Thursday, February 26, 2015

Animated Heat Maps of Weather Data


A few weeks ago CartoDB released CartoDB Heat Maps. This new heat maps option in CartoDB leverages the power of the Torque library, which allows developers to efficiently render and publish very large datasets to the client.

CartoDB Heat Maps can also be used with Torque to create animated heat maps. Where this could be particular useful is in visualizing weather data and patterns. For example, check-out this map of historical Hurricane and Tropical Cyclone Track Density. The map animates the track density of hurricanes and tropical cyclones from 2000-2013, using data from the National Climatic Data Center - NOAA.


Not to be outdone Mapbox has been playing with the latest update of Turf.js to create animated heat maps of historical U.S. hail data. Turf now includes powerful new functions to aggregate dense point data into grids and heat maps. Mapbox has created a demonstration of this new heat map ability in a blog post, Animated Heatmaps and Grids with Turf.

The map not only shows an animated heat map of historical hail data but also allows you to view the data as animated hexbins, triangles, squares and points. The map also includes the option to view the animated data in three different speeds.
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