Extreme weather like the ongoing heat wave makes meteorologists of us all. We scan our radios, TVs and smartphones for temperature and humidity updates. But these canned reports never quite capture the muggy feel of the air on your back porch or the sunlight blazing through your office window. Ultimately, all weather is local, but thanks to a popular app called Weathermob it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Created by a Boston company, Weathermob is a crowdsourced weather service. Not only does it display the latest official information; it also allows users to post details about their experience of weather. With an app that’s presently available only for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, Weathermob users can post descriptions which will be shared automatically with their Facebook friends or Twitter followers. They can also include photos shot with the phone’s camera. Users can create channels devoted to weather conditions in a favorite place--the Gloucester coast, perhaps or the tip of Mount Washington.
Earlier this week, Weathermob scooped up an additional $1.1 million in angel funding to continue its expansion. The company claims it’s already got users in 135 countries. Indeed, it sounds like a valuable option for people who live in developing nations that lack a well-developed infrastructure for monitoring the weather. Put enough diligent Weathermob users in such a country, and they could provide constant updates on climatic conditions.
In Boston, we’ve already got all the weather news we can handle, though it’s all bad. But there’s a certain pleasure in sharing our miseries, and with its 80,000 regular users, Weathermob is a good place to search for sympathy.Hiawatha Bray can be reached at email@example.com.