The Weather Report Card is an open-data weather forecast grading system that evaluates forecaster’s reliability and predictions’ accuracy.
It aggregates data from Environment Canada and organizes it in reports to compare temperature, rain and warning predictions versus actual weather. The system then evaluates the forecast’s accuracy and grades it.
On the site, users have a variety of ways to view daily conditions grading:
- View the grade of daily forecast conditions;
- View current conditions and what their previous predictions were;
- View a calendar with a monthly view of conditions; or,
- Go old school and compare the daily data themselves.
Users can review a forecast performance by city over the period of their choice and tweet about it. The portal also tweets on a daily basis forecasts performances by city.
Our goals for this portal were:
- Measure Performance: We wanted to provide citizens with a method to evaluate the accuracy of the data they look at on a daily basis. The data is available but never evaluated.
- Build knowledge with Data: Per definition, Open Data is data that can be freely used, shared and built-on by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose. It is key to government transparency, but does not give us value if it is not transformed into facts.
- Promote Open Source: This project was possible thanks to open-source software and Open Data. We wanted to highlight how the web is made of amazing projects powered by a strong community. By aggregating and manipulating data, we’re able to give insights on things that concern Canadians.
- Showcase Drupal’s capabilities: This was also a way of showcasing some of what we can do using the Drupal CMS. This software has gone from an alternative to WordPress to powerful, enterprise-level software with many different applications, including open-data portals like the Weather Report Card.
- Have fun, and spread the fun: Canadians love to discuss the weather, so we wanted to give people a bit more context to talk about. By integrating this in with Twitter we’re making it easy for people who are thinking about the weather to connect to our reports.