When Connecticut's changing leaves will be most brilliant

Posted by Andrew Ba Tran on September 30, 2016

Recently by the same author:

What the 2016 election returns reveal about CT voters

Andrew Ba Tran

Senior Data Editor | CTMirror.org

You may find interesting:

Visualizing the drought in the United States

Beneath the waves, Climate Change puts marine life on the move

When Connecticut's changing leaves will be most brilliant

This was fun to figure out. I had the idea for this project after seeing a graphic estimating peak fall colors.

However, there was no methodology to it.

So I wondered if there was a way to accurately measure the colors. What data was out there? Well, photos. From traffic cams and similar services. Last winter, I sought and gained access to webcams in a couple state parks in Connecticut. I wrote a script that scraped each one but was at a loss at how to extract the exact color gradient for each photo programatically.

Many months later right before this fall, I came back to it and applied some new packages I learned how to use in that time period. I worked with my colleague to come up with an innovative way to show the foliage transition.

But I still wasn’t done.

Visualizing Connecticut's Changing Colors

Connecticut’s leaf-changing season visualized

I wanted to simplify. So I programmed an R script that sliced up the photos and put them back together in chronological order.

And I kept going.

I wrote a script that turned it into an animation.

I’m working on cleaing up documentation so I can share the code I created with everyone.