This is a 3D visualization of real-time earthquake data gathered from the U.S. Geological Survey website. The data used in this example covers all earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 1 within the last 30 days. The real-time data can be downloaded as CSV formatted data files from here.

In this example, the data is downloaded and processed by a PHP script every hour and all earthquakes are drawn into a template texture image file of the Earth’s surface according to the geographical position and the magnitude of the quake.  There is no exact correlation between the magnítude and the depth of an earthquake and how it is felt at the surface or what damage it may cause. Extent and location of damage also heavily depends on the soil conditions and geological structures which can amplify or even reflect seismic waves.

The created texture is then used to display a spinning globe using the Javascript 3D library Three.js. You can spin the globe around by dragging with the mouse or your finger on touch screens.

The full source code can be found on GitHub.