Two Amazing Maps: Current U.S. Wind Conditions and Every Watershed in America

July 1, 2013

If you’re a map junkie like I am, then you will love these.

Current U.S. Wind Conditions 

Wind conditions on March 21, 2012.

This map displays in real-time the current wind conditions across the contiguous 48 states. Using surface wind data from the National Digital Forecast Database, it displays current wind speeds and directions using a multitude of moving, flowing lines.

You can also check out some striking past moments in recent wind history, including the landfalls of Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Isaac.

It’s a project of, which invents “new ways for people to think and talk about data.” Awesome.

Watersheds in America

This map simply and elegantly displays every watershed in America. It was a recent project from former Google engineer Nelson Minar that demonstrated “a complete example of how to build a web map using tiled vector data.”

As a non-tile-vector-data person myself, I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I would disagree with Minar’s assessment that this map is not “particularly beautiful.” As the below image and New England close-up illustrate, it’s quite a striking demonstration!

Source: Nelson Minar; Flickr

Source: Nelson Minar; Flickr

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.