Walk Log

Sherloc is a bicycle-mounted roving detective kit for urban investigation.  Taking transects through a city, it records GPS coordinates, light, humidity, sound levels, and airborne particulate concentrations.  This data is brought into Grasshopper through gHowl or LunchBox components where it  provides a means to visualize these wild urban energies as a medium for constructing weather. This building scale data is a key addition to the context provided by the NOAA and Weather Underground.

Here is Sherloc’s maiden voyage through some not-so-urban lawns and pastures near Batesville, Virginia.

The white framed extrusions show light level readings.  The black extrusion captures an instant of the frame-by-frame reading of the data.

sherloc’s path definition

sherloc files


local weather feeds

The Weather Underground has many associated personal stations that provide streaming weather data.  These report temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, conditions, wind direction, and wind speed.  In some areas there are enough stations to reveal local microclimates. You can create your own array of weather stations by adding to Weather Underground’s network.

weather underground rss files

Weather stations coordinates are mapped to XYZ space with a gHowl component.  The yellow cones are proportional to the wind speed reported at each station.

albemarle wind from lp on Vimeo

Wind speeds were recorded for several  Albemarle County stations on July 28, 2012 between noon and 1:00 PM.  Readings were taken about twice per minute from the weather underground RSS feed using the gHowl plug-in for GrassHopper.  Wind speeds ranged from 0 to 7 mph during this interval.  Note that these summer breezes could not be described as having a prevailing direction!

US wind

This is a simple definition that parses live wind data for Eastern US from the boy genius weather feed list.

Wind is represented as a vector extending from each weather station.  Wind is also shown as a delaunay topography. Note the sharp wind peak in Michigan! (This definition is based on a temperature map by Arthur Mamou-Mani.)

US wind definition

stockticker tutorial

Sometimes you might need a value on a website that is continually updated. This example will show how to pull a live Stock Market value into Grasshopper using the HTTP read component in Slingshot! to isolate and continually update the Apple stock value.

stockticker tutorial pdf

vacant buildings

all Baltimore vacant buildings files

grasshopper definition

This definition coordinates a jpeg image of Baltimore, OpenStreetMap geometry, and vacancy data with a grasshopper file.  Vacant buildings, with address tags, are located within the urban geometry.  Other features, such as parking surfaces, garages, bridges, tunnels and public buildings are included in this geometry.

KML addresses to coordinates

KML addresses to coordinates definition

all Baltimore markets files

This annotated grasshopper definition and its accessory files show how to take a set of addresses, convert them to coordinates through BatchGeo, align them with google earth, then bring them into grasshopper as xyz points using the gHowl plug-in.  Essentially any data that is linked with an address can be converted into Rhino’s xyz space.

US weather compiler

US weather compiler definition

This definition compiles a set of weather readings for 218 cities in the United States. In this map of the US  total precipitation at the weather stations is proportional to the radii of the olive colored disks, while the gradation from blue-green to blue to red-violet  correlates with the average surface temperature reading from the stations.  This is taken directly from the NOAA website by means of the HTTP reader component of the Slingshot! plug-in for grasshopper:


station locations

temperature range

mean temperature

average temperature

total precipitation

daily average solar radiation

surface temperature range

average surface temperature