18 May 2017

Title: A Breathing Earth
Keywords: #art #colors #vegetation #cycles #Earth #d3.js
Author: Nadieh Bremer
Created: May 2017
Watch and see our Earth “breathing” throughout the year. All living organisms depend on these cycles in the growth of plants; for food, for oxygen, and more. Although we humans have started to affect these cycles, hopefully this gorgeous spectacle will be part of our lives for millennia to come.”

Using data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), data designer Nadieh Bremer designed this striking “Breathing Earth” visualisation of the seasonal cycles of plant growth.

JPEG - 458 KiB
A Breathing Earth
Click to see the animated version
Nadieh Bremer, 2017
The specific variable visualized in the map is called “Greenness,” or in more scientific terms; the no noise (smoothed) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (SMN). Greenness can be used to estimate the start and senescence of vegetation, start of the growing season and phenological phases. For areas without vegetation (desert, high mountains, etc.), the displayed values characterize surface conditions.”

Nadieh’s detailed article on also points at how she approached the technical challenge of animating 50,000 points in the browser.