Pure Genius: A National Wind Map

April 9, 2012 By: Marshall Cutchin

HINT.FM, the collaboration site of data visualizers Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, just released this fascinating live, animated map of wind speed and direction across the continental US.  Updated hourly, the map is base on surface wind data from the National Digital Forecast Database. Not readily apparent from the page is the fact that you can place your cursor on a location to see current wind speed, and click on the map to zoom in (click the “zoom out” button at left to return to normal view).

While HINT.FM asks that viewers “do not use the map or its data to fly a plane, sail a boat, or fight wildfires,” it’s an awfully interesting way to look at what conditions you might face when making any sort of day trip beyond your nearby stream or coastline.  Besides, it’s fun to look at.