Mapping the Wind


Information comes in all shapes and forms.  This project from hint.fm is intriguing.  It’s also so appropriate since I went to bed last night, comfortable in the knowledge that spring had finally come and then awoke this morning to snow everywhere.

Where does weather come from?  If you’re a watcher of the news, you know that it’s from the jet stream and how the winds carry the weather with it.

Wind map is mesmerizing!  It pulls wind information from the National Digital Forecast Database and then creates an animated visualization of where the wind is moving over the United States.

I wish I could embed a live animation here but a screen shot is the best that I can do.

Go to the live site and see it in action.

Now, normally a map that just features the mainland United States is something that I gloss over, this is interesting.  We get amused when we watch weather forecast on some American television stations and wonder if a child watching really thinks that the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet just north of Minnesota or south of Texas!

There is, however, a zoom feature that makes this interesting to me.  I located Detroit, which is just north of Essex County, and click a couple of times to zoom in on the neighbourhood.

Again, you have to see the map live to realize that those lines represent winds.  So, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland and points between (Essex County) are subject to winds coming from the north.

That definitely puts things into perspective – if there’s cold and snow to the north, here it comes.  The site includes a link to Wunderground so that you can get a more traditional look at the current weather.

Looking around the website, there is also a gallery worth exploring.  Of real interest are imagery of Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac.  Click on the image to see how the wind was moving.  The legend and the visual representation really tells at least part of the story.

For weather junkies or anyone teaching about the weather, this is a resource worth hanging on to.

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Taking Instead of Sharing and Then Taking Off


It’s Saturday morning and my favourite movie “The Alamo” is on television.  Every time I watch the movie, I think of San Antonio, my tours of the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and all things I know about Texas.  Then, it hit me.  I had another Texas connection in the hopper.

I had read Miguel Guhlin’s post “Collect Student Work Easily – Setup Your #iPad as a WebDav Server” on Zite but I hadn’t actually tried it myself.  Whenever I read something inspirational like that, I do try it to see if it works as easily as the post says.

Up goes the laptop and I’m off to read his post.  Essentially, it required a couple of downloads.

  1. Documents by Readdle as the host for the teacher iPad;
  2. WebDAV Navigator for the student’s iPads.

OK, first problem.  That would require more than one iPad to experiment.  That’s a luxury that I don’t have here at dougpete labs.

I know – I’ll use my old iPod instead.

Second problem.  The operative word is “old”.  So old, in fact, that it’s not capable of running a current version of iOS to run the Navigator client.  Rats.

Well, maybe there’s another application in the App Store that will run on an older version.  Nope.  Nope.  No go.  Finally, I find DAV-E.  It likes my old iPod!

A quick setup on the host iPad and I’m ready to test the connection.  Voila!  It’s very fast and I’m browsing the host iPad very nicely.  I try to do a number of things and DAV-E wants me to make a purchase to a module to make it happen.  I’m just doing a proof of concept and so resist the urge.

Now, I should be able to connect my computer to the iPad.  “Go”, “Connect to Server”, enter the login credentials and I’m there browsing my iPad.  Very nice!

I head over to the Google Play store to install a WebDAV browser there.  WebDAV Nav Lite is a quick download and configuration away.  Connect and go!

This is really slick.  I would normally have used a third party for file transfer between devices – typically Dropbox but Miguel’s insights has streamlined that process.

In addition, Documents by Readdle is also a file browser and internet browser.  I’m going to have a great deal of fun playing around with this and seeing just what I’m able to do with it.

The original post was a fabulous launchpad for me and my explorations!  Thanks so much for the post, Miguel.  If you haven’t read the post, scroll back to the top and read his post completely.  Try it and you’ll agree – it’s a keeper.

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