OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Crowdsource the weather!

WeatherSignal app crowdsources weather data collection to their user's cellphones to make more accurate predictions.

Photo of Aman Sadana
3 4

Written by

Freak storms, flash floods, melting glaciers have sensitized us to the far reaching effects of climate change. Thus, our dependence on Weather reports has increased manifold. Even though tremendous progress has been made in the field of weather forecasting, we still suffer from lack of data to make accurate hyperlocal models.

In the meanwhile, tremendous progress has been made in smartphone sensors. For ex, the Samsung Galaxy S4 can collect pressure, light intensity, magnetic flux and humidity data. Even the most sensor-deprived Android phone can  calculate temperature data by measuring relative differences in battery heat. The WeatherSignal app from Open Signal attempts to harness these capabilities of smartphones and crowdsource weather collection data .

Over the past year, the app has amassed over 270,000 downloads. Readings from these smartphone sensors helps create an ever-updating look at the pressure changes in your area. The data is also being sent off to climatologists, such as the University of Washington’s Cliff Mass, who are exploring ways of incorporating crowdsourced smartphone readings into future meteorology models.This app will have far reaching impact to those who are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change. It will help prevent tragedies and loss of life.

How did you find out about this challenge? (Check all that apply)

  • OpenIDEO website

Would you like to be involved in Accelerate in the future? (Check all that apply)

  • Yes! I'd love to be involved in some way.

3 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Matthew Ridenour

Thanks for your post Aman! Very interesting – and powerful. Is this your project or did you post as an inspiration? If it's yours, how can OpenIDEO best support your efforts?

Spam
Photo of Aman Sadana

Hi Matt, I posted this app by Open Signal as inspiration. Taking cue from its crowdsourcing aspect, I have made the following project in the urban slum renewal challenge: 
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/urban-resilience/ideas/sewa-spread-the-word

View all comments