A Periodic Table for London

Here is a webpage that uses my own CityDashboard API*, to build a Periodic-Table inspired “data artwork” of live London information, as a series of coloured square panels on a website. The squares update regularly with fresh information, and throb red (or blue) if there are particularly extreme values present.

As an artwork, it’s deliberately not 100% clear what it shows. A key on the bottom right will help a bit, but a degree of guesswork will be needed for some of the panels. With a bit of thought, almost all of the panels should be decipherable.

It’s a super-simple webpage. I’m using CSS3 for the animations – no Javascript used. The page is customised to be most relevant to the CASA office here in central London – the chosen weather station, bike share stands, air quality monitor and variable message road sign have been chosen accordingly. A more sophisticated version – which doesn’t currently exist but would be simple to do – would use a combination of the location information in the CityDashboard feeds, and the HTML5 geolocation functionality of many browsers, to show a version more relevant to where in London the viewer is.

As the page is so simple, it displays well on mobile browsers – on my iPhone, the webpage shows four panels on each row. On larger displays, it will rearrange appropriately. See the acknowledgements link on the page to see where the data’s coming from – the same sources as CityDashboard, including TfL, DEFRA, Yahoo! Finance and Mappiness, as well as CASA’s own sensors.

I created the piece for the ODI’s recent Data as Art installation competition – I didn’t win, but decided to do it anyway.

Live version here.

*Strictly, I’m using my Bike Share Map data for the individual docking station information – this could be easily added to the CityDashboard API in due course.

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High quality lithographic prints of London data, designed by Oliver O'Brien

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