An Ottawa man has developed a computer system that delivers highly detailed and localized weather information to people in the city.
Kyle Smith designed a website, weathercaster.ca, and a text messaging system that constantly updates the conditions for various Ottawa neighbourhoods.
He said he was inspired to make the project because of the inaccuracies of weather reports that cover larger geographical areas.
Environment Canada uses the weather station at the airport to report on current conditions in Ottawa, whereas Smith uses 12 stations set-up throughout the region, such as in Kanata and Orleans, as well as along the Ottawa River. He plans to add six more stations in the coming months.
"The weather at the airport doesn't match what's going on here," he said while sitting at his home in Westboro.
Project is seven years in the making
"The plan is to create this mesh network of weather stations throughout the city," said Smith.
The project has already been seven years in the making.
He said some people have donated data from their personal weather stations for his web and texting service. He has also constructed some weather stations from scratch, having connected the sensors and wiring and designed the software for the stations.
"For me there's nothing more exciting than weather. You can't find anything that people incorporate into their daily planning more so than weather," he said.
He also has a system that listens to an Environment Canada weather radio service and takes the weather warnings and makes text message alerts out of them.
Jasmine Crowley is Smith's girlfriend and finds his project useful to her daily life.
"I go to school on the other side of the city, so the weather here is drastically different than the weather here sometimes," said Crowley
She said she is supportive of Smith's love of weather.
"It could be a torrential downpour pretty much but he'll be outside with a camera, or just taking pictures of it, whereas I would be barricaded inside not wanting to get involved."