Crowdsourcing, what is it good for? (Something, we hope!)

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Eric Holthaus, Weathermob, Inc., Cambridge, MA; and J. LeStage and M. Nicholas

Weathermob is in the midst of growing an army of weather observers with the hopes that crowdsourcing temperature, dewpoint, and atmospheric pressure from things like mobile phones, rental cars, electric utility poles, and other grid-connected devices will result in the generation of a game-changing 'global micronet' to support weather forecasting at the hyperlocal level. Would millions of new data points, updating in realtime in 130+ countries around the world be useful to the weather and climate enterprise? We bet so. From nowcasting severe weather to providing decision support for farmers in data sparse regions of Africa to just plain talking about the weather with your neighbors while having fun and engaged in citizen science, Weathermob is poised to help revolutionize weather forecasting from the ground up.

But first, in a world where big data is taking over, can an army of citizen scientists really hope to make substantial progress in improving forecast accuracy and timeliness? Do rapid-cycle models have room for assimilating surface data from mobile phones and other non-traditional weather instruments? What is the potential economic impact of even an incremental increase in accuracy? Preliminary results of the company's first 24 months of operations will be reviewed, along with our vision for a unique public-private partnership and a look at future potential for providing a quality controlled "global micronet" of surface data observations in support of high resolution weather forecasting models.