Scary real-time map of earthquakes around the world
Earthquakes are much more common events than one might expect. According to the U.S. Geological Survey there are on average over 14,000 earthquakes of magnitude 4 or greater every year, which is approximately 40 per day. Even large tremors of a magnitude of above 6 occur on average 150 times a year.
Every movement of the surface of the earth is constantly monitored by the network of over 150 seismological and geophysical sensors called the Global Seismographic Network. These devices listen for signs of earthquakes and nuclear tests, they help geophysicists to image Earth’s interior and they are a part of the early emergency population warning system that is supposed to alert people around the world about an upcoming danger.
The seismic data from the sensors is open to the public via earthquake data feed so that everyone could reuse it for research, apps or other purposes. Mapbox designer Peter Liu decided to work on it and he created this awesome but very scary real-time map of Earth tremors around the world.
One the left panel you can see a list of the latest and strongest events. You can also selected unit of time (day, week, month). Moreover you can click on every tremor to learn the details about it.
Earthquakes are typically caused by the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates. Sometimes they are also triggered by volcanic eruptions or meteor impacts. In most cases we don’t hear about them as the tremors are rather small or distant. But when it hits somewhere close to where people live, it typically causes a disaster on a huge scale.
This amazing map allows us to get a sense about the scale of this natural phenomena but also to understand a bit more its spatio-temporal patterns.
Building trust in autonomous cars
Autonomous vehicles are the future of transportation and one of the main aspects that will hinder wide-spread adoption of this future will have nothing to do with technology itself. It’s rather the human aspect of it, in order for autonomous vehicles to be socially (and psychologically) acceptable they will have to start learning to mimic how humans drive.
Project Knight Rider
HERE has focused on lot on HD maps for autonomous cars lately and in their latest project titled “Knight Rider” they are showcasing a driving simulator where one can experience autonomous driving and learn to build trust with their machines. The project not only showcases here’s HD maps and 3D city models, it’s also a clear indicator that the mapping company has its sights on being the brain behind the car, which doesn’t come as a surprise considering the shareholders in HERE are BMW, Audi and Daimler (as of now).
It’s interesting to notice the particular scenarios that are discussed in the video aren’t really focussed on a completely autonomous car but instead the simulator is designed to showcase how a semi-autonomous car might work – avoiding collisions, taking over from you in the expressway and changing lanes. Autonomous driving is definitely going to be evolutionary process and not going to be rolled down for the entire world in an overnight update. Okay, Tesla owners don’t count here 🙂
“Swipe to overtake” was probably one of the most interesting features in the video, in the image below, the green triangle is another example of how HUD could help make navigation easier without us having to focus on the navigation dashboard. Pretty neat!
The central map navigation dashboard design looks a bit similar to the small map dashboard in Grand Theft Auto, right? Surely I am not the only one who thinks there is a similarity here 😉
I am really excited about “driving” an autonomous car in the near future but the fact is, for many of us to be riding shotgun in a car without a “driver” is going to something that needs getting used to and simulators like the one HERE showcased in their project Knight Rider are going to help the UX engineers refine and improve the experience in an autonomous car and in the short-term future help improve assisted driving features and their ease of use. Project Knight Rider is a clear indicator that HERE wants in on that future and it’s going to be intriguing to see in which direction HERE decides to focus its energy and resources! Go for it HERE 😀