To create Eyes on the Sky, the art book pictured above, Jed Carter took inspiration from an unlikely source: weather apps. To offer an alternative to the deluge of information on our phones about temperature, air pressure, chances of precipitation, and the like, Carter created these simple images that elegantly map the weather across Europe.
Each piece compiles data from 64 public access cameras located all over the continent, distilling a photo from each down to the color of a single representative pixel. Those colors are then mapped on the page relative to the cameras’ geographic locations, creating an abstracted map of the ways the continent looked and felt on a particular day.
I believe that most people respond more intuitively to simple colours than to the complex units of data found in weather reports and downloadable apps. My phone can instantly inform me of the current temperature outside in degrees of Celsius, but this reading tells me nothing of how warm or cold it actually feels. How warm is 18°C, exactly? Does that mean I need a jumper or a coat? We can access a multitude of different kinds of data relating to the weather, but can this information be used to create something beautiful or intuitive to read?
If you want an actual, practical weather app that’s nearly as beautiful, Yahoo’s is pretty good.