Tag: Saurabh Chandra

In New Indian Express: Citizen Weather Network

The Citizen Weather Network and Know Your Climate is featured by Ashwini M Sripad in The New Indian Express today:

The project started with two stations, and now the number has gone up to seven. Five more are in the making. The idea is to have at least 30 to 40 such stations across the city.

“It is a continuous process. We need to capture real-time data for a complete year, covering summer, the rainy season and winter. We need to repeat it for some years so that we can compare the data. We get fresh insights into our climate over time,” he said.

The group is planning to link the data to Weather Underground (www.wunderground.com), which provides real-time weather information on the Internet. “They also have a mobile app through which messages can be sent to users,” he said.

Small stations could be set up at schools where kids could get to see data collection demonstrations, he explained. “There is scope to develop a mobile app showing what is happening in a neighbourhood. For instance, in Bengaluru, when it is raining in one part, the other is dry. If you know micro details, you can plan you day,” he explained.

Ashwini M. Sripad, The New Indian Express, 21 February 2015.

The New Indian Express-Bengaluru, 21 FEBRUARY 2015

Help us grow the Bangalore Citizen Weather Network

by Saurabh Chandra

An update is due since our last announcement in July. We have been making announcements on twitter and Facebook but here is a brief summary of the progress made till date.

Our technology partner Yuktix has deployed 7 automated weather stations across Bangalore. In the last 6 months or so, the automated weather station (AWS) has been running robustly since the last 4 months or so (except for a DNS issue with Airtel last week). There is a version with solar backup and a version that is directly plugged-in to power too. We have versions with institutional mountings and also with light-weight balcony mounts. Each AWS has:

  1. Temperature, Pressure and Humidity sensors mounted inside a Stevenson Screen
  2. A rain bucket with a tipping bucket sensor
  3. A control unit that beams the data reliably over the mobile network (each station comes with a pre-paid data plan for 3 years

The AWS transmits data continuously every few minutes to the cloud and the data is available in graphs or is downloadable for analysis by anyone. An Android app will be available soon to view the data.

We are excited to announce that our field trial phase is successfully closed and we are now open to taking pre-orders for stations that you can play host to. Our target is to pepper Bangalore with 25+ stations and create an open data network of the same. For this community project we have a special price from Yuktix for personal stations at 35k (without solar) + installation charges if any. The stations will take 4-5 weeks for delivery from the time of pre-order.

Fill this form for your pre-order and join the network.

Saurabh Chandra is a tech entrepreneur in Bangalore and a weather enthusiast at Know Your Climate.

In Citizen Matters: Weather Web around Bangalore

Know Your Climate and the Bangalore Citizen Weather Network is featured in Citizen Matters today.

Two young weather enthusiasts from the city have initiated the Citizen Weather Network that aims to capture real-time weather data from 30 locations in Bengaluru and make it freely available for public view over a web API. With five stations already installed in different parts of the city, they have started tracking Bengaluru’s microclimate. These indigenously developed Automated Weather Stations (AWS) house sensors for recording temperature, pressure, humidity and rainfall. Each weather station costs under Rs 50K.

The initiative, the brainchild of Pavan Srinath, Head of Policy Research at Takshashila Institution in Ulsoor, started in the form of a blog – Know Your Climate. As Srinath puts it, the blog was an attempt to make a serious study on the climate change by analysing the existing data available in the public domain, and placing it before the public in a simpler way. In 2014, Saurabh Chandra, CEO of Razorfish Neev, joined hands with Srinath to bring the idea to fruition.

Srinath says, “We approached Rajeev Jha of Yuktix Technologies to work towards building an indigenous weather station. Jha accepted the challenge and within eight months the first two Automated Weather Stations were ready.” The pilot stations were installed on the rooftop of Srinath’s house in Jayanagar and Saurabh’s house in Hebbal. Each station was developed at a cost of under Rs 50,000, much lower compared to the conventional stations that are built at a cost of Rs 2 lakh.

The modular weather stations are installed with sensors for measuring four factors – temperature, pressure, humidity and rainfall. While temperature, pressure and humidity sensors are housed within a radiation shield, the rain gauge is maintained separately. All these are connected to a main circuit board that logs all the data. The data is updated once in every three minutes which helps gauge the intensity of rain and weather pattern over time.

Jha vouches for the reliability of the data generated using the considerably cheap, but accurate sensors. “The instruments that we use in the station have been chosen after studying the specifications for an Automatic Weather Station published by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD),” he says.

These sensors collect the sample of the environment every 15 seconds. As many as 12 samples are taken for each transmitted reading. “We provide the data in par with the standards set by the IMD and World Meteorological Organisation. I can assure data accuracy of +/- 0.1 degree,” he affirms.

Read the full article at Citizen Matters

Citizen Weather Network Featured in Bangalore Mirror

Know Your Climate and the Citizen Weather Network are featured in Bangalore Mirror today by Jayanthi Madhukar.

Every Bangalorean has said it at least once in their lifetime — it is getting hotter nowadays. But if one happens to say this to Pavan Srinath, he’ll probably ask, “Where is the data supporting the statement?”

But who needs weather data? Isn’t it better to crib and whine about the weather? Srinath laughs. “It is highly interesting to know about one’s microclimate,” he attempts to explain. “If I get a weather update saying it will start raining here at Ulsoor at 5.30pm, I will plan to leave the office earlier to avoid a traffic jam.” One wishes.

[Full Article – Bangalore Mirror, September 14, 2014]

WeatherWatchers1x WeatherWatchers2x

A Citizen Weather Network

by Saurabh Chandra

We often wonder about how it sometimes rains in one part of Bangalore but not in another or how the temperature drops a few degrees once you cross the Hebbal flyover. Thus, we all intuitively talk about the microclimates that exist in the city but the weather data that we get to see online or on TV is from just a couple of weather stations that the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) runs in the city.

The Citizen Weather Network initiative aims for this simple never-done-before objective – capture real-time weather data from 25+ locations in the city and make it available for free over a web API. We believe it will give us fresh insights into our climate and allow us to trace microclimate changes over time.

We started out on this goal simply thinking that we should be able to buy some simple weather stations from abroad, convince fellow citizens to buy them and pool in the data online. However, this simple objective led us into a not-so-trivial chain of events. A subsequent post will detail the factors that we considered, and how in conclusion we ended up designing our own Automated Weather Station (AWS) in collaboration with a local startup.

The weather station will collect and publish real-time weather data onto a cloud server, where we can aggregate and do some useful analysis with it. Or we can simply expose it for someone to pull it and do something creative instead. We are almost ready to deploy the initial few units of the weather stations in Bangalore and will be publishing results of the field trial. Hopefully, the results will be encouraging enough for more volunteers to chip in and install this network of stations to create the data density we wish to achieve.

We also hope that this is a useful community project that will involve and promote citizen science. Weather is an amazing topic that brings together science, engineering, commerce together with the most mundane question – do I need an umbrella today or a most existential one – is it getting warmer by the day. A station at our home, apartment complex, institution or school will create a rare opportunity to associate around a community initiative centred around science.

We are excited and nervous. Whatever be the outcome, we will be wiser about our weather (amongst other things) in this endeavour. Stay tuned, and join us to form India’s first Citizen Weather Network in the city of Bangalore.

PS:
1. Frankly, even if IMD had more weather stations the data being recorded would have had the same fate as those in the existing stations around India – it would locked up in myriad formats and not be available through an API for citizens to use. The Karnataka Government has made a great effort in this front by setting up the Karnataka State Disaster Management Centre, which has deployed about a 100 weather stations in Bangalore. Unfortunately, the data produced from them is still not available for the public.

2. Pavan ran an interesting social experiment last April on trying to map rain in the city by crowdsourcing information.

Saurabh Chandra is a tech entrepreneur based in Bangalore and a weather enthusiast.

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