Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Brief History of the Slippy Wind Map

Since its release two years ago's beautiful Wind Map has proved a source of inspiration to a number of map developers. This real-time animated map of wind speed and direction really is a gorgeous realization of live meteorological data. It is no surprise then that it has proved a source of inspiration for other cartographers.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association were so impressed by the Wind Map that they decided to create their own real-time weather map of the Great Lakes. Being the Great Lakes however the NOAA decided to map live lake currents instead of wind.

The resulting Great Lakes Surface Currents Map is an animated map simulating current flow patterns in the Great Lakes.

Over in Japan some map developers were so inspired by's Wind Map that they decided to create their own map. The Tokyo Wind Map is an animated map of real-time wind speeds and direction. The map also includes controls to view previous hours' wind data on the map.

The developers behind the Tokyo Wind Map then went on to create an even more impressive visualization of near real-time global weather conditions. Like and the Tokyo Wind Map, Earth uses D3.js to create an interactive map that displays wind speeds in near real-time, only this time the map is a gorgeous 3d globe.

Esri were in turn so inspired by the Earth 3d globe that they then went on to develop Windy-JS.

Windy-JS re-purposes the same weather data used in the Earth map so that it can be overlaid in a canvas element on top of a variety of mapping APIs. Esri has created a demo map with Windy-JS, Wind Animation, which allows you to view global wind conditions animated on a slippy map.

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