The Queensland Government, through the Open Data portal, provides access to datasets measuring natural phenomena:
- Air quality monitoring - annual hourly air quality and meteorological data for the calendar year.
- Tide gauge - archived water level readings recorded at multiple locations using an automatic tide gauge.
- SoE2015: Southern Oscillation Index - a monthly summary of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), including a six-monthly mean.
As a graphic designer, Brad Schwede wanted to explore the aesthetics of the Queensland Government datasets by using motion graphics software, which allows the user to explore time series data in a uniquely visual way. Brad deliberately used three datasets which measure the natural phenomena of wind, tide and the SOI - knowing the natural variance in the data points would make for a very interesting, visual result.
The results were vividly-coloured, dynamically graphic representations of naturally occurring phenomena. Abrupt changes like a storm or king tide disrupt the visual pattern order in a uniquely abstract fashion.
“I wanted to explore the aesthetics of the datasets first and foremost as a way of presenting dry numbers that don’t mean that much taken in isolation but when visualised through motion graphics techniques take on a whole new appearance. Motion graphics provide a unique visual that other software won’t easily allow outside of pre-made charts” (Brad Schwede).