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COSMOS Strong-Motion Virtual Data Center



COSMOS funded a project in 2015 to update the COSMOS Converter to accommodate recent changes in data formats used by strong-motion networks, and to develop new features to facilitate strong-motion data usage. The Converter is a stand-alone Java application that is now ready for download from the COSMOS and CESMD websites.

The Converter reads the following strong-motion data formats:

  • CGS (2003 and later)
  • COSMOS ASCII format (Vers 1.2)
  • GNS NZ (New Zealand)
  • NIED Japan (K-NET and KiK-Net)

and converts these files for importing into:

  • Excel
  • COSMOS Tagged and XML

Other functions and details of the COSMOS Convert include:

  • 1. Splitting multi-channel records into single-channel records:
    The tool splits multi-data channel records of CGS and GNS NZ formats into separate single-channel files of acceleration, velocity and displacement.

  • 2. Plotting time series:
    The tool splits multi-data channel records of CGS and GNS NZ formats into separate single-channel files of acceleration, velocity and displacement.

  • 3. Formats of converted data:
    • Excel spreadheets:
      One spreadsheet per channel of data in which the information about record is followed by data in one column. Also a plot of time series in the spreadsheet shows the variation of the parameter (acceleration, velocity, displacement) versus time.

    • MATLAB files:
      One M file per channel with metadata included as well as data in one column. The MATLAB file also includes a scrip to generate a plot of time series.

    • COSMOS VDC tagged format:
      One file per channel of data in the Virtual Data Center Tagged format

    • COSMOS VDC XML format:
      One file per channel of data in XML format according to the Virtual Data Center Tagged format.

New import options being developed for the Converter with support from COSMOS include the formats native to the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Chile (RENADIC), the Chile National Seismological Center (CSN), and the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau (CWB). The updated software is anticipated to be available in the spring 2017, when notifications of the availability will be posted at the COSMOS and CESMD websites.

Where to Get the Tool

The COSMOS Converter can be downloaded from the CESMD website

For questions and comments regarding the COSMOS Converter, please email us at: cesmd@strongmotioncenter.org or cosmos@berkeley.edu.


VDC Factsheets

Factsheet 2016
Factsheet 2015
Factsheet 2014
Factsheet 2013
Factsheet 2012
Factsheet 2007



The COSMOS Virtual Data Center, is an unrestricted web portal to strong ground motion records and features:

• Records from the United States and 14 contributing countries for use by the engineering and scientific communities

• Flexible, full range of search methods, including map-based , parameter-entry, and earthquake- and station-based searches

• Display and download options allow users to view data in multiple contexts, extract and download data parameters, and download data files in convenient formats

• The COSMOS VDC is supported by funds from the California Geological Survey (CGS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).


COSMOS is a non-profit organization whose goal is to expand and significantly modernize the acquisition and application of strong-motion data in order to increase public safety from earthquakes.

© Consortium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS) - All rights reserved.