I marvel at the art of visually representing quantitative data. There have been some excellent examples over the time. I used to be particularly obsessed with Smartmoney’s heat map of the stock market which blew a lot of minds in the late 1990s, and went out of my way to try to recruit the genius who came up with it into Forbes.com (with no success). Today it seems so static and Web 1.0, but still, cavemen used to be freaked out by fire, imagine what they would do with a Bic lighter?
Uncle Fester, the collector of all that is interesting, sent me a link to a very cool wind map. Meteorological maps are generally fairly dull and impenetrable, with their own symbolic language of isobars, beaufort scales, and occluded fronts. Indeed, weather has long been considered one of the greatest data challenges. Consider that for decades the standard was something like this:
Here’s what wind maps used to look like:
And here is what they look like today. This is beautiful and very addictive to play with. I highly recommend clicking through to see this in all of its animated glory.
And sorry, but I can’t forget this classic: