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Wind map – visualization inspiration

December 11, 2013

At right is a still image taken from an animated visualization of wind patterns during Hurricane Isaac in 2012. It was created by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg of Google’s Big Picture group (while at IBM, the same duo created Many Eyes, mentioned in an earlier post). The map is based on data from the National Digital Forecast Database. The video preview below shows Monday’s wind patterns.

At the Wind Map website you can find a live map of today’s wind patterns or browse through a small archive of sample maps, including one that shows the landfall of super-storm Sandy in October 2012. Many people find these images compelling; they are being sold as art prints and an animated version is on exhibit in the Museum of Modern Art.

Implications for teaching and learning

Visualizing data is a powerful learning strategy. You can show a visualization to students in class, ask them to explore one on their own, or have groups collaborate to build an original visualization. This blog contains lots of information on visualization tools and strategies, and the Remix-T gallery lists several project suggestions.

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