This Map may Blow Your Mind. ~ Richard Kujawski

Via elephant journal
on May 14, 2012
get elephant's newsletter

map wind usa

You can hear the wind. And watch other things get moved by it.

But now you can literally see the wind in action from far, far above.

Two Google computer scientists have created the Wind Map, which takes hourly wind information from the National Weather Service’s forecast database and displays the results in strangely beautiful grey and white strands across an outline of the U.S.

Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, who currently lead Google’s “Big Picture” visualisation research group, are experts at finding ways to visualize data. (Some suggest their Google connection is why the map looks best using Google’s Chrome.)

Their Wind Map traces the wind patterns across the country so that we can literally see the wind from a satellite’s perspective. (The map is black, gray, and white, with lighter areas indicating stronger winds.)

Praise for the “Wind Map” is nearly universal, with bloggers making statements like “a living Vincent van Gogh masterpiece” and “a thing of beauty” and “brings to life the unusually invisible beauty of the wind” and “mesmerizing bird’s eye view of the country’s air stream.”

One observer noted that “It can be quite hypnotizing to watch the gusty trails blast across the American continent, skitter over the Sierras, get roughed up by the Rockies, and whoosh over the great plains on its way to Canada.”

Based in Cambridge, MA, Viégas and Wattenberg hope that their intricately detailed map will show how much clean, renewable energy could potentially be harnessed, and identify the best locations. The pair to soon expand the map to cover not just the U.S. but the whole planet.

As the Wind Map creators say on their website:

“An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us—energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future.”

They warn viewers that the map is just a personal art project. “We’ve done our best to make this as accurate as possible, but can’t make any guarantees about the correctness of the data or our software. Please do not use the map or its data to fly a plane, sail a boat, or fight wildfires.”

But it’s an art project by visionary artists. They say, “As technologists we ask, ‘Can visualization help people think collectively?’ As artists we seek the joy of revelation. Can visualization tell never-before-told stories?”

To see snapshots of blustery days, check out The Wind Map’s moving-image gallery.

Richard Kujawski is Managing Editor for LivingGreenMag, an online publication that informs and educates readers on a range of environmental and lifestyle issues, and highlights various non-profit causes. Visit

~ Like elephant green on facebook ~

~ Editor: Lynn Hasselberger


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


7 Responses to “This Map may Blow Your Mind. ~ Richard Kujawski”

  1. Leanne Dople says:

    I do believe this sounds much more friction rubbing, some times following making love you may get in this way should you be not moisturized enough.Because you have got yeast infection prior to then you will have in mind the signs, in case you are not discharging the most common yeast infection point then I may not be concerned.Don’t use soap or bathe serumPerbubble shower, only use chilly normal water and then use possibly vaseline something like that like KY jello to hydrate the region.In case you start making warning signs of release you then how to proceed.Good luck.

  2. Fabulous. Thanks for sharing! I've posted to EJ FB Page:

    Jeannie Page

  3. @sahaguru says:

    Out of five elements, Sky is a thing, that is equal to the remaining four. Air and Fire are male gender, Water ands Earth are female gender. Air fills the life, fire kills the life. Water gives the life, Earth is the base to life. In Indian myth single person is the first person, you may call him as you like. We respect the God, but we call him as we like. He is Mr. "I", then the second person is Letter "u" it is open on top, and filled with Air, Mr. No body. When Mr. I is standing coolly, Mr.No body maps as he is flexible. The friction creates Fire a source of light, which ends the darkness, the life visible in the form of water which reach the Earth. "I" and "U" are socket and cylinder THAT WORKS IN ENGINE TO PRODUCE movement.

    Skin is the sky that gave opportunity for the matters, in the skin there is a KIN, the better half in female and best of in male.
    This philosophy is hidden in the slokams to pray, preach or worship the cosmic power, On any platform I will narrate the sacred secrets, kept aside because of fear or love. Even this thought is generated while clicking severally the windmap, in this blog. Thanks for the technology, which make me go deep and deep, high and high to tie the ends one the BEGINNING POINT and the other THE ENDING POINT to boon and boom a GARLAND, which is an ultimate bouquet of ROSES.

  4. Delighted says:

    Super cool! Thank you!

  5. Danny Adams says:

    Strangely enough, I'll likely turn to this first if for some reason I'm ever concerned about nuclear fallout. 🙂

  6. todd says:

    I need this as a screen saver