Today we’re launching an updated version of Forecast.io for desktop and tablet browsers. We’ve added two big new features, and several small improvements:
We’ve taken the same technology that we use to generate the beautiful temperature and precipitation maps in the new Dark Sky, and use it to render out high-resolution still images of the weather from around the world:
We’re calling it the Weather Atlas, and its purpose is to provide a big picture look at what’s happening right now anywhere on Earth. As of today we offer temperature and precipitation maps, and we hope to expand that to other interesting weather phenomenon in the future.
Forecast Lines started out as a little experiment in how to intuitively show the confidence or uncertainty of our model forecasts:
It consists of a collection of line charts illustrating the spread of possible forecasts, overlaid with our best guess as to what will actually happen. We originally billed it as a “simple weather app for data nerds”, but quickly discovered it appealed to a much broader audience than we originally suspected. So now we’re rolling it into the main forecast, making it available to everyone.
It’s a supplement to our standard forecasts, and allows you to really dive down and explore the details of our predictions.
In addition to the above, we’ve also fixed a number of bugs and refined the style of the site a bit — mostly in the form of simplifying the layout, removing extraneous gradients, making it more internally consistent, etc.
We’re also trying out a new advertising network, BuySellAds, in an attempt to actually make some money from this bad boy. Up until now, we haven’t really given ads much thought — in fact we know very little about online advertising, and have even less patience to learn. But BuySellAds (and the folks that work there) seem genuinely decent, so we’re giving them a shot.
As always, we limit advertising to a single ad per page (to potential advertisers out there, this means your ad won’t compete with anyone else. Hint hint).
And finally, one last small change: When visiting http://forecast.io on your iPhone, you’ll get the full site rather than a full-page prompt to install the mobile version. It’s a minor change, but not being able to visit the main website on my phone has been increasingly bugging me — and many of you as well, if our email is any indication.
So let us know what you think. I’m really happy with the way Forecast is evolving, and despite having just launched a huge Dark Sky update, Forecast is still the main weather “app” on my iPad. I urge anyone with a tablet to save it to your homescreen and try it as a replacement for your current weather app. You might just be a convert.
As always, thoughts and suggestions are welcome.
By Adam Grossman