Here is a super example of a large scale public piece of data visualization. This environmental installation named Nuage Vert, or “Green Cloud”, was created by French art duo HeHe, and aims to reflect the electrical consumption of residents in Ruoholahti and Lauttasaari, Helsinki.
The installation used laser tracking to project a green illumination, which adjusts its shape and size, onto the chimney emissions of Salmisaari power plant. This lasted a week, during which time local residents were asked to consume less electrically, and as a result, were able to watch the ‘green cloud’ change in size.
It is not clear to us whether the visualisation was connected to real time data, and therefore perhaps it lacks scientific rigour, but we like the way it alerts people to the intangible subject of energy consumption in an innovative way, generating discussion and potentially encouraging positive behaviour change.
On the 27th November 2010, Nuage Vert struck again on home turf, illuminating the emissions of an incinerator in Ivry-sur-seine, France. Let’s hope the UK is next on their list.