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Drawing water: Rainfall to consumption

Winter 2011. Image courtesy of David Wicks.

The image above may look like painted silk, but it's actually a visualization of rainfall and water consumption in the United States.

This is one of several images created by David Wicks as part of his graduate program thesis. According to his website:

The project is realized as a series of high-resolution print images as well as an interactive, animated map. Each print displays the cumulative rainfall across the United States for a season, starting with Spring 2010 and continuing through Winter 2011. Each line in a print corresponds to a daily rainfall measurement. The length of the line and its initial placement are determined by the amount of rainfall measured and where it fell. The final placement and color of each line are determined by the influence of urban water consumers. The more water a city uses, the stronger its pull on the rainfall. As rainfall is pulled farther from where it fell, it changes color from blue to black.

Wicks generated the image using water consumption data from the US  Geological Survey and rainfall data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

He downloaded the data and parsed it using a series of python scripts, according to his website. Then the prints were generated using software built on the Cinder framework.

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