Art offers a glimpse of Hurricane Sandy's reach
Oct. 30, 2012
A pair of artists, by transforming federal wind data offer a visceral image of Hurricane Sandy's impact on the East Coast
An art project showing wind speeds across the United States in real time offers a fascinating glimpse of the scale of Hurricane Sandy's impact on the eastern third of the United States.
The map is a personal art project from the Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg at Point.B.Studio. The pair set up a website that visualizes wind speed data gathered from the National Digital Forecast Database – near-term forecasts updated once an hour.
But the federal data is gobbledygook. Viégas and Wattenberg have transformed it into poetry in motion: Data transformed into spun sugar and whispery cotton. Images of the current state of affairs look fairly monolithic, given Sandy's disproportionate impact on weather patterns. But archived images are full of seemingly random swirls and loops that truly show, as the artists say, "the delicate tracery" of wind flowing over the United States.
This is not the first effort to turn data and information into art for either artist: Viégas, according to her biography, is known for pioneering work depicting chat histories and e-mail. Wattenberg's visualizations of the stock market and baby names are Internet classics.
For the wind project, the pair capture high-resolution images of still visualizations and then reproduce them as museum-quality giclée prints. Signed prints are sold for $450 each.
DailyClimate.org is an independent, foundation-funded news service covering climate change. Contact editor Douglas Fischer at dfischer [at] dailyclimate.org
Find more Daily Climate stories in the
This work byis licensed under a .
Based on a work at