Feeds

This interactive wind map is a Big Data lava lamp

And you thought Big Data wasn't really that useful!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

If you're reading El Reg you're obviously taking a little break from your workday [au contraire - you're enriching your portfolio of business-critical knowledge in a fashion which your boss would heartily endorse - Ed]. And if you want to amuse yourself with how a big data set with proper visualization can not only change your understanding of that data but also turn out to be absolutely hypnotic, then you need to check out the wind map.

Here's what the current wind map of the United States put together with real-time data from the National Weather Service's National Digital Forecast Database over at the Weather Underground looks like:

Wind map, static

Static wind map, compliments of Weather Underground (click to enlarge)

Lots of data in there, with the size of the arrows showing you the relative wind speed and the direction of the arrows showing you where the wind is going when it blows.

Now, take a gander at the static image of the dynamic wind map created by big data visualization experts Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg at Flowing Media, a collaboration between the two established in 2003. Viégas and Wattenberg have day jobs at Google's "Big Picture" visualization research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts and they used to work together running IBM's visual communications lab before that.

Wind map, dynamic

Static image of the dynamic wind map from Hint FM (click to enlarge)

The static image does not do it justice. You have to watch the wind in motion to get a real feel for how powerful this visualization is. It's a 21st century lava lamp.

Now get back to work [actually he was right, wasn't he - Ed]. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.