Friday, January 20, 2023

Mapping the Snow, Wind & Rain

Billboard Particles is a 3D map which includes an animated snow storm. The map animates white circles on top of a 3D map in order to simulate the look of an actual snowfall. 

The Billboard Particles demo uses the Mapbox GL library but the billboard technique used could essentially be adapted and applied to any interactive mapping platform. If you prefer to use Leaflet then you might want to explore Grigory Golikov's Leaflet.Snow plug-in. The plug-in allows you to add an animated snow layer to a Leaflet map. Leaflet.Snow can animate snow flakes on top of your map, with options to adjust the speed, density, size and color of the flakes.

Grigory is also the author of Leaflet.Rain, a plug-in for the Leaflet JavaScript mapping library which allows you to add a rain animation to your interactive maps. If you want to add an animated wind layer to your map then you can use the Windy Leaflet Plug-in. This uses the Windy API to add an animated global wind forecast to a Leaflet map.

While we are on the subject of mapping the weather you might also like this Snowfall Map. William Davis's interactive map Snowfall is a fantastic visualization of snowfall in the United States over this winter. As you scroll through this map you can watch a visualization of 6-hour snowfall accumulation across the country from October 13 to December 18, 2022.

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