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Project - Advanced Weather Charting

Data is everywhere. Collecting it and utilizing it is a matter of intense debate. What data is it okay to collect? If it’s okay to collect, then in what ways is it okay to use it? These questions and more like them are the subject of many a college course, conference workshop, and dinner-table debate. And they should be. Coming to terms with how and why data are used is going to be a major struggle of our age.

On our campus, we employ a service called Rainwise to log data from a weather station on campus. It collects a comprehensive set of data every minute of every day. Feel free to check it out here.


  • Download the Start File. Notice that this is a .csv file. It is important to know what that means. For the purposes of this lab, you will want to make sure that you save it as an Excel workbook before you begin working, or you will risk losing work.
  • Once you have opened it, and saved it as a workbook, let’s see what we have. This is the raw file from Rainwise, and so, it has not been cleaned. It is a little over a year’s worth of data. Take some time to familiarize yourself with this data and what’s here.
  • For this lab, you will make a series of charts with this data. You can use all or some of it. You can extract individual day’s data out of the chart and move them to another sheet if you like. The point is, find interesting stories to tell with the data using Excel.
  • Build 5 charts total. Each one should be properly labeled, styled, and captioned. I want you to know what each chart is telling the viewer.

The charts can be related to each other, or independent. The only requirement is that you make 5 of them and that you can explain what each chart tells the viewer. This is real data, so you should be able to find some real information in it.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Eric Kuha. Distributed by an MIT license.