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Visualizing 100 Years Of Climate Data

What does 100 years worth of climate data look like when rendered in an interactive, color-coded map? A continental tug-of-war between red (for heat) and blue (for cold), as seasons come and go and cold air replaces the warm.

The infographic is the work of data visualization studio Halftone, whose principals originally pursued the idea of making a map to visualize data about coffee production against key environmental factors, like temperature and precipitation.


They came up short in their goal, finding that the data simply wasn’t out there. Instead, they latched onto data sets from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center, which maintains more than 100 years of average monthly land temperature data gathered at more than 7,200 climate monitoring stations worldwide (some of which are no longer active).

“Our goal with this project was not to facilitate precise analysis, but to expose how every single month produces a unique and beautiful artwork through our Voronoi tessellated approximation of a heat map,” write the creators. “The underlying map of satellite imagery and major geographic features adds a second layer for exploration.”

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