Friday, June 19, 2015

As the Crow Flies

I love CartoDB's Torque. It is a very powerful mapping tool for plotting geographical data over time. Unfortunately it gets a lot of unfair criticism because of all those stupid Twitter maps that everyone insists on using it for.

It is therefore always a delight to come across a Torque powered map which is actually both visually compelling and informative at the same time. Lifewatch Inbo has used Torque to create a forward trajectory model to visualize bird migration.

In a series of animated CartoDB Torque powered maps Lifewatch Inbo has visualized the flight migration of birds over the course of one night. Using CartoDB to Visualize How Far Birds Migrate in a Single Night uses data from the ROBIN bird radar detection system to simulate the trajectory of individual birds from Belgium and the Netherlands on the night of April 7-8, 2013.

In each of the maps you can view an animated simulation of the birds' migration based on the birds' airspeed and the wind conditions on the two nights in question.

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