The London data cloud
Now that’s what I call data visualization … The city of London is planning to erect a “digital cloud” in its Olympic village before 2012. The cloud would be made up of interconnected plastic bubbles that would float above the city and display different kinds of data: sports results, weather measurements, traffic data and so on. The team behind this Buckminster Fuller-esque project includes people from Google (of course) and MIT (ditto), and, perhaps unexpectedly, author and semiotician Umberto Eco. The home page is visionary (although I thought the narrator of the official video was rather uninspiring) – it talks about “Code rather than Carbon” and “a space alive to the touch, an aerial ecology“. The Cloud is supposed to be self-sufficient in terms of energy, with a zero energy footprint – the people ascending into it will provide energy when they descend and the rest will be provided by solar panels.
Another quote from the official site:
Like all tell-tale signs of brooding weather, the Cloud is a display system. It is both screen and barometer, archive and sensor, past and future. The patterns of its animated skins offer a civic-scale smart-meter for London as a whole, sign-posting particular events, transport patterns, weather forecasts, timetables, and footage either real-time or decades old.