Times Square Challenge Winner

Times Square Challenge Winner

The world’s groundwater — a natural resource critical to our ecosystem, agriculture, industry, and health — is severely threatened by over use. However, this problem is rarely made clear to non-experts in a public forum. There is abundant data on groundwater depletion, but few ways for ordinary people to understand it.

To address this problem, HeadsUp! and Visualizing.org challenged you to design an animated, data-driven indicator that alerts the public to current groundwater trends. With data from the US Geological Survey and satellite data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Science Experiment, your task was to visualize groundwater depletion in that most public of places: Times Square, New York.

Now we are proud to announce Richard Vijgen as the winner of the HeadsUp! Times Square Challenge. His eye-catching visualization presents a global overview of seasonal and long term changes in groundwater levels, as well as the fluctuation and long term trends of individual aquifers. Included alongside his indicator are several mockups of the video situated on the Thomson Reuters/NASDAQ Times Square Squared signboards, showing that the piece’s impressive graphics will be able to compete for attention with the highly-produced advertising material in Times Square.

The project will be displayed on the TS2 signboards in Times Square for a month, premiering on World Water Day, 22 March 2012. In the meantime, Richard will have the opportunity to work with HeadsUP! and TS2 to refine his project and prepare it for the screens. We can’t wait to see this striking, informative visualization up for millions of pedestrians to see. And if you’re not in New York, check it out by tuning in to the TS2 webcams starting on World Water Day.

The jury also chose two entries to recognize with Honorable Mentions for their work. Congratulations to Linda Chamorro and James Willeford for their project Water Positive and to Groundwater in Movement by Roxana Torre and Enrique Krahe. Both pieces included strong visualizations and compelling mockups of how they could be implementated.

A big thanks to everyone who participated in the challenge; all the projects can be seen here. Special thanks to Jay Famiglietti of the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling and Leonard Konikow of U.S. Geological Survey for providing the data; to our jurors, and to TS2 (a Thomson Reuters/NASDAQ alliance) and HeadsUp! for collaborating with us on this challenge.

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jldevries's picture

what's wrong with Water Underground?