Visualizing The Olympics’ Energy Usage

by Applied Works 1 year ago Filed Under: Design

Hosting the Olympic games is a privilege for any city, and the culmination of years of planning, building and coordinating events and the structures to support them. And when the Games start, they invariably cause a massive change of behavior in the daily routines of the host city’s residents.

This year’s Olympics in London are no exception: hundreds of businesses are involved, and half a million people have traveled to London to see them. The new buildings have wild schedules, filling up for an event, and practically emptying afterwards.

This all impacts energy usage in ways that can be hard to get a handle on, so Applied Works and EDF teamed up to make a live dashboard, Visi.

Power The Games Live

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Visi provides the backend for the Power the Games Live website. On the website, energy consumption is monitored and displayed for the Olympic Stadium, Velodrome, Aquatics Center, Basketball Arena, Tower Bridge, and the EDF Energy London Eye. In addition to the dashboard, monitoring equipment with the ability to push the information out to the internet had to be installed for all the buildings.

The interactive has been designed to be simple and easy-to-grasp, to help people understand what drives changes in energy demand. The dashboard shows how external factors like weather can influence consumption. It also highlights how sustainable design aspects, like intelligent low energy lighting or natural ventilation, can help play an important role in optimizing energy use.

One of the most challenging parts of creating the dashboard was to take tens of thousands of rows of raw data and turn it into an intelligible and engaging user interface for the non-technical, but also make it useful for energy professionals. Much of the insight provided by the dashboard comes from interaction, and correlations drawn from external information such as weather and occupancy schedules.

Behind the scenes, the dashboard combines data from several web based API’s. Minimizing the amount of database connections was imperative to ensure the website remains responsive and stable. Applied Works implemented a bespoke caching system to meet the unique challenge of delivering real-time data that required queries involving CPU intensive mathematical operations. The front-end of the dashboard utilizes the latest features of HTML 5, allowing the dashboard to deliver a rich and engaging UI that works on the widest possible range of desktop and mobile browsers.

Applied Works is a creative digital agency with a reputation for making complex subjects easy to grasp in a visually engaging way. They’ve established a diverse portfolio of work by helping their clients to develop better forms of storytelling through digital platforms. Clients include: EDF, BBC, PwC, Sony Music and The Times.