Yesterday I participated in an online introductory class about CartoDB, a new mapping tool with a great look and feel and a solid free option. Although I had dabbled with CartoDB before, this class got me excited about it. In particular, a new tool called torque that allows you to make animated geovisualizations is really cool.
One project we did in the class was creating an animation of tornadoes touching down in the U.S. over time. My animation shows 10 years of data in about 15 seconds. You can clearly see a pulse of tornadoes each year that begins in the south in the spring, and moves northwest as the summer progresses. Meanwhile, Florida shows tornado activity pretty much year round. Making the map took about 20 minutes. Here it is: