Best wishes to everyone on the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts over the next few days as Hurricane Sandy approaches. I spent some time this morning on the StormPulse site looking at different graphics and scenarios. It is mesmerizing with that palette of colors. Click on graphic below to expand. I overlaid clouds and forecast tracks on the base storm graphic. The site allows for several more options.
StormPulse is a paid service – very well worth it if your business or personal interests are influenced by severe weather. The National Hurricane Center provides regular bulletins and (less elaborate) graphics on major storms for free.
If you are interested in the “Big Data” that goes into Hurricane Tracking, download below the chapter on the NHC from my book, The New Polymath
Of course, there is the omni-present Twitter stream, but I am impressed with how much fact-checking, voter sentiment analysis, transcribing, candidate emotion analysis is being done real-time during this year’s Presidential debates.
At Tampa airport yesterday I saw two changes in security. In some lanes, TSA agents were swabbing passenger palms and running that through a Morpho sniffing machine. Also, every lane was going through full body scanners – millimeter wave machines.
Then in USA Today, I read TSA “is testing a system that checks identification and boarding passes by machine rather than the standard visual check by officers”
Of course, every thing the TSA does creates controversy. There are privacy, data archiving issues and health concerns with scanners, but good to see TSA continue to innovate with technology.
“We’ve scanned 6,000 pages of GE’s annual reports to build this interactive visualization. But why? What’s the point? Not only does this provide a rich history of how GE has always been at work building, moving, powering and curing the world, but it is a true reflection of how the economy, U.S. and the world as a whole has progressed from 1892 until 2011. By diving deep into key terms, users can uncover interesting stories about innovation over the last century.”
The NOAA National Hurricane Center was a case study in The New Polymath for its impressive forecasting and data visualization capabilities.
Here is another example “This animation merges both the visible and infrared imagery taken by the GOES East (GOES-13) satellite every 30 minutes over the Northern Hemisphere from June 1 -- November 28, 2011.”
This new generation of digital maps has given rise to an academic field known as spatial humanities. Historians, literary theorists, archaeologists and others are using Geographic Information Systems — software that displays and analyzes information related to a physical location — to re-examine real and fictional places like the villages around Salem, Mass., at the time of the witch trials; the Dust Bowl region devastated during the Great Depression; and the Eastcheap taverns where Shakespeare’s Falstaff and Prince Hal caroused.
Or as the picture below explores: What could the Confederate general Robert E. Lee, actually see during the battle of Gettysburg?
The factoid from all this is the iconic Apple cube on Fifth Avenue in NYC is one of the most photographed sites in a city filled with sites. But what is impressive is the analysis Eric Fischer has done of geotags of various photos from cities around world.
His base assumption - Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more). Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month). Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all.