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Eyes on the Sky – Weather as data paintings by Jed Carter


Eyes on the Sky is a process-based investigation into generative design and the weather. Jed Carter linked 64 public-access web cameras across Europe, recording the colour of the sky, at each point, at regular intervals and produced a book that collects a week of paintings where cameras paint the weather, once every hour.

I believe that most people respond more intuitively to simple colours than to the complex units of data found in weather reports and downloadable apps. My phone can instantly inform me of the current temperature outside in degrees of Celsius, but this reading tells me nothing of how warm or cold it actually feels. How warm is 18°C, exactly? Does that mean I need a jumper or a coat? We can access a multitude of different kinds of data relating to the weather, but can this information be used to create something beautiful or intuitive to read?

Webcam images were downloaded to Jed’s server using a PHP script. They were then reduced to 4×3 pixels with Photoshop automated tools and then a simple C# script was used to pick out a single specified pixel from the images. The RGB value of specified pixel was noted in a text file. With the help of Richard Brauer, Processing was used to map these RGB values to geographic locations, rendering a huge sequence of colour maps of the sky. Finally, the colour paintings were then cropped & masked in Photoshop and the whole book was designed in InDesign.

Eyes on the Sky is a self-initiated project for Jed’s end-of-year show at Kingston University London – 3rd year Graphic Design BA(Hons).

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