Weatherometer

Weatherometer instantly shows changing weather conditions.  It uses small sensors to monitor wind and temperature every second and lights up a strip of 160 LEDs.  While you can’t always see and feel temperature and winds changing – with Weatherometer you continuously see weather’s tiny changes.

Videos: [mediagrid cat="42" filter="0" r_width="auto"]

Pictures: [mediagrid cat="36" filter="0" r_width="auto"]

I created Weatherometer to:

  • Experiment with small sensors
  • Learn how to program LED ribbons
  • Find another way to display weather data using colored lights

In addition, a colleague recently talked about re-envisioning city infrastructure as a platform for building smart, connected, informed cities.  So what about “hacking a light pole” to turn it into a self contained weather reporting station?  This is the start; I’m working on the next version that’s smaller, with fewer wires.

Technology used:

  • Arduino Uno – to control the LEDs, temperature, and winds sensors
  • 5 meters of digitally addressable RGB LED ribbon with 160 LEDs (Adafruit)
  • Temperature and humidity sensor (RHT sensor)
  • Wind sensor: a thermal “hot-wire” anemometer (senor from Modern Devices)
  • 5V 10A power supply (link)
  • Video of the components (link)

What do you think?  Want one?  Comment below……

data.Wall()

data.Wall() is a dynamic light display that continuously updates based on information it reads from the web.  Originally based on WeatherDots, data.Wall() is autonomous wall art that can display any data set.  Most “data walls” are a cluttered mess of information, leaving viewers confused and frustrated.  data.Wall() lets viewers intuitively see and feel when conditions change – in this case, local weather.  Every hour, data.Wall() updates as outside temperatures warm and cool.

data-wall_

data.Wall() measures 36” by 24” by 3″.  It’s entirely self-contained, with 24 RGB LEDs for showing up to 64,000 different colors and a micro controller (Arduino) with wifi (Wifly).  It’s constructed with wood, Styrofoam, and plastic.

Pictures showing the construction of data.Wall():

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Why I created data.Wall

  1. I wanted to replace a picture in my house with a live, dynamic display that changes hourly and provides simple, visually appealing information.    You can’t easily sense the weather by viewing numbers, charts, and digits.
  2. I wanted to better understand how to use WiFi to autonomously communicate via my home WiFi.

Technology used:

I’d like your feedback and suggestions – please comment.

ChaserTracer

Each spring and summer, hundreds of storm chasers, thrill-seekers, vacationers, and scientists search for nature’s wrath.  CharserTracer is a visual animation piece showing chasers’ movements as they traverse the midwest seeking twisters.  While over-hyped chaser TV shows like Storm Chasers show a heavily edited micro-view of storm chasing, I wanted to create an eye-in-the-sky view of how chasers chase.

Watch the swarming, dispersing, and migrating patterns of storm chasers in these animations:

2 Days in June    (101 sec – 720p, image)

Chaser Tracer - 2 Days in June

30 Days in May    (203 sec – 720p, image)

ChaserTracer - 30 Days in May

Monthly Traces    (49 sec – 720p, image)

ChaserTracer - Montly Traces

What insights into storm chasing can you glean from these animations?  Post feedback and suggestions.

I created ChaserTracer with data from Spotter Network, who shared 7 months of 1-second GPS data from 100′s of chasers.  (Much thanks to Spotter Network.)  Storm damage reports from tornadoes, winds, and hail were obtained from NOAA.  I also created ChaserTracer to learn how to plot location data with Processing, made easier by the Unfolding library.  Audio help from Kevin Snyder.

Technology used:

  •   Processing software – a great data processing and display language.  Want the program? Just email me.
  •   Unfolding  – powerful and easy-to-use mapping library
  •   Chaser data from Spotter Network
  •   Damage reports from NOAA
  •   Audio tracks via GarageBand
  •   Map backgrounds from Microsoft