History of the sky

Posted to Data Art  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

Ken Murphy installed a camera on top of the Exploratorium in San Francisco and set it to take a picture every ten seconds for a year. A History of the Sky is those pictures as a series of time-lapse movies where each day is represented with a grid. So what you see 360 skies at once:

Time-lapse movies are compelling because they give us a glimpse of events that are continually occurring around us, but at a rate normally far too slow to for us to observe directly. A History of the Sky enables the viewer to appreciate the rhythms of weather, the lengthening and shortening of days, and other atmospheric events on an immediate aesthetic level: the clouds, fog, wind, and rain form a rich visual texture, and sunrises and sunsets cascade across the screen.

Time-lapse: Yep, still fascinating.

[murphlab via Data Pointed]

10 Comments

  • Super geeky cool. But I’d say the photos were taken a lot more frequently than every 10 minutes – perhaps every 10 seconds.

  • The idea is intriguing but I found myself wanting that puzzle to be assembled by the clouds/fog rather than by time. I found myself only able to concentrate on any one pixel except at sunrise and sunset. That looks like a real fun data set to explore.

  • A year of effort. I was hoping for something more.

  • Absolutely fantastic. Was it just me though or did the sunrises and sunsets not seem to be in a completely smooth “domino effect” from day to day (or frame to frame as shown in the video)?

  • I really wanted to watch this without interruption but couldn’t take the constant buffering both times around. so frustrating, know its not your fault. just venting!!! grrrrrrrrr

  • Neat. I was surprised by the lack of colors (red, oranges, etc.) but I guess that depends on where the camera was pointed. Also, at about 3:09 in row 1, column 5, was that a person?

Favorites

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.

How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …