Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Earthquake Ring of Fire

Esri's John Nelson does make some beautiful maps. His latest Seismic Illumination is a case in point. This map uses historical earthquake data going back to 1898 to show how earthquake activity can reveal the Earth's tectonic plates.

Seismic Illumination visualizes historical earthquake activity, particularly around the Pacific Ocean. By concentrating on the Pacific Ring of Fire the map is able to show how continental drift causes  seismic activity where the Earth's tectonic plates meet & grind beneath each other.

You can see in the screenshot above two of the design flourishes which make this such a striking map. The luminescence effect really helps the earthquake activity stand out on the dark base map. The warped map labels look like they could have been carved out of the tectonic plates on which they sit. If you like these effects then you will be happy that John Nelson has explained how they were created in two tutorials: Luminescence Hack and Envelope-Transformed Label Shadows.

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