Mesmerizing Wind Map Visualization Makes Meteorology Cool

There are tons of great visualization websites out there. Some let you check out night and day movement around the world to ways; others show off new Web browsing experiences. One of the best visualizations, though, has to be this incredible Wind Map.

The Wind Map is the personal art project of Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg of Hint.fm, who also happen to lead Google's Big Picture visualization. The aim behind the map is pretty simple, really: to visualize the invisible that's all around us! What you get is a map of the US, tracing the patterns of the winds across all the different states in (almost) real time.

The animated lines represent the wind, and detail which direction the wind is blowing, the pattern it's blowing in and also how strong the gust is (indicated by altering the density of the lines. The data itself is pulled from the National Digital Forecast Database, which projects wind data ever 3 hours or so. If you're interested in the wind in a particular area, you can either just hover over the map to get an overview of wind speed and co-ordinates, or zoom right in.

At the end of each day, Fernanda and Martin will add the data to a gallery, where you can rerun a day's worth of beautiful wind data. And as you can see above, still shots of wind patterns are fascinating on their own. Speaking of patterns, the pair have noticed the wind is at its maximum speed over lakes or the shorelines (this is simply due to there being fewer obstacles in the way to interrupt the flow).

Fernanda and Martin hope to add more countries to the map in the future (though perhaps the states of Hawaii and Alaska should be first!), but for now, there are plenty of incredible shots to give you an insight into how the wind blows around the US. Can you notice any repetitious patterns the wind takes?

Visit the Wind Map website to see what the wind is doing in the US at present.

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