Interactive weather map… on TV

No other genre in journalism is more intertwined with infographics than the weather. It’s hard to find a newspaper or a news show that doesn’t use icons, charts and maps to forecast temperatures, wind speeds and the chance of rain.

Interactivity can add a lot of value to weather maps and charts, for instance by allowing you to zoom in on your own town, add layers of interesting information, drill down into historical data, or adjust the timespan of the forecast – to name just a few options. Examples of interactive weather maps are can be found all over the web, ranging from the nice an clean interface of the BBC to the elaborate dashboard by WheaterSpark.

Yesterday, Dutch public broadcaster NOS also introduced an interactive weather map… on television. It is presented on a huge touchscreen that is one of the main features of a brand new studio (as you can see in the video below, the presenter still has to get used to it). A clear case of remediation the other way round: this is not a new medium refashioning an old one, it’s an old medium paying homage to the new! Looking at the weather section of the website of the NOS there only one thing I don’t understand: why can’t we play with these interactive tools ourselves?

Catching up with the story

Having been very busy with teaching and trying to finish the first chapter of my dissertation, I’ve neglected this blog for a while. So it’s time for some catching up. And although you’ve probably seen it on all the other blogs about visualization, the trailer of The Joy of Stats should not be missing here. In this BBC documentary Hans Rosling once again will demonstrate his enormous enthusiasm about the revealing powers of visualized statistics. According to some critics the slick, minority report-like visuals are a poor and unnecessary substitute for Roslings original TED-talks, the snippet shows again that the real power of interactivity and visualization is revealed in combination with a strong narration.