Amusing Monday: ‘Wind map’ may blow your mind

When two computer experts visualized wind speed as a series of moving lines on a map, they created an animated art form that stirs the imagination with its mild hypnotic effects.

Click on the photo to check out the animated Wind Map.
Click on the map above to launch the animated Wind Map. / HINT.FM

Click on the still photo at right to call up the animation, known simply as “Wind Map.” The still image was shot from the animated real-time map at 11:40 this morning, showing winds across the U.S. By clicking on a map location, you can zoom in to see an area in more detail.

The project is a collaboration of Fenando Viegas and Martin Wattenberg, who are creating new ways to think and talk about data. Inputs for the map are taken from the National Weather Service’s National Digital Forecast Database, which is updated every three hours for wind speed.

Extreme wind events are captured in animations on their gallery page.

Their website, HINT.FM, includes a dozen different projects. Here’s how they describe their collaborative efforts:

“As technologists, we ask: Can visualization help people think collectively? Can visualization move beyond numbers into the realm of words and images?

“As artists, we seek the joy of revelation. Can visualization tell never-before-told stories? Can it uncover truths about color, memory, and sensuality?”

If you’d like to check out more traditional map depictions of wind speed, temperature, humidity, weather fronts, jet stream and many more weather features, go to wunderground.com.

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