• Press Release
  • 2023/08/28

Agreement Signed for New Utilisation of 'Strong-Motion Monitor' to Visually Convey Current Tremors Across Japan

PDF Available here (Japanese)

The National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (President: Kaoru Takara, hereinafter ‘NIED’), TBS Television Inc. (President and CEO: Takashi Sasaki, hereinafter ‘TBS Television’), TBS / JNN NEWS DIG LLC (President: Ryosei Nambu, hereinafter ‘NEWS DIG LLC’), and Gehirn Inc. (CEO: Daiki Ishimori, hereinafter ‘Gehirn’), have today (August 28th, 2023) signed a new mutual cooperation agreement on the utilisation of seismographic observation data, with the aim of contributing to improving society’s awareness of earthquakes and disaster preparedness.
Based on this agreement, data on tremors from the strong-motion observation network of seismometers (operated by NIED) will be distributed to TBS Television, NEWS DIG LLC and Gehirn, effective immediately. From September 1st, 2023, on the 100th anniversary of the Great Kantō Earthquake, this data will be used in the smartphone applications operated by NEWS DIG LLC and Gehirn, respectively (hereinafter ‘the apps’), which will visualise the current shaking situation across Japan in real-time.


NIED operates a nationwide Strong-Motion Seismograph Network (※1) to observe and record data on strong shaking caused by earthquakes, and operates the web service ‘Strong-Motion Monitor’ (※2), which visualises current shaking throughout Japan using data from stations where it is possible to obtain data in real-time.

TBS Television offers disaster reporting based on alerts and on-site coverage, especially during major earthquakes, providing live broadcasts with explanations from commentators and reporters. The station widely disseminates live broadcasts to the public, emphasising caution against further disasters, including aftershocks.

NEWS DIG LLC operates the news site and app ‘TBS NEWS DIG Powered by JNN’ (hereinafter ‘TBS NEWS DIG’). Immediately following the onset of a disaster like an earthquake or when the risk of disasters increases, TBS NEWS DIG provides 24/7 live coverage of disaster-related news, evacuation information and other disaster prevention information, widely disseminating to the public.

Gehirn develops and operates the app ‘NERV Disaster Prevention’ (hereinafter ‘the NERV app’). Optimising information based on the user’s location, disaster prevention and weather information sourced by the Japan Meteorological Agency - such as earthquake early warnings and tsunami warnings/advisories, can be delivered at the fastest speed in Japan.

Expanding the use of Strong-Motion Monitor, which intuitively visualises the movement of shaking caused by earthquakes, is expected to be increasingly beneficial for taking appropriate actions during earthquakes and for improving earthquake disaster prevention awareness during normal times.

In December 2022, TBS Television, NEWS DIG LLC, and Gehirn began a joint research project to explore methods of utilising data through various information channels, such as apps and broadcasting, using the Strong-Motion Monitor developed by NIED. Under this joint research plan, the four parties have been working on developing the infrastructure for distributing Strong-Motion Monitor indices (hereinafter 'Strong-Motion Monitor data'), built a prototype app using the Strong-Motion Monitor data, and verified the stability and usability of both the distribution infrastructure and the app.

Outline of the Agreement

The agreement was signed with the goal of improving society’s awareness of earthquakes and disaster preparedness by providing immediate and intuitive information on the occurrence and spread of earthquakes to a wider audience.

NIED will immediately and stably distribute Strong-Motion Monitor data to TBS Television, NEWS DIG LLC and Gehirn, who will use the data as news and media to disseminate disaster prevention information through various channels, including apps and broadcasts. Data distribution and its utilisation in apps will commence from September 1st, 2023.

Utilising Strong-Motion Monitor Data In Apps

Starting from September 1st, 2023, the 'TBS NEWS DIG' app (Japanese only) operated by NEWS DIG LLC and the 'NERV Disaster Prevention' app operated by Gehirn will begin offering ‘Strong-Motion Monitor Layer’, a feature that displays real-time seismic intensity (※3).


The Strong-Motion Monitor Layer provided by TBS NEWS DIG and NERV Disaster Prevention displays the real-time seismic intensity every second from the Strong-Motion Monitor data distributed by NIED on a map with colour coding according to the intensity of the tremor, showing not only strong tremors but also weak ones.

This feature allows the user to confirm the propagation of the tremor at the time of an earthquake using colour changes. When an Earthquake Early Warning (Forecast) is issued, the real-time seismic intensity is automatically integrated with the estimated seismic intensity of the Earthquake Early Warning and the estimated propagation of P- and S-waves, allowing the magnitude and spread of the tremor to be confirmed more visually.

The four parties – NIED, TBS Television, NEWS DIG LLC, and Gehirn – will continue to cooperate in disseminating information that contributes to the improvement of society’s disaster preparedness capabilities.


※ 1 Strong-Motion Seismograph Network

To accurately measure strong tremors that can cause damage to buildings, NIED operates a network of seismometers (strong-motion seismographs) through two seismic observation networks: K-NET (Kyoshin network) and KiK-net (Kiban Kyoshin network).

K-NET, established in response to the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, is an observation network that covers the entire country with more than 1,000 observation locations placed at approximately 20 km intervals, all conforming to a unified standard.

KiK-net conducts observations by installing Strong-Motion seismographs in pairs not only on the surface but also deep underground (more than 100 metres below) at about 700 locations nationwide. This network contributes particularly to the understanding of the effects of the ground, especially during strong earthquakes.

※ 2 Strong-Motion Monitor

This web service displays the current shaking situation across Japan in real-time by visualising the Strong-Motion indices (maximum acceleration, maximum velocity, maximum displacement, real-time seismic intensity (※3), velocity response) on a map, calculated at the observation points of K-NET and KiK-net stations. Data is transmitted every second to NIED’s Data Center, located in Tsukuba. The service launched in 2008 and, since 2013, has been updated to include information from the Earthquake Early Warning system.


※ 3 Real-Time Seismic Intensity

The ‘Seismic Intensity’ value announced after an earthquake is used to represent the strength of the shaking at a single location caused by an earthquake and is calculated using data from the first minute after the shaking began. The ‘Real-Time Seismic Intensity’ value developed by NIED allows for the understanding of how Seismic Intensity gradually increases during an earthquake in real-time, ultimately providing an early indication of the value corresponding to the announced Seismic Intensity.

■ Corporate Overview

URL: https://www.gehirn.co.jp/
Est. 2010/07, Gehirn is an IT and Security company that provides 'Gehirn Web Services' (an infrastructure service), Corporate Vulnerability Analysis, and Disaster Preparedness and Weather Information distribution services, all focused around our mission to 'Make Japan Safer'.

■ For other inquiries, please contact us

Gehirn Inc. (ゲヒルン株式会社)
Contact Form: https://www.gehirn.co.jp/en/contact/