Summary: Using real time data from the National Digital Forecast Database, artists Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg have created a composite living graphic of wind patterns over the United States.
Why It's a Mind Blow: Data can be abstract and, dare I say it, boring. But how we visualize data, how we transform it into digestible and meaningful chunks, can change everything. This project, from Hint.fm, is a leap forward for our awareness of the Earth as a dynamic, integrated, and interdependent system.
As I watch these complex wind patterns flow over the continent, I am reminded of the first image of Earth taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts. That was an extraordinary, even spiritual experience for millions of people, because it was the first time we had real evidence of our fragile and isolated position in the cosmos. What had once been an abstract notion became an observable truth, and this wind map is another example of that reality. Through the power of science, we are able to see the nature of our world unfolding before our eyes . It's not a dream or an imagined possibility. It's our Earth as she actually is; breathing, living, cradling us on our journey through the heavens.