Multi-Locational-Temporal Weather Application (MuLTWA)

People then to have mixed feelings about group work, but when a group clicks, the results are orders of magnitude better than whatever one person is able to accomplish in the same time. That is exactly what happened with the group I worked with on the “Multi-Temporal-Weather Application”, or “MuLTWA” for short. Nobody could think of a better name and we felt that “MuLTWA” was pretty memorable so it just kind of stuck. The first result on Google Image search (at least for me) is a picture of the application, so we got that going for us.

I’ll try not to let the fame go to my head.

Anyway, the goal of this project, which was for the “Location Based Services” class for the International Masters in Geomatics program at Hochschule Karlsruhe, was to design some kind of web application (with a geographic/cartographic focus) that implemented a web service of some sort. Other groups used geolocated Flickr images and tweets. We thought it would be neat if you could have a “traveling weather map” to optimize your travel plans if you’re hitting multiple destinations within the next couple of weeks. We couldn’t find an example of that kind of information able to be consolidated on a single page on a whim so we ran with it. I think I can speak for the group when I say that we were all happy with how it turned out.

It was created by Igbiloba Olumide Enoch, Adrián Castelló Martínez, Macarena Parrizas Siles and myself, and I remember the work fondly. I was able to focus my efforts on creating the carousel you can see at the bottoms as you add & remove locations/dates, as well as handle the asynchronous javascript requests to the weather service we used to power the whole thing. Adrián and Olumide worked together to set up the Leaflet map, as well as the date & time pickers and the geocoding service. Macarena was the CSS wizard who really went above and beyond in designing logos, layouting and other visual elements & interactivity.

MuLTWA was also one of the first experiences that most of us had using git as a collaboration tool. We may have nuked the repository a couple of times by accident but we managed to land on our feet, with a few valuable lessons on the conceptual differences between pulling and fetching under our belt to show for it. We’re all a lot better at using git now, but I feel like this classic really nails my first exposure to git:

I promise I understand git a lot better now. Honest. (Source)

Feel free to check out the source code on Github. I think there is still some room for improvement, for instance right now you can only actually query the weather service for the weather two weeks in advance, so it would be nice to constrain the date picker to only two weeks. I will take a crack at it eventually if I ever find time, but if someone is in a collaboration mood, I think it would make a good task for a beginner web developer.

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