Assignment 4 – Data Source & Sketch

Matthew Southgate on 08|12|2013
Filled under: Uncategorized

For Assignment 4 I decided to create a visualisation of the atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT). I obtained a the dataset from the National Hurricane Center (US) of the HURDAT storm records between 1851 and 2012. It contains 6 hourly storm location data for all atlantic tropical cyclones that fit within this time period. Due to the way the file is set out, I decided I would need to rearrange the CSV file slightly in order to make it easy to read in processing. I wrote a single purpose processing script that would store the data I wanted in a new file. Both of these CSV files are attached at the end of this post.

I plan to show the paths that each of the storms took and their duration. I originally wanted to create an animation of the data, but a few preliminary runs showed that this animation takes upwards of 3 hours to complete. I considered that it might be more useful to add interactivity so that the start year of the animation can be selected. Below I’ve added a rough sketch of how the interactivity might work. The image shown in the centre of the sketch is the preliminary result of plotting all the data. Currently the blue shows a younger storm while red represents a storm that has lasted more than around 15 days.


Original CSV File


Sample Edited CSV File (to be used for visualisation)



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