Introducing OpenEEW

Earthquake early-warning (EEW) systems have huge potential to save livesaround the world, but there are relatively few in existence, in large part due to their high cost.

As I discussed in Earthquake early-warning systems: how the Internet of Things can help save lives around the world, we at Grillo believe that an IoT-based approach to EEW systems offers a low-cost and scalable alternative to traditional approaches that opens up the possibility of many more people around the world benefiting from life-saving alerts.

During the past two years, Grillo has developed its own IoT-based EEW systems in Mexico and Chile, which have been issuing alerts since March 2018 via Twitter and our smartphone app.

We are very proud of what we have achieved so far, but we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible. In today’s world of IoT, cloud computing and machine learning, the development of EEW systems can benefit from the expertise of people from non-traditional backgrounds.

For this reason we have decided to launch OpenEEW, an initiative to share our data, sensor technology and detection algorithms. Not only will this enable others around the world to start building their own EEW systems based on our approach, it will also, we believe, lead to the creation of a global community collaborating to develop ever-better EEW systems, always with the end goal of providing life-saving alerts and increasing resilience against earthquakes.

The roadmap

OpenEEW will launch on 11 April with the release of our entire archive of unprocessed accelerometer data, including several large-magnitude earthquakes, as an AWS Public Dataset. All subsequently-produced accelerometer data from our seismic networks will be published on an ongoing basis with a small delay of a few minutes.

Anyone can straightforwardly download and analyze our accelerometer data

This valuable data, constantly being updated, will offer people from a variety of backgrounds the opportunity to develop machine learning algorithms, not only for the detection of earthquakes but also for their characterization, predicting how an earthquake will be felt in other locations, a key element of EEW systems.

In the next few months we will start releasing our hardware designs and detection algorithms, so that others can build their own sensors and analyze the data they produce in real time.

Getting involved

The success of OpenEEW depends on its community, so we want as many people as possible to get involved. Whether you’re a scientist, a developer, a maker or anyone else with an interest in earthquakes and saving lives, we want to hear from you.

To know more about OpenEEW and how you can get involved, please visit OpenEEW.

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