Is a Puffersphere an effective medium for visualising real-time global earthquake events?
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Little research has been conducted on the effectiveness of real time mapping on three dimensional surfaces such as Pufferspheres. This research aims to assess the effectiveness of using a 3D sphere for visualising real-time geographical information by mapping live earthquakes across the globe for a weekly period. In order to conduct this research, a Python script was developed to automatically retrieve and plot United States Geological Survey data against a satellite base map. The resulting output was then processed using a selection of tools to create a Puffersphere compatible visualisation. The visualisation was subjected to a user trial at the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in Perth, in order to determine its effectiveness in displaying geographical data and developing understanding and interest in geographical topics like earthquakes among the public. The results strongly imply that the visualisation was very effective in visualising earthquakes and in helping members of the public learn about the dynamics and distribution of global earthquakes in a real-time context.