Sendai (Japan) Earthquake and Tsunami Mapping Response

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The 8.9 magnitude Sendai earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan just east of the island of Hoshu today has resulted in a slew of mapping resources to help understand the geography of this natural disaster and coordinate the response.

Japan Earthquake Map Viewer – Researchers at Texas Tech’s Center for Geospatial Technologies has created a ArcGIS Viewer with Flex mapping application that maps the locations of near real-time aftershocks.

Japan Sendai Earthquake Data Portal – Data portal launched by the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis to “support the exchange of geospatial datasets for relief and reconstruction efforts.”

Earthquake Tohoku area in Japan 3/11 – local Ushahidi created by Shu Sigashi, a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation in Japan.

USGS earthquake near the coast of Hoshu page – contains summary information, maps, and technical information about the earthquake.

OpenStreetMap’s 2011 Sendai Earthquake wiki page

Esri’s Japan Incident MapEsri also issued a press release about their involvement: Esri Assists Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Response

Google’s Sendai Earthquake Map – map with layers that can be toggled on and off including USGS shakemap, earthquake and aftershock locations, shelter locations, and earth’s tectonic plates.  All layers have a KML download link.

Earthquake Related Tweets – Sendai earthquake related tweet map created by Virender Ajmani.  (Via Google Earth Blog)


Source: USGS


Pacific Tsunami Warning Center – geolocated warnings from NOAA’s National Weather Service.

Map Visageeach marker on this Google Map lists the location and anticipated time of arrival for the tsunami.

NOAA Tsunami Wave Height Model – also check out the animation view. (Via @cageyjames)

Tsunami wave height model. Source: NOAA


Google has set up a “2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami” page as part of their Google Crisis Response effort which lists resources, access to their People Finder application, and streaming news and twitter feeds.


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1 thought on “Sendai (Japan) Earthquake and Tsunami Mapping Response”

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am a GIS instructor and would sincerely ask whether there is a portal where I can have the mxd and shp files for preparing layers as demonstration to my GIS class on the Japan earthquake and tunami study?
    Thank you

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