A visual and audio tour of sound at Nap Nap Swamp

When I think swamp noise, I imagine a blob of sound that’s some mix of water and wildlife, but that’s because I don’t know anything. Mitchell Whitelaw, in collaboration with ecologist Skye Wassens, used recordings of Nap Nap Swamp in New South Wales, Australia to show you a breakdown of what the individual sounds are.

You hear the sounds of running water, wind, and different animals with various patterns. This is all framed over time and a subtle visualization to show water levels. The sound profile at the swamp changes as the water rises. Nice, calming work.

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Drop rain anywhere in the world and see where it ends up

One of my favorites of the year, Sam Learner’s River Runner shows you a terrain map that lets you place a drop of rain anywhere in the contiguous United States. You’re then taken on a river tour that shows where the drop ends up. Learner just expanded the project to let you drop water anywhere in the world.

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Shifting currents and melting ice in the Antarctic

Based on data from autonomous sensors floating in the oceans, researchers are able to model the flows and characteristics of ocean currents in more detail than ever before. For The New York Times, Henry Fountain and Jeremy White show how the shifts have unwelled centuries-old water deep in the ocean, which releases carbon into the air.

The scrollytelling format of this piece works well to show sensor estimates over time. You get a sense of the currents without needing to see animated lines.

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Map of drying reservoirs in the west

To show water levels in California’s drying reservoirs, The Washington Post used upside down triangles to represent each reservoir.

I like the idea to use an encoding that kind of looks like a reservoir, but my brain can’t help but read the fill level through height instead of area. Maybe the tradeoff isn’t worth it in this case? Compare this against a circle representation from 2015.

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Map shows you where a raindrop ends up

River Runner is a fun interactive map by Sam Learner. Click anywhere in the contiguous United States to drop some rain and, based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the map shows you where the rain ends up and the path it takes to get there.

This uses USGS NHDPlus data and their NLDI API to visualize the path of a rain droplet from any point in the contiguous United States to its end point (usually the ocean, sometimes the Great Lakes, Canada/Mexico, or another inland water feature). It’ll find the closest river/stream flowline coordinate to a click/search and then animate along that flowline’s downstream path.

When you think about it, it’s kind of nutty that something like this is even possible. [via Waxy]

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New Lab Matters: The ABCs of PFAS

New Lab Matters: The ABCs of PFAS | www.APHLblog.org

First discovered in the 1930s, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) now pervade almost every aspect of modern life. In fact, PFAS compounds are found in everything from dental floss to cookware. But human exposure to PFAS comes at a cost, and as old compounds are removed from production, new compounds take their place. So how does a public health laboratory handle this challenge with limited resources? As our feature article shows, by establishing new public-private partnerships.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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The post New Lab Matters: The ABCs of PFAS appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

Light installation shows future water lines against existing structures

Timo Aho and Pekka Niittyvirta used sensors, LED lights, and timers to display future water lines:

By use of sensors, the installation interacts with the rising tidal changes; activating on high tide. The work provides a visual reference of future sea level rise.

The installation explores the catastrophic impact of our relationship with nature and its long term effects. The work provokes a dialogue on how the rising sea levels will affect coastal areas, its inhabitants and land usage in the future.

Love that a single line of light can represent so much.

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New Lab Matters: Time to welcome the next generation of public health laboratory scientists

New Lab Matters: Time to welcome the next generation of public health laboratory scientists | www.APHLblog.org

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 12,000 new laboratory professionals are needed each year to meet consumer demand. At the same time, while automation has eliminated some less-skilled laboratory jobs, the growing sophistication of public health laboratory analyses has generated demand for scientists with highly specialized training. As our feature article shows, laboratories are recruiting new talent for the “hidden profession” by taking a hard look into what they really want, and how they want to work.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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The post New Lab Matters: Time to welcome the next generation of public health laboratory scientists appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

Watch rising river levels after Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence brought a lot of rain, which in turn made river levels rise. The New York Times animated the rise over a five-day period. The height of the bars represents the rise of the river level, as compared to levels on Thursday.

I like the visual metaphor of bars going up with river levels. I’m not sure the sudden rise and falls in such short periods of time would appear as surprising.

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Turning water pollution into audiolized awareness

Brian House collected polluted water with acid mine drainage in the Tshimologong Precinct, Johannesburg and translated pollution levels to sound:

Acid Love comprises vessels of AMD gathered from a mine on the outskirts of the city. These are connected in an electrical circuit that measures the conductivity from the metals of the water and coverts it into sound. The sound is further modulated by data gathered from remediation efforts at the mine. The installation itself also performs a remediation process—over time the metals will precipitate to the bottom of the vessels, and both the sound and the color of the water will change as it is purified.

[via @blprnt]

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