Richard Vijgen, from the Netherlands was awarded for his beautiful visualization of 'Seasonal and Longterm Changes in Groundwater Levels'.

The winner of the first HeadsUP! data visualization competition has just been announced: Richard Vijgen was awarded for his beautiful visualization of 'Seasonal and Longterm Changes in Groundwater Levels'. Vijgen is an information designer working in the Netherlands interested in exploring the boundaries between interactive media and the social, virtual and physical space. With his winning design he wanted to show "[..] on one hand the beauty and overwhelming complexity of the natural cycle of wet and dry seasons, and on the other hand, the alarming observation that this cycle is being broken by overconsumption of groundwater". Read more of his motivations here.

The jurors were impressed with Vijgen's clean, clear design. James Famiglietti, who provided GRACE Satellite data for the challenge and served as a juror remarked, " "Great use of the signs, great presentation, fantastic understanding, used both my data and USGS by the way. Just a beautiful piece of work."

Richard will receive a cash prize of $ 2,500, courtesy of GE, and see his winning design displayed on World Water Day, March 22 on the Times Square Squared signboards on the Thomson Reuters and NASDAQ towers. Check out his video mock up, demonstrating how stunning his visualization will look on 19,000 square feet of digital signboard!

HeadsUP! is an international competition urging designers to visualize critical global issues and create a shared sign for the public square. The concept was introduced at a panel at PICNIC Festival 2010. Organized by Peggy Weil, the panel included Steve Hayden, CCO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Carlo Buontempo, Senior Climate Scientist MET Office UK and Usman Haque of Usman Haque Design.

The inaugural HeadsUP! competition was produced in collaboration with Visualizing.org and launched this fall with a challenge to design an animated, data-driven indicator to alert the public to current groundwater trends. The data sets came from the US Geological Survey and NASA's GRACE satellites.

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