Weather Defender Documentation

Page History: Weather & Geography

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Weather Defender was built on top of a robust, industrial-strength GIS engine. At its core, Weather Defender is sophisticated mapping software. But why is that important? And why should it make a difference in how you predict and monitor weather threats?

In recent years, there has been an explosion of activity in the computerized mapping industry (known as Geographic Information Systems, or GIS for short). Advances in Internet-based GIS platforms and the rapid adoption of broadband have allowed countries, states, and cities to start distributing geographic datasets of their territories through their own websites. The availability of geographic data has never been higher.

With the introduction of web-based products Terra Server, Google Maps, Virtual Earth, and Google Earth, Microsoft and Google have brought GIS into the mainstream. Millions of people across the world with relatively little formal training are now advancing the field of GIS.

At the same time, government and private weather agencies have been harnessing these advances to provide more accurate, more timely weather information to their customers by distributing weather data in standardized GIS formats.

The integration of Weather and GIS is a natural fit, and many advantages exist for software which can combine the best of both worlds:

  • Accuracy in weather prediction and monitoring
    A key advantage of using GIS software to monitor weather is the increased accuracy that comes with high resolution mapping software. Knowing precisely where the weather threats are located in relation to your exact location is a must when you are responsible for making life-or-death decisions.

  • Integration with standardized GIS formats
    Millions of datasets comprising petabytes of data already exist in the form of standardized GIS formats like ESRI Shapefiles, Digital Elevation Models, GeoTIFF, and Geographic Markup Language. A modern-day GIS engine would support all of these formats giving you the flexibility to custom-tailer basemap and foreground layers with weather data.

GIS software allows integration with standardized GIS data

GIS software allows integration with standardized GIS data

  • Repurposing weather data for specific uses
    Canned weather content from the web may be helpful for novices. But anyone serious about weather tracking needs the ability to customize how the data is rendered. GIS software provides sophisticated tools for customizing the appearance of data — the shapes, colors, labels, and transparency of each layer.

    Weather Defender takes customization further than any other GIS software by providing features to contour and grid spatial data sets, turning random data points such as Temperatures in each city into smoothed, color-filled layers spanning the entire country.

Repurpose weather data with contouring features in Weather Defender

Repurpose weather data with contouring features in Weather Defender

  • Collision-detection and alerting
    Another — perhaps most important — reason why GIS software makes the most effective weather monitoring solution is the built-in ability to detect collisions (intersections) between various shapes and layers within a dataset. For weather tracking the benefit is obvious: detect weather threats immediately at precise locations before they reach your location.

    Weather Defender makes use of collision-detection in Alert Perimeters, which are designed not only to detect weather threats in predefined zones on your map, but also initiate actions such as sounding audible alerts or sending e-mails to designated safety officials.

The combination of these GIS capabilities, including broadband Internet access, compatibility with a broad range of weather data, make Weather Defender a powerful tool for weather safety preparedness.

Combine powerful tools with the know-how of Safety Coordinators, Emergency Managers, and First Responders, and you have a strong defense.

Weather Defender® - Desktop Weather Software for your PC. Weather Satellite, Weather Radar, and Street-Level Weather Tracking.

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