Hands up if you’d like to see lake currents…

Great Lakes in Sunglint (NASA, International S...

Great Lakes in Sunglint (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)

That’s certainly a reality on the USA’s Great Lakes, now that a computer code designed to visualise wind has been adapted to indicate graphically the effect that same wind has on the surface of large bodies of water.

“The code was originally developed to make a map of the wind by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, artists/technologists who lead Google’s ‘Big Picture’ visualization research group in Cambridge, Mass., according to their website.

“But researchers at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Michigan saw the stunning wind map and figured it could be applied to surface currents of the Great Lakes, which are largely driven by wind. They were right. And, luckily for them, Viégas and Wattenberg agreed to share their code.” – from Discovery News

Now, the Great Lakes maps are updated four times daily. One of the researchers responsible confirmed an opinion proffered to me by one boat angler in Scotland recently: “I think a lot of people never realised how variable the currents are in the lakes.”
I’d be interested to hear from any UK anglers as to how useful they think this technology would be if applied to the big UK waters.

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