Category Archives: mac

AirMe – WeatherBug API Entry

airme

With Apple’s latest iPhone release, the new iPhone App Store has been all the rage. Well as it turns out, one of our entries to the WeatherBug API Contest was an iPhone application that not only adds a whole new dimension to uploading photos to Flickr, it does so while providing a tag relating to the weather where the photo was taken. Confused? Let me explain further.

Basically the application known as AirMe, utilizes WeatherBug’s API by auto-tagging uploaded Flickr photos with location specific tags. This allows the API to look up the current weather conditions where the photo was taken, thus adding the appropriate tag. For example if the photo was taken in Seattle, then AirMe uploads the photo to Flickr with the tags representing the location and the conditions where the photo was taken. In the instance of Seattle, the photo is likely going to be tagged with something like “cloudy” or “rainy”.

WeatherBug iPhone application.

AirMe is a rather clever application that is definitely worth exploring. But if you would rather try out WeatherBug’s latest iPhone application release, you can read all about it here.

The Tech Behind Weather Alerts

After reading Chris’ post on preparing yourself for severe weather, I thought I might go ahead and chime in with some thoughts of my own regarding the tech behind keeping yourself prepared.

  1. Using a NOAA Weather radio with S.A.M.E. technology. I have to agree with this point, as staying alert is critical. And when you are fast asleep, away from your PC or not in a position where you would hear a mobile alert coming in, this is the best way to be prepared. And considering the ability to keep you aware of other civil defense emergencies, purchasing a unit makes a lot of sense.

Unfortunately, these types of radios are not playing your Top 20 count down, so in all likelihood, you will not be taking this with you when you are on the go. In other cases, perhaps you are in front of your computer, out of earshot of the radio – this means you need to have a means of staying alert that is a bit more adaptive.

  • For Windows users, I recommend looking into a relatively new WeatherBug app with an amazingly small system resource footprint. It is known simply as WeatherBug Alert.
  • For Mac users, the OS X application behaves in much the same way as WeatherBug alert as it only provides you with the current temp, a means of localized click-thru to the WeatherBug website and also alerts you to impending weather danger with its alert feature.
  • And finally, Linux users now have an application as well, that can be found at Linspire’s CNR.

2. Understanding the difference between a warning and a watch. Once again, the chatter that submitted this to Chris Pirillo was spot-on. Things can get sticky really quick when you find yourself in a pinch and some scary weather terms are being tossed around. Thankfully for me, I was alerted with my WeatherBug Tempest application when a tornado came down a little too close for comfort. And because the application I was using clearly stated that it was a warning, not a watch, I was able to check to see if my immediate location was in any danger. I was also in a strong position to take any action as needed, as described in the post from Chris’ blog.

3. Your weather safety supplies. As the Red Cross has always said, have a safety kit and a safety plan to go with it. Chris’ post covers the basics, but I would add that having access to either a weather radio (see above) or even an Internet ready mobile phone can be really helpful. This way you can point your web browser to this mobile ready website and/or be in a position to receive to receive mobile weather alerts should the bad weather become worse and another alert is issued.

How do these weather alert technologies work, anyway?

As a the National Weather Service (NWS) issues a weather watch or a warning, this information is then broadcasted throughout the WeatherBug user network to WeatherBug software users and subscribers. This means users of WeatherBug widgets, gadgets, mobile alerts, the various desktop applications, mobile weather apps and even specialized pro-level options like WeatherBug Protect are immediately alerted to any incoming weather disturbances requiring immediate attention.

Weather alert technology working with GPS positioning.

Perhaps the next frontier for weather alerts is being able to alert users as they travel, using GPS based technology. As other companies are just beginning to explore this concept, WeatherBug already has a partnership in place with Magellan. The Magellan Maestro(TM) Elite 5340+GPRS unit provides users with live weather data and alerts, as they travel. Adjusting with the changing coordinates, this WeatherBug enabled GPS unit provides the most timely, accurate weather data available while the driver is on the move.

Historical Weather Data With Microsoft Silverlight

Have you ever wondered if there are any commonalities with weather from one month to another? Even more to the point, how about a reliable means of comparing various types of weather data from one month to another? Well if you are running a Windows or OS X Intel powered computer, then we have something you ought to check out – historical weather data.

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You can try this yourself by visiting WeatherBug.com, selecting the zip code, then your local weather station, and finally, choosing Historical Weather in the left hand navigation panel. From there, you can use Microsoft’s Silverlight to:

  • Select the data type to graph from the drop menu.
  • Selecting a weatherdata point on the chart.
  • Slide the Date Indicator to limit the historical weather display to the dates of your choice.

And as always, you can see what WeatherBug’s latest application releases are by visiting Labs.WeatherBug.com or just subscribe to Labs updates from this link if you prefer.

[tags]Microsoft, Silverlight, History, weather, weather stations[/tags]

Weather Widgets For OS X

If you have a Mac, chances are good that you use those fantastic widgets designed to run on the OS X platform. Today, we look at some of the widgets for staying in tune with your local weather and perhaps even more importantly, how accurate they actually are.

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