Media Lab alumna Fernanda Viégas SM ’00, PhD ’05 and Martin Wattenberg, who lead Google’s “Big Picture” visualization research group in Cambridge, have created another stunning depiction of data—this time of wind currently flowing over the US. Wind map is quite mesmerizing once you start watching. Data is accurate to the hour.
Viégas and Wattenberg have created quite a name for themselves in the data visualization community. Viégas started her career looking at online communities. She joined with Wattenberg in 2003 to visualize Wikipedia, a project that revealed the self-healing nature of the community-generated encyclopedia. Prior to their gig at Google, the pair led IBM’s Visual Communication Lab, where they created the ground-breaking public visualization platform Many Eyes, then cofounded Flowing Media, Inc., a visualization studio focused on media and consumer-oriented projects.
They have also exhibited visualization-based artwork in New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art as well as the London Institute of Contemporary Arts.
Check out their collection of informative and artistic visualizations, including Web Seer, which plots the frequency of questions on Google (starting with “Why doesn’t he” or “Why doesn’t she…” for example) and Luscious, which distills magazine ads for luxury brands into abstract compositions.