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Crowdsourcing the Weather with Twitter

A new project has emerged that uses Twitter to crowdsource the weather across the US. Don’t remove that weather app from your iPhone just yet, as it’s not perfected, but the idea is sound: use vetted, geo-tagged weather reports from regular Twitter users experiencing storms, snow, rain, or sunny days in their area.

OurAmazingPlanet picked up on the technology, and we just had to share.

The project was started by the National Weather Service (NWS), in order to harness the power of weather-related Tweets. Prior to this initiative, weather reports were only accepted from professionally trained individuals scattered around the country.

Now, people are encouraged to use the hashtag #WXreport with their weather-related tweet, along with geo-location information. They ask that users who don’t have geo-tagging yet include “WW location” after the hashtag, followed by “WW weather report”.

As this program is still in its experimental stages, all tweets are being vetted before being inputted into the system. However, the goal is likely an automated system that taps into the real-time, global aspects of Twitter and displays as-it’s-happening weather reports from around the US and possibly the world.

The crowdsourced weather reports can be read on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #WXreport on Twitter. You can also view a map with constantly updated reports visualized across the country here, or take a look at a screenshot from the weather last night below.

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