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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fire weather stations on your Google page

If you are like me, you like to keep up with the weather conditions and forecasts. There are a lot of different methods and web sites for viewing weather observations from fire weather stations, but now there is a new one that is very user friendly.

It is a new service provided by Google, starting today, based on iGoogle, a Google page that you can customize to contain information that is of interest to you. If you include Weather as one of the components on your iGoogle page, this new feature makes it possible to view a graphic display of weather conditions from fire weather stations as well as other weather stations. Here is an example; click on it to see a larger version:

The little icons display the temperature, color-coded for ranges of temperature, and a wind barb, showing the wind speed and direction. When you click on an icon, you get additional data.

The new version of iGoogle includes "canvas view", and replaces the tabs at the top of the page with tabs for each customized component on the left side of the page. When you click on a tab you get a full-screen version of that information.

Then, if you click on the link by the name of the weather station you will be taken to a Weather Underground page with a wealth of data for that particular station, in a format that is much faster and far easier to use than other web sites we have seen for weather data. Here is an example for a station in South Dakota. The site displays graphs for six parameters, but relative humidity is not one of them. Nor does it display any fire weather indexes such as 10-hour time lag fuel moisture.

If you frequently use Google for search, you might as well set up your own iGoogle page. Then with one mouse click it will be very convenient to see current fire weather observations in your area, or anywhere in the country.

Here is the first paragraph of the way this service was introduced today on The Official Google Blog:

What's new with iGoogle?

10/16/2008 10:01:00 AM
I'm an iGoogle addict. I check my news, email, stocks, feeds and weather there and sometimes even manage to squeeze in a game or two during the day. Having everything in one place is super convenient, but I often wish I could deal with all my stuff without having to leave my iGoogle page. With today's release, I can. We've rolled out an updated design for iGoogle to all U.S. users, which includes full canvas views for gadget and support for full feed reading.

(read more HERE)

2 comments:

Bobby said...

I read about a site today called 43marks.com - its like iGoogle but better cuz you can add you own bookmarks and the bookmarks can be websites not just gadgets and RSS feeds although you can upload your favorite RSS feeds too. Its free and totally customizable. Plus you don't have to login to see your bookmarks and RSS feeds cuz they give you a unique URL

Bill Gabbert said...

Thanks for the tip!

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