Hannah Williams :)

ideas. design. open data. social change.

The Weather on Fridays

This public art infographic / data visualisation is a visual representation of local weather conditions on each Friday of the previous year (2010). Colour is used to represent temperature and an arrow device shows wind direction. Created as Black hat and Nimbus with Mark Henning.

Scroll down for a detailed description of the artwork.


Data Visualisation Public Art
Project 01b

The (sometimes dramatic) weather is an important aspect of life in Cape Town, known in the 15th century as The Cape of Storms, and the beaches in the area surrounding this station are popular kite surfing and windsurfing spots.

This station looks out onto a rather unremarkable office park, so the scope existed to create a graphic with a large amount of coverage. We developed a visual system for representing temperature and wind direction and then applied the data to it, producing a pattern.

As one of the primary aims was to create an aesthetically interesting graphic when seen from a distance, we took the liberty of placing the summer months of December and January in the middle, and the winter months of June and July at the ends to create a sunset-like image. We also spent a lot of time tweaking the colour vs temperature range to enhance this effect, while still keeping the graphic informative.

The varying levels of opacity have some interesting interactions with light, creating a stained-glass like effect. From a distance it creates a striking visual, while having enough detail to invite closer exploration.