Welcome to the World-Wide Earthquake Locator

The World-Wide Earthquake Locator aims to provide up-to-date information and detailed dynamic maps of earthquakes and volcanoes across the world. It uses a different cartographic approach putting these natural hazards in the context of human geography. This website also links to a database of past earthquakes and volcanoes.


The centrepiece of World-Wide Earthquake Locator is the dynamic web map. It displays recent earthquake-occurrence information provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as well as weekly updates on volcano activity by the Smithsonian Institute. Furthermore, it is possible to query our database for past earthquakes and volcanoes.

The focus of the current version of this project is to strengthen the human geography dimension of World-Wide Earthquake Locator. By enabling a combined population density and poverty level overlay, these earthquakes can be examined from the perspective of disaster management, as well as geological or geophysical phenomena.

The individual sections on earthquakes and volcanoes will provide further background information and recent reports, once completed.


The World-Wide Earthquake Locator was originally developed by Bruce Gittings of the School of GeoScience at the University of Edinburgh in 1994-95 and it became an early illustration of a real-time Geographical Information System which makes use the internet World-Wide Web and the internet to map dynamic phenomena.

The original system used data available from the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). This data provides basic information about earthquakes within hours of them taking place. In reponse to a query, the data was dynamically accessed from a USGS server in Golden, Colorado. The data was then processed into an appropriate format in Edinburgh and finally displayed using the Xerox PARC Map Viewer based in Palo Alto, California again in the USA. Read the complete justification for the original Earthquake Locator.

The Locator has been subsequently developed through student projects by A. Story (2003), E. Kleiser (2004), E. Csete (2005), R. Sui (2008), and A. Campbell (2010). The latest version has been created by Christian Boermel (2012).

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The World-Wide Earthquake Locator, 1994-2012
v6.0, August 2012, created by Christian Boermel
Supervisor: Bruce M. Gittings
Previous versions: A. Story, E. Kleiser, E. Csete, R. Sui, A. Campbell
URL: http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/quakes/