PressureNet is a company that is connecting smartphone sensors to build the highest-resolution weather data platform available. Weather forecasting systems can be inaccurate because of lack of weather data on the ground. Their mission is to dramatically improve weather and climate forecasting. They have built an open source platform that collects data from Android smartphones called the PressureNet SDK, and they provide a feed of this data to atmosphere researches through the PressureNet API.
Current weather infrastructure has low-resolution due to lack of on-ground systems. When they seed models the data is incomplete and leads to inaccuracies in the models. The errors add up as the forecast lengths increase. Co-Founder Jacob Sheehy explains that “Recent years have seen fantastic advances in weather forecasting systems and I think the future is very promising. A key factor will be to reduce costs, because although our ability to collect data is increasing, and so is our ability to process it, keeping government budgets funded to put big satellites into orbit isn’t easy. A key part of the future of weather forecasting systems will be citizen-assisted, with everyone contributing data from their devices in local and remote areas.” More data creates better forecasts. “Let’s solve this problem together and build the biggest live atmosphere observation network ever.”
Weather affects everyone; whether you are going in the field to do research, or you are riding your bike to work. By using crowd-sourcing, PressureNet can improve the weather data and help create a better forecast. In the future PressureNet will be expanding to collecting data from autonomous vehicles (cars, drones, boats, etc.). “We are aiming to radically improve the forecast accurate not just for people, but also for businesses that depend on the weather.”
Written by Elise Mazur, 7/28/2015