SkyWise is a data services platform that Weather Decision Technologies, Inc. (WDT) provides. The SkyWise platform empowers users, specifically web and mobile developers, GIS developers, and data analysts to access historical, current, and forecast weather data through custom built APIs or as ArcGIS Map Services.
WDT was started in 2000, when Mike Eilts, President and CEO, left his position as the Assistant Director of the National Severe Storms Laboratory along with several other founding members of WDT. They all had the same goal to take severe weather detection technology that they developed to private enterprise. SkyWise’s mission is to make it easy to add weather data to all maps and mapping applications. They aim to provide the best weather data to improve maps and applications rather than building applications. Since the weather is crucial to our safety and business decisions, SkyWise aims to offer the ability for individuals to be aware from a weather standpoint and have the tools to make better decisions.
“It’s always exciting to see how our clients utilize weather data to improve their products” says Mike Eilts, President & CEO, Weather Decision Technologies, Inc. “First and foremost, WDT patented weather data saves lives. But it also helps land airplanes, increase agricultural yields, advance the renewal energy industry and speed the time it takes for power to be restored after a natural disaster.”
WDT has been working hard to expand their historical weather database, an integral part of the SkyWise platform. Some projects they are working on are their archive and their mapping services. WDT is working on building a 10-year archive of weather data for most of the globe. The archive would include temperature, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, and other variables on a 4km hourly grid. North America’s technologies allow higher resolution data – a 1km grid! Compared to competitors, this is an extremely high resolution. In addition, WDT is working on expanding Map Services available through their ArcGIS Server infrastructure to include forecast data as well.
The easiest way for geographers to utilize the SkyWise platform is to add weather data to their maps and mapping applications. For ESRI users, ESRI has simplified the process of consuming third party data sets (weather or otherwise) into maps and mapping applications using their RESTful endpoints. This makes it easy to incorporate weather to maps. All of WDT’s data is free to use either for demo or during the building stages of most projects.
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Written by: Vivian Chen