"The most beautiful and functional Web chart I've seen in awhile. It makes basic wind patterns fascinating. Not something you read everyday." —juror Gabrielle Weinman
"An easy read on an immense amount of data that reports details and patterns in a clever and concise way." —juror Britt Miura
Overview: A weather instrument for observing forecasted wind, wave, temperature and cloud cover over the Northeast United States, in three-hour time increments. Intended for wind sports enthusiasts—kitesurfers and windsurfers—who rely on detailed forecasts to decide when to hit the beach and what equipment to bring along, it combines a map and calendar into an interactive interface. While the paradigm is by no means new, rarely is it implemented so well that users can slice and interact with data in convenient and intuitive ways.
• The project took one person, two months.
• On the front end is Flash, XML and HTML; on the backend, PERL Scripts.
• A sequence of 56 images loads progressively.
Comments by Amit Schechter:
Was the topic of this project a new one for you? "I came up with the concept for Wind4D a few months after learning to kitesurf. Like any avid wind rider, I began following wind forecasts religiously. It got me thinking (actually complaining) about the shortcomings inherent in the user interfaces of meteorological Web services. There was ton of useful data, but the sites lacked interfaces that optimally synthesized it."
How did time constraints affect your final solution? "I had never developed a weather application, but had been designing data visualizations (financial, architectural and geographical) and Flash applications for eight years. I initially began development just for fun, with just a few basic ideas and without time constraints or a clearly defined end goal."
How did the content evolve over the course of the project? "The first release included only wind maps (i.e., no overlaid temperatures and waves data). The positive feedback I received from it, was encouragement enough to continue developing. After the second release, which included the addition of a chart with extra weather metrics, the user base really began to solidify. Links to the application began showing up on various kitesurfing forums, which signified that my user interface was indeed a desired improvement over the UIs of existing online forecasting services."