Some Interesting Uses of Historic Tide Gauge Data

After the last blog post about suggestions for interesting uses of historic tide gauge data and a bit of fortuitous web surfing at the weekend, I decided to do a bit of research and found a few interesting examples.

Being based in the same building as the National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool, I had already heard about (and seen) the tidal pavement in the Liverpool ONE shopping centre. Grosvenor Estates, the developers of Liverpool ONE, have attempted to convey some of the history of the old dock by outlining its boundaries in the walls and brickwork of the pavement of the new open space. The fountains vary to represent the height of the tide, over the period of a month.

Liverpool ONE’s tidal pavement

Liverpool ONE’s tidal pavement

What prompted me to write this blog post was finding the table below mentioned in a home furnishing blog. The table’s design incorporates historic tide gauge data from San Francisco. As the artist says:

“The body of work titled “Tidal Datums” is the result of my senior thesis project. The collection consists of a variety of objects inspired by the formal language of data graphics, intended to be a representation of analytic information through the medium of furniture. My work process began by gathering data graphs from NOAA’s historic tide database followed by translating the empirical information into tangible materials. The forms modeled from the data not only reveal a dynamic pattern, they facilitate a new way of experiencing information by enabling a physical interaction of tidal patterns with the body.”

“Tidal Datums” table by Adrien Segal

“Tidal Datums” table by Adrien Segal

And finally, Marty Quinn from the Design Rhythmics Sonification Research Lab took tide gauge data from Venice and turned it into music!

“A few years ago, I was approached by Dr. Davide Tagliapetra of the Venice Marine Institute asking if I could turn the tides of Venice into music. This piece is based on 5-minute data from 2002 in Venice and includes weather related climatic elements. Here is the mapping from data to music.”

Tide gauge data from Venice, turned into music

Tide gauge data from Venice, turned into music

Hopefully someone will find an equally exciting new use for the historic tide gauge data we are digitising.

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