The Search for New Data

I have begun looking or alternative data to the planets. This has proved far more difficult than I anticipated due the huge amount of data available creating a saturation of information making it very hard to find something usable. Much of the data comes in complex formats which either needs special programs to read or a degree to understand what it all means! Something I was interested in finding data for was the oceans as they are a big source of natural wonder and like the planets, are widely unexplored with 95% remaining unexplored. The oceans provide us with huge amounts of data. Due to their size they are responsible for so in nature. NASA have a search engine for a gigantic database on earth data, ranging from the atmosphere to the oceans. I tried looking through this but found it completely confusing with thousands of documents and formats all coded to mean different things.

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Another database which I tried to make sense of was the NOAA which has large amounts of information on the oceans with things such as wave heights and oceans temperatures.This again was very hit and miss wether there would be any use-able information I could use. They may be useful for real time data however as they have a massive data base for sea buoys and weather station which provide realtime data on the sea state. Yet I found it very difficult to find useful historical data.

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However, after much searching I came across NASA’s visualisation centre which provides visualisations of data converting the confusing raw data into something visual and readable. The first things that struck me were the incredible patterns of the oceans. I thought that I might be able to use these patterns of the ocean, working with the data through NASA’s visualisations, to create new and interesting forms. This of course requires a new definition to be created in grasshopper, see my next post for an update on this.


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