Wind Map artwork captures Hurricane Sandy as stunning swirling vortex

With the world’s eyes firmly trained on Hurricane Sandy, it seems like an excellent time to flag up Hint.FM’s wonderful Wind Map* which is currently showing a swirling vortex just along the coast from New York.

The Wind Map takes near-term forecast data from the National Digital Forecast Database which is revised hourly. The wind trails which translate the data into a beautiful and easily intelligible form are generated using HTML and JavaScript.

“The map was created in the cold winter months when wind was much on our minds,” say Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg – the artists who comprise Hint.FM. “It conveys the movement of the air in the most basic way: with visual motion. As an artwork that reflects the real-world, its emotional meaning changes from day to day. On calm days it can be a soothing meditation on the environment; during hurricanes it can become ominous and frightening.”

You can see a live version of the map on the Hint.FM website.

*The artwork itself is actually a lot smoother than the above gif makes it look but I wanted to capture a snapshot of Hurricane Sandy while it was still visible on the map.