Solving Cities

Watch the London Olympics' energy use live

Posting in Design

Track energy use from Olympic venues in real time.

Since the 2012 Olympics got started in London last month there have been plenty displays of power, but not just from athletes.

EDF Energy teamed up with Applied Works to created the Visi dashboard to show how much energy is being used at different Olympic venues, in real time.

The clean, easy to read dashboard lets you explore how different factors can impact energy use.

Four Olympic venues are monitored, including: the Olympic Stadium, aquatics center, velodrome, and basketball arena. Plus two other London attractions, the London Eye and Tower Bridge are also monitored. Energy use is reported in kilowatt hours and you can look at usage by day, week, month, and year.

According to Applied Works, the design might look simple, but turning the data into what you see wasn't so easy:

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.

EDF is also promoting Visi as a tool for businesses to easily track energy use. Part of the idea is that the live dashboard can help reduce energy consumption by showing how much energy is being used at different times. According to the EDF website, "Visi helps you share energy insights with your colleagues. The carefully designed interface, makes it quick and easy for all to see how everyday actions can help reduce energy cost and carbon emissions."

But I'll just be interested to see if energy-use goes up the next time Britain wins a medal.

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure