'Wind Map' Brings U.S. Wind Patterns To Life (VIDEO)

A pair of Google employees have teamed up to provide a powerful animation of wind patterns in the United States in near real-time.

Wind appears like rivers or streams flowing across the country. The map really needs to be seen firsthand for the full experience (video preview above, click here for full/updated version). On the website, you can zoom in and out on the map, and you can look at previous days' wind patterns in a gallery.

The project was created by Google's Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, according to Mashable, which adds that the duo is currently looking for international data sources for a global version.

According to LinkedIn, Viégas and Wattenberg are research scientists and co-leaders of Google's "Big Picture" data visualization group in Cambridge, Mass.

One goal of the wind map, which updates every hour, seems to be raising awareness and support for wind energy. The website hosting the map notes:

An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us—energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future.

The site includes links to the Wikipedia pages for wind and wind power for more information.

In related news, last week the Obama administration released new wind farm guidelines. On Wednesday, Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians installed a wind turbine in their stadium.