The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers. From this page you can access seismic data, participate in QCN development, request seismic sensors for your own experiment,


The Quake-Catcher Network is a research network built to collect seismic data from a flexible array of seismic sensors connected to or internal to common computers. The data is freely available for download

Research Opportunities

The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative effort, and as such QCN encourages active participation from the seismic research community and software development community. Click here to learn more. You could help in many ways spanning from installing sensors in K-12 classrooms, software or hardware development, to using data to demonstrate the utility of the QCN.

Investigation Phase

The Quake-Catcher Network is currently in the preliminary investigation phase. We’ve been working hard to ensure that there are no roadblocks in the way of full QCN development. The following are just a few of the ways we’ve ensured that the QCN will be a success:

  1. A three-year plan to develop QCN has been developed (we are already many months ahead of schedule!).
  2. Preliminary algorithms for client- and server-side programs have developed and tested with real data upload. These include:
    1. A. Accurate timing with Network Time Protocol (NTP).
      B. Geotargeting (locating laptops locations through TCP/IP addresses).
      C. Google Maps user interface for sensor location.
      D. Multiple screensavers with a Sensor Viewer & Global Earthquake Viewer.
      E. Automated rapid metadata with waveform data upload afterward.
  3. QCN purchased and installed a server trio at Stanford University in the Center for Computational Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEES).
  4. QCN received preliminary funding from NSF for a limited 12-month investigation phase of the QCN as a scientific and education and outreach tool.
  5. QCN identified and purchased two types of USB accelerometers for preliminary distribution.
  6. QCN has collected data from earthquake and human triggered events.

Short-Term Goals

There is still a lot of development needed for the Quake-Catcher Network. We are working on these features as fast as possible.

  1. QCN will integrate more sensor types including HP, Dell, WiiMote, and Cell Phones, and more.
  2. QCN will develop more sophisticated event detection and trigger association algorithms to handle the large quantity of data expected/needed.
  3. QCN will develop data distribution systems for dissemination to seismologists. Input is needed from fellow scientists as to what data types are desired (Please contact Jesse F. Lawrence.
  4. Install 1,000+ USB accelerometers in K-12 schools by July, 2009.
  5. Record as many earthquakes as possible!


Long-Term Goals

The long-term success of the Quake-Catcher Network will be evaluated on how well QCN accomplishes the following tasks:

  1. Evaluate the effectiveness of the network for rapid earthquake detection.
  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of the network to provide high-density strong-motion waveform data.
  3. Evaluate teh effectiveness of the network to educate the public about earthquakes and earthquake hazards.