Big Data Leads to New Models of Earth’s Wind, Weather and Ocean Patterns

By: | June 8th, 2014

Software engineer, former developer of financial trading platforms and now cartographer Cameron Beccario has created a series of interactive animation maps providing real time visual models of the earth’s global wind, weather and oceans. The colorful and detailed maps are a fascinating and informative way to visualize global patterns and have been live since December 2013.

Global weather condition forecasts are updated every three hours, ocean surface current estimates are updated every five days and ocean surface temperatures and anomalies from 30 year daily averages, 1981 to 2011, are updated daily. In order to get the different gradations of color in the maps, variables tracked include:

  • wind speed at specified heights
  • temperature at specific heights
  • total amount of water in a column of air stretching from ground to space
  • total amount of water in clouds in a column of air from ground to space
  • air pressure reduced to sea level

To test drive the live version of wind patterns visit For ocean surface currents and temperatures visit here.

Data from Global Forecast System

Beccario, who currently lives in Tokyo, uses information from the Global Forecasts System (GFS) and shows a near real time view of whether patterns. According to Beccarioi, the project is a descendent of the Tokyo Wind Map project and the Wind Map created by Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg of in the US.

The US National Weather Service provides data for public use. Beccario used HTML and JavaScript to develop his models which use Gridded Binary data, a data standard for weather. Pilots and mariners, as well as the general public have provided Beccario with feedback which he uses to improve his models.

Ocean Surface Temperatures

The following map shows the Pacific ocean and the deviation of sea surface temperatures from the 30 year average, with red, of course, representing warmer temperatures.

Related articles on IndustryTap:

References and related content:

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

More articles from Industry Tap...