Benefits of integrating geospatial weather data into applications – Part I

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

In recent times weather conditions, especially in the past year, have been much more volatile and severe.  It seems as if there is no “safe season,” as spring, summer, fall, and winter all seem to pose their own set of threats.

Across a broad range of industries, unpredictable weather conditions present serious operational challenges, not to mention danger to the public. No matter which field you are in, whether it is energy, aviation, transportation, or agriculture, severe weather can have a massive impact on your operations. Icy roads, high winds, lightning, and extreme temperatures can impact service delivery, maintenance times, crop yields and public safety. The risks of the various forms of severe weather present two questions:

  • When will the approaching weather affect your operations and infrastructure?
  • How extensive and severe will the approaching weather be?

Weather data is all well and good, but it can only be so helpful on its own. If it’s delivered through a television channel or read on an exclusive weather website, it can be difficult to answer the posed questions and apply the information so that it is relevant to you. However, recent advancements in technology have allowed the opportunity to integrate weather data with business applications, such as layering the data over a map for spatial analysis, providing organizations a more comprehensive understanding of the weather conditions and how they will be affected.

Global real-time weather information delivered via a weather web service API can provide a uniform way for organizations to integrate valuable weather data directly into their own business-critical applications or websites. The Weather web services API from Schneider Electric are able to facilitate data communication across multiple disparate applications, allowing users of those applications to leverage the data in ways that are most helpful to their operations.

Geospatial web services possess the ability to integrate data into a variety of geospatial applications, which can be helpful given the fact that different weather parameters have different levels of impact on an enterprise depending on its influence on the overall situation at any given time. In other words, it provides flexibility in how organizations visualize and interact with weather data, as well as the ability to integrate it into their operational systems for analyzing the weather’s impact on people, services, equipment, and assets.

Being able to understand how the weather impacts, or will impact, particular locations can help organizations monitor and control their assets in real, calculated time. Geospatial Web Services allow organizations to track common weather parameters including but not limited to: temperature-derived values, wind characteristics, precipitation type and amount, dynamic radar and satellite images, and storm tracking data.

In addition to the above weather variables, lightning is a key data set that can be visualized and analyzed through Geospatial Web Services. It utilizes visual codes to show whether the lightning is getting stronger or weaker, as well as where strikes are most concentrated. This allows users to correlate lightning strikes with live local radar to better predict where the storm is headed, thus allowing more time to prepare for the coming weather. Obviously, there is no human remote control for the weather (yet), but Geospatial Web Services allows you to make the best of the situation when bad weather strikes.

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