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GEM: 10 years of OpenQuake Engine (OQ)


Jul 25, 2020

450 combined OpenQuake engine citations from studies in 70+ countries around the world, helping advance seismic hazard and risk science.

Last July 21st 2020 marked the 10th year anniversary of GEM’s flagship product – the OpenQuake Engine, a state-of-the-art, and open seismic hazard and risk analysis software. This would not have been possible without the generous support and commitment of its users, our public and private sponsors, project partners and academic collaborators from around the world.


OpenQuake Engine V1 was launched in 2012 in Pavia, Italy. Since then, the OQ engine page has been accessed almost 11,000 times from at least 140 countries from the GEM website. The papers and have a combined citations of more than 400 from peer-reviewed studies and conference proceedings since 2014, helping advance seismic hazard and risk science.


There have been 78 official releases of the OpenQuake Engine, with the latest version available for download. To date, more than 450 are active users from various parts of the world and disciplines and have participated in almost a thousand technical discussion threads through the OpenQuake Users Forum. Our team of hazard and risk scientists have trained more than a thousand individuals on the use of OpenQuake from more than 90 countries.


“GEM is a groundbreaking initiative. From the scientific perspective, I am impressed with the extent and level of development of the tools such as OpenQuake,” Rosa Sobradelo, Senior Research Manager, Willis Research Network - Willis Towers Watson, UK.


The OpenQuake Engine is complemented by a wide range of data, information and tools that are accessible on the OpenQuake Platform ( The OQ Platform enables the community to freely explore, access, manipulate and visualize the computations from the OpenQuake engine using the OQ QGIS plugin. The platform also allows users to contribute, share and discuss new findings and results with the GEM community. Since 2015, more than 30,000 people have used the Platform from more than 3,300 cities around the world.


The OpenQuake Engine is the software behind the development of another GEM flagship product: the Global Earthquake Hazard and Risk maps released to the public in December 2018. Using the OQ engine to develop the most comprehensive global assessment of earthquake hazard and risk to date, this milestone encapsulates the OQ engine’s contribution to earthquake risk understanding and disaster risk reduction in general.


“This is a great contribution towards putting to the public an open data, collaborative effort with many partners on the best available data on earthquake risk around the world,” said Ricardo MenaDirector of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) in Geneva.


Hundreds of researchers, modellers and other experts from 80+ countries have used the software. The Engine has been applied for verification of hazard calculations for the new generation of 30 national and regional hazard maps, including national and regional exposure and vulnerability models.


The resulting outputs from the OQ engine support a wide range of disaster risk management purposes, including (re)insurance pricing and risk transfer, emergency response, recovery, and planning in support of the Sendai Framework for DRR at subnational, national and regional scales.


Join the GEM Foundation on October 22nd, 2020 from 1600 to 1730 CET for a webinar that will feature presentations from the public, private and academic sectors on their experiences with GEM’s flagship product. The webinar will also be an opportunity to gather recommendations from the community of users and discuss possible future areas of OpenQuake engine collaborative development. Visit the event page .

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