

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