We’ve been working on a super interesting project with the Cawthron Institute to help people visualise how plastic waste is moved around the oceans.
The scientist leading the project is Ross Vennell - he led the development of a scientific model which predicts where plastic waste will move in the seas around New Zealand. This model has been built from analysis of the ocean currents, taking into account wind & tide action.
Our challenge was to make the model accessible to the public - from schoolchildren to academics.
UpShift developed the interface for web app where visitors can virtually drop plastic offshore of New Zealand & see where the plastic could end up over the course of 30 days.
An important part of the app was being able to tell the story of plastic in our oceans. We used slide out content to allow visitors to read about the impact of plastic while exploring the app.
There are plans to extend the app to cover the entire coast line of New Zealand. We have also talked about introducing functionality that allows visitors to backtrack from a piece of plastic they’ve found on the beach to show where it may have come from.
You can try the Ocean Plastic Simulator here: http://www.oceanplasticsimulator.nz/
At the moment the app is not mobile optimised & works best on desktops, laptops & tablets.