1A.3 RadarScope: Professional-Grade Data Visualization in a Mobile Consumer App

Monday, 7 January 2013: 2:00 PM
Room 11AB (Austin Convention Center)
Justin R. Greenfield, Weather Decision Technologies, Inc., Norman, OK; and M. Wolfinbarger, R. A. Young, and S. N. Blackburn

RadarScope: Professional-Grade Data Visualization in a Mobile Consumer App

Released for the iPhone in August 2008, WDT's RadarScope was the first mobile app to display native WSR-88D Level III data on a handheld device. Over the past four years, RadarScope has evolved from a simple app displaying static base reflectivity and velocity images to an application family for iOS, Android, and Mac OS X that supports a full suite of Level III products. Advanced features include animation, multiple data providers, warning polygons, storm tracks, storm reports, SPC outlooks, summarized lightning data, storm spotter locations and dual-polarization products. The latest release is the first mobile app to display full Level 2 super resolution base reflectivity and velocity products at four tilts.

RadarScope found an enthusiastic audience among its intended user base of meteorologists, emergency managers and storm spotters. Somewhat surprisingly, the app appealed to a much wider user base and remains one of the most popular weather apps.

The authors will present a brief history of the software, real-life use cases and reasons behind the app's popularity outside the targeted user base. We will discuss the evolution of the app from a simple radar viewer to a software suite that covers mobile and desktop platforms unifying the weather radar viewing experience for forecast and television meteorologists, emergency managers, storm spotters and the general public, as well a roadmap for future improvements.

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