Web Weather 2.0: Improving Weather Information with User-Generated Observations

Katarina Elevant, Stefan Hrastinski
2013 AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction  
Introducing web weather 2.0, this paper suggests that active participation by civil society may arise through sharing of environmental data through observations of weather and other measurable variables in the environment performed by individuals. Collecting data from individuals is here suggested for improving weather data currently used by weather research centers and practitioners. Extending these current sets of weather data by using web 2.0 may address some issues stated by the World
more » ... by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) regarding spatial and temporal resolutions of meteorological data including knowledge on different processes between the air and other environmental systems. To test the concept of web weather 2.0, the usability of weather data collected from individuals and the expected quantities of such data need to be determined. In addition, collection methods should be developed. Aiming at the design of an artifact that can meet these needs, this paper presents some important steps of the design process of a "share weather" system, including several demonstrations and experiments performed on different user groups, i.e. school children performing weather observations as a part of their daily tasks and education, and adults interested in weather due to their daily dependence on traffic conditions. This paper provides new knowledge about usergenerated observations of weather, including quality and motivation to contribute, and guidance on how future systems for collection of environmental data from individuals may be created. After testing the feasibility of the designed "share weather" artifact, we conclude that the potential role of individuals in producing valuable information beneficial to society should be considered within several branches of environmental sciences as well as policy-making. changes in weather on temporal scales of days rather than months. Thus, the occurrence of extreme average values enduring over periods of months should have had only a minor effect on our demonstrations. EVALUATION (STEP V) The demonstrations were used to evaluate the design of the "share weather" artifact with respect to user motivation, temporal and spatial distribution of reports, user bias, filtering processes and output. Data were derived from survey answers, frequency counts of user reports, times and locations of user reports, and information included in user observations. processes on the ground (e.g., slipperiness), which is in line with earlier findings on drivers' perception of weather, and in particular in darkness (Kilpeläinen and Summala, 2007) . soon to be announced, focuses on participation in online networks for sharing weather information and related collaborative systems for sharing and collaborative production. As a meteorologist, Katarina has long prior experience as project manager and practitioner in weather information systems and services, however, the idea of "share weather", one of her projects at KTH, inspired her to become a full-time researcher in Media Technology. Stefan Hrastinski is Associate Professor at the Department of Media Technology and Interaction Design and affiliated with the Department of Learning, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. He is Co-director for the Technology-enhanced learning team, Research director for the Math coach project and serve on the advisory board for the research school Technology-mediated knowledge processes. His research focuses on online learning and collaboration in educational and organizational settings. Hrastinski has a Ph.D. from Lund University, 2007, with a thesis titled Participating in synchronous online education. He teaches courses on online learning and theory of science, and supervises theses on bachelor, master and Ph.D. level.
doi:10.17705/1thci.00052 fatcat:raiqcnrpszdubgqhnn42kzclgi