Wind Map

By Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg

Wind Map

Wind Map, March 28, 2012. Created with surface wind data from the National Digital Forecast Database.

Wind Map is the work of collaborators Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg. This digital map makes visible the current wind speeds and patterns across the United States, with updates 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. In the words of the artists, “There’s much more to wind than a west to east flow.” 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 at the National Digital Forecast Database or at 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.

Learn more about Viégas at

Discover more about Wattenberg’s work at

Find out what the wind map looks like today at