Weathermob: Lessons learned from the world's largest weather crowdsourcing community

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Thursday, 6 February 2014: 8:45 AM
Room C105 (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 revolutionize weather forecasting from the ground up. It's this last point, on 'humanizing the weather' that we feel most excited about. After all, the weather is one of the few things that all of us, in every culture around the world have in common.

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 the future potential for providing a 'human centered' weather forecast experience in which understanding how users feel about the weather is valued just as much as their temperature reading.