Please note: the Science History Institute Museum will close at 4pm on Friday, September 22 and reopen at 5pm for Vibrant, Dazzling, BOLD: An Opening Celebration.

Sensing Change: Wind Map

Part of the Institute’s yearlong Sensing Change initiative, Wind Map is the work of collaborators Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg. This digital map displayed the current wind speeds and patterns across the United States, with updates made every hour.

Not only is the map visually striking; it’s surprising in a variety of ways: currents move not just from west to east, but from south to north. Mountain ranges create intricate patterns. The Midwest almost looks like one single strong current.

There’s much more to wind than a west to east flow.

—Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg

Viégas and Wattenberg are pushing the boundaries of how we might understand and use new forms of data visualization.

The data used in Wind Map can be found on the Wind Map website.

Fernanda Viégas is a computational designer. Martin Wattenberg is a computer scientist and artist. Driven by academic research, their work takes on questions like how visualizations can foster collaboration and discovery. Together they co-lead Google’s “Big Picture” data visualization group.


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