Visual Metrics

University of New South Wales Climate Change Research Centre

Scorcher App: Understanding Heatwaves

The challenge

Visual Metrics was commissioned by Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) to build Scorcher, an educational site that serves as a tool to allow people to explore current and past heatwaves across Australia in real time. 

The purpose was to educate the public on what a heat wave is, and to let them draw their own conclusions about climate change fluctuation over time, by showcasing a set of evolving historical temperatures around Australia.

Our approach

Visual Metrics developed a new brand identity and an interactive website, which showed temperatures around Australia in live time, whilst also allowing users to focus on specific locations to investigate historical heatwaves.

This solution required consolidating data from UNSW, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, CSIRO and The Bureau of Metrology, and presenting it in a real time dashboard. In addition, a digital infographic microsite was created.

The result

Scorcher was well received by scientific communities and the general public. It generated significant publicity and was referenced by global media outlets. Due to the traffic and interest this project had generated, Visual Metrics is now working with UNSW CCRC to adapt and repurpose it for other climate and geographical studies, including oceans and other continents. 


Alex and the team have helped us end-to-end! They were fantastic in developing the look and feel aesthetics of the site, they helped us with data and how to best present it to the public. We were also surprised at how solid they were in terms of collecting and collating all the data via complicated API’s and calculators. They also assisted us in launching the app and setting media strategies around it.

The team at Visual Metrics come highly recommended, and we look forward to working with them again!  

Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick