How to visualize the waveforms


Since many of the programs below work in real time, it is important that your local Desktop computer or laptop where the programs are executing has correct time. Most systems can easily be synced and disciplined by NTP.

Helicorder web plot


The helicorder plot is a web-based application native to your Raspberry Shake that displays 12 hours of data at a time.

After boot up, give the helicorder plotting program ~15 minutes to plot the first trace. The helicorder plotting program is configured to update every 2 minutes. GIF images are saved to:


The helicorder is not updated in real-time. For real-time data use Swarm or seisgram2k.


Swarm is an extraordinary and useful tool that will allow you to enjoy, explore, discover and understand earthquakes in a simple way. Swarm allows you to visualize the seismic data from your Raspberry Shake from your desktop or laptop computer. Swarm was developed by the USGS Volcano Hazards Program and is easily the most widely used seismological application. It run from your desktop or laptop computer on Linux, MAC and Windows and remotely accesses the data from your Raspberry Shake.

You can download the preconfigured Swarm application from http://raspberryshake.local:5000 >> Actions >> DOWNLOAD SWARM (button). Click here for a tutorial on how to use Swarm.

If you are configuring Swarm on your own, we recommend not using the SeedLink Server Data Source. The SeedLink Server implementation in Swarm only has access to the data currently in the SeedLink buffer. Use the Winston Wave Server Data Source to connect to the OSOP Wave Server instead (Read more about OWS here). The OWS is highly optimized and has the added benefit that it serves what is inside of the SeedLink Server buffer PLUS any data on disk (Raspberry Shake saves the last 7 days of data to disk for this reason).

Data Source Name: myShake
     Data Source: Winston Wave Server (this is a proxy for the OSOP Wave Server)
              IP: raspberryshake.local OR the actual IP
            Port: 16032
         Timeout: 15 seconds
 Use Compression: Yes

And you can add a second data source to see data from other Raspberry Shakes in the AM network:

Data Source Name: RS Community
     Data Source: Winston Wave Server (this is a proxy for the OSOP Wave Server)
            Port: 16032
         Timeout: 15 seconds
 Use Compression: Yes


The default Winston Wave Server port is 16022. Raspberry Shake operates on 16032.

More options

Other programs we recommend for visualizing the data from your desktop or laptop computer:

  • Here is a nice tool box for computer programmers: Obspy
  • Seisgram2k: We recommend this version: seisgram2k for schools. This version has some neat additions that are designed for school users and amateurs. The nicest feature is an interactive traveltime plotter which lets users slide a seismogram around on a plot of P and S traveltimes to determine the distance to an earthquake. The school version of the software also contains simple filter and spectrum/ spectrogram tools. There is also a short guide on how to use the software here.

Example seisgram2k execution:

$ java -cp SeisGram2K70_SCHOOL.jar net.alomax.seisgram2k.SeisGram2K  -seedlink "raspberryshake.local:18000#AM_R5DCF:00SHZ#300"

Replace “R5DCF” with your Raspberry Shake’s station name.

For Windows users you might consider creating a batch file containing the following:

SeisGram2K70_SCHOOL.jar net.alomax.seisgram2k.SeisGram2K  -seedlink "raspberryshake.local:18000#AM_R5DCF:00SHZ#300"

And similarly replacing “R5DCF” with your Raspberry Shake’s station name. Then save the file to the Seisgram2k directory as “Seisgram2k.bat”. Then you can click to open the batch file and this will load Seisgram2k and connect to your Raspberry Shake.

Waveforms on disk

On the Raspberry Shake, continuous waveform data, as that seen with Swarm, are saved in miniSEED format to:



Each daily miniSEED file is generally about 6 Mb in size, though the files can be bigger or smaller depending on the actual amplitudes recorded which affect the compression.

In total, a maximum of 7 days of continuous data are saved to disk.