December 11, 2019

Users can Toggle Weather Providers

Bret Doucette @bretdoucette

For now, I source my weather data from 2 places:

  1. The National Weather Service (NWS)
  2. DarkSky

I prefer the National Weather Service, but being a free API, it has a lot of problems. Namely it crashes a lot. The result is a bad user experience as users wait indefinitely for the 3 and 7-Day forecasts to load.

I think the data from the NWS too good not to use, so I built in the option to allow users to toggle weather providers. So now a user can see the 3 and 7-Day forecasts from DarkSky OR the NWS. If the NWS is taking its good old time, the app will soon automatically switch over to DarkSky's forecast.

Also wow - what a difference in forecasts between 2 weather providers; especially when dealing with mountain forecasts!

DarkSky will typically have a forecast that is a bit different than the NWS's forecast. My hypothesis is that by giving the users the option to view several forecast among different providers for the same location, we will help them make safe decisions while in the backcountry.

So it is a win win!

Any other ideas on how to solve this bad API problem?

Caching? A Paid NWS API?

Cheers!

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