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Animated 3D Map Showing the Final Movements of Victims of the 2011 Japan Tsunami

The 2011 Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed more than 15,000 people. Wasurenai, which could be translated “we shall never forget,” is an interactive, animated map depicting the locations of 1,326 victims of that tsunami.

Dots on the map, blue for males and red for females, indicate victims’ locations in the final 30 minutes before the tsunami hit; clicking on a dot reveals the victim’s name, age, and where he or she was heading.

In addition to commemorating individuals lost in this tragedy, the archive is a valuable resource for those seeking to minimize loss of life in the case of future tsunamis. As is apparent from the map, many of those who perished did not move after the earthquake; others fled toward high ground or gathered at designated evacuation centers but still did not escape the tsunami.

The archive was developed by Hidenori Watanave’s team at Tokyo Metropolitan University, in collaboration with the Iwate Nippo newspaper. They gathered the data by interviewing relatives and friends of the victims and gathering eyewitness accounts.

Demo videos of the archive can be seen here: