With earthquakes in the news quite a bit recently with the Fukushima disaster and the most recent batch of earthquakes that frightened the United States east coast, I’m happy to share a wonderful resource by David Suam on Seismometers and more excitingly How one would go about building one on the cheap. A seismometer is a device used to measure motions in the ground including those caused by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Creating a large open source network of these devices could greatly improve the resolution of existing seismic readings. And because a seismometer can detect waves before they are felt by humans, when paired with the appropriate software they can give a few seconds warning of upcoming earthquakes. Current warning systems are expensive and mostly directed towards the protection of commercial and government infrastructure. But I could easily see a community install a network of these devices, paired up with SMS to offer near-instant warnings.