ISSN 2079-3537      


Scientific Visualization, 2020, volume 12, number 3, pages 1 - 15, DOI: 10.26583/sv.12.3.01

Visualizing wind fields in Costa Rica

Authors: Franklin Hernández-Castro1,A,B, Jorge Monge-Fallas2,A

A Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

B Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

1 ORCID: 0000-0003-3589-4588,

2 ORCID: 0000-0002-1651-3543,



This article shows a design study to visualize three-dimensional wind velocity fields with extensive data sets. This work was part of the SkyGraph project of the iReal research group (of the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica).

Although there are many studies of wind speed visualization, most do not include wide time-lapses and are being carried out in two-dimensional spaces. This type of representation has limitations for the analysis of essential variables for meteorologists.

For this reason, the iReal group, together with scientists from the Centro de Investigaciones en Geofísica (CIGEFI) of the University of Costa Rica, developed a new way to represent this type of data.

In a velocity field, characteristics such as magnitude and direction (in particular, the direction in the z component: positive or negative) are challenging to see in a dense data set. For meteorologists, this information is relevant in the analysis of wind behavior and the meteorologists' ability to understand and predict wind behavior. The proposed visualization worked around half a million vectors; this article summarizes the hypotheses of visualization that were plated and the reasons why some were selected; this process was validated step by step by CIGEFI scientists in joint work with the research group iReal.


Keywords: Data visualization, scientific visualization, wind field, 3D exploration, 3D graphics, user interface, interactive graphics, 3D visualization.