What is WeatherSignal?
WeatherSignal is a new way of collecting weather data, making use of sensors that have only recently been implemented in smartphones. Our aim is to compile the world’s most comprehensive live updating map of weather conditions, based entirely on information shared with us by our users.
Why are you doing this?
As we’re based in London, talking about the weather takes up a great deal of our time. The only way we could think of to improve this was by building a network of users who would be talking about the weather all the time.
Seriously though, we are interested in the centrality of the mobile phone to modern life. We’re especially fascinated by the extent of the data that can now be collected through a cell phone. The array of new sensors that have been added to phones in recent years means that it is now possible to use them to improve the accuracy of localised weather readings.
What Data do you collect?
This completely depends on the cell phone you use. Taking the Samsung Galaxy series as an example, each new model has had an increased number of sensors. Having more sensors means that we can collect, and display, a wider range of readings.
For the Galaxy S4 – the most complete phone in terms of sensors yet produced, we can collect temperature, pressure, light intensity, magnetic flux and humidity - and many of those can be collected from older models as well. The Galaxy SIII, for instance, can collect pressure, light intensity, temperature and magnetic flux.
Read more about the addition of Sensors to Android phones here
What do you do with my data?
We make it available for everyone to view online and in-app in the form of our live weather map. We hope one day to be able to use our data to help improve weather predictions, but for the moment it’s just about creating the most accurate localised weather map in the world.
Indeed we do, it's here.
How can I help?
Just download the app – and do as little or as much as you’d like! You can use the app and contribute data to our servers without having to do anything, it all gets sent passively from your phone’s sensors. Or, if you want to be more involved, you can submit manual weather reports to help make our live map even more comprehensive.
Which devices will it work on?
We’re aiming to release it on almost all Android devices to from the beginning, but what the app can do will depends on which device you have. The Galaxy S4 will give you the most complete experience in terms of sensor readings and sharing (and other higher end Android phones will have a lot of the same features as well) – but all Android devices released on will at the very least be able to contribute temperature readings and manual weather reports. Of course, all devices will also be able to use the app to see the live weather map.
Who are you guys?
We are the team behind OpenSignal, a project aimed at creating the world’s most comprehensive map of cell phone coverage.