Four years (almost) of U.S. daily precipitation data converted to an animation. Each frame of the video represents precipitation for an actual day.
Data like this (we have over 40 years of these daily rainfall datasets) can be difficult to understand when viewed statically. Animating the data is one way to understand the complexity and beauty of this common natural phenomena.
Setting the animation sequence to music was simply an experiment and a way to make the clip more entertaining for those not interested in the scientific merit of the data.
For the techies out there:
The original raw data was developed by team led by Dr. Mauro Di Luizio and is available from USDA/Natural Resource Conservation Service. Staff at RTI International (http://www.rti.org, where I work) converted each individual file to an ArcGIS ASCII grid raster format where each grid was named with the year, month, and day that it covers. From there, it was a simple process to create a single symbolized map template and run a Python script that would map each daily ASCII grid dataset and convert the results to .jpg format. The .jpg files were converted into quicktime movie clips using quicktime pro. The video was made and edited with iMovie.
The fantastic pulsing music is "Purple Machine" by Gabriel Wheaton, a composition student entering UCLA. His website is http://www.gabrielwheaton.com
Additional animations will be coming shortly as follows:
a) entire 40 year period of record
b) an animation showing daily rainfall amounts being accumulated day by day and symbolized as a growing shaded, color-coded relief map. Like a living topo map of rainfall.
c) an animation that will include the position and strength of each hurricane and tropical storm superimposed on each daily image whenever they occur in the time sequence.