Weather forecasts crowdsourced from smartphones

It’s a little-known fact that many smartphones today include barometers, quietly recording a wealth of atmospheric pressure data that could be used to improve local weather forecasts. Enter Canadian Cumulonimbus, whose free pressureNET app is designed to collect just such data from Android phones and submit it to meteorological researchers for better forecasting.

pressureNET is “a global network of user-contributed atmospheric pressure readings,” in the words of its creator. Interested users begin by downloading pressureNET from Google Play. A minimum of Android 3.0 is required, but only devices with barometers can contribute data; these include the Galaxy Nexus, S3, S4, Note and Note II, Cumulonimbus says, as well as the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Xoom and Xiaomi MI-2. Among the app’s features are an interactive Google Map showing locations and submitted barometer readings; graphics indicating current, user-submitted weather conditions; alerts when local pressure drops or rises; reports on current conditions; personalized statistics; and a data visualization map for the app’s global data set, also available on pressureNet’s site. pressureNET’s data is also being live-streamed to atmospheric scientists, meanwhile, for assimilation and processing. The pressureNET project is fully open source (MIT license) and the code is available on GitHub.

Data sourced from the crowds seems to be a popular trend in recent years. App-minded entrepreneurs – one to inspire?

Website: www.cumulonimbus.ca
Contact: software@cumulonimbus.ca

Spotted by: Raymond Neo

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