GIS Based Automated Weather Alert
MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 18 — Minneapolis-based Meteorlogix, DTN’s commercial weather services brand, announced that it was recently issued a U.S. patent for its GIS (Geographical Information System) Based Automated Weather Alert Notification System.
“Meteorlogix can now provide improved location specific weather support to businesses,” said Ron Sznaider, vice president of business development, Meteorlogix. “We have engineered an innovative merge of GIS technology with geo-referenced weather information resulting in an automated, location-based monitoring and alert system, with targeted message distribution.”
Meteorlogix’s U.S. patent (#6,753,784) describes weather applications for GIS technology. Meteorlogix software cross-references weather with business assets — where they’re located and which set of weather parameters are of particular interest. For example, a golf course will want to know if lightning is expected to hit their course and can now take necessary actions to keep golfers and employees safe. Airports want to know about reduced visibility levels and highway construction crews are concerned about the onset of rain on their newly poured concrete. The weather parameters differ depending on the line of work and the varying types of weather conditions a business is concerned about. The selection of weather parameters and thresholds is entirely configured by the user.
Meteorlogix’s database also indicates who at a business needs to be contacted should weather conditions exceed the alert thresholds specified; the primary contact is notified when specified weather stands to impact their location. To follow the golf example, when lightning is expected to hit a golf course, the golf course manager is contacted. The secondary contact might be the greens superintendent. The system can continue to make additional notifications until the message is received and verified. The final option is how the contact person receives their weather alert — this can happen via cell phone, PDA, e-mail or pager — making sure no matter where key management personnel are located, they are kept up-to-date on developing weather conditions impacting their particular worksite.
The end result is completely customized location-based weather service. A weather alert notification system like Meteorlogix’s WINS technology (Weather Information Notification System) looks at a specific location (or set of locations) and determines the type of weather approaching these locations. Alerts are sent out in the manner in which contacts are sure to see them, and if primary contacts aren’t available, the technology sends alerts to secondary contacts to make sure people at the work site are informed and can make necessary decisions.
Other examples of how GIS weather technology is being used:
— Alerts sent to railroads notify when high winds occur along rail lines so management is warned ahead of time when there is a potential for derailment.
— Alerts sent to construction companies indicate when storms are expected to hit a job site. Advance notification allows crew members to move to other construction sites with better weather and allow expensive materials to get put away before the storm hits.
— Alerts sent to electric utilities indicate when storms are expected to move through their coverage areas. Advance weather information helps utilities efficiently staff repair crews to restore power faster after the storms have passed.
— Alerts sent to sports facilities help determine if outdoor games should be played or delayed, help decide if stadium roofs should remain open or closed, and determine whether costly chemical applications should be applied or routine maintenance work performed.
About Meteorlogix ( http://www.meteorlogix.com )
Meteorlogix, DTN’s brand of commercial weather services, delivers industry-specific weather management capabilities for its customers to manage business risks, maximize personal safety and minimize financial loss. Meteorlogix serves more than 20,000 customers with a focus on construction, public safety, transportation, energy, turf and aviation industries. Its client roster includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Reuters, Bloomberg, Union Pacific Railroad, Tennessee Valley Authority, US Airways, and the City of Orlando.
About DTN ( http://www.dtn.com )
DTN, a private company based in Omaha, Neb., is the leading business-to- business provider of real-time information services across multiple vertical markets including agriculture, energy, commodity trading, and other weather- sensitive industries. The company delivers on-demand market information, commodity cash prices, industry news and in-depth analysis, and location- specific weather to over 120,000 subscribers through its four brands – DTN Ag, DTN Energy, DTN Market Access, and DTN Meteorlogix.