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Introducing DarkSky.net (darksky.net)
100 points by OberstKrueger on Sept 20, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 31 comments



While forecast.io has been available worldwide and Android apps have been making liberal use of its API, the Dark Sky iOS app isn't available outside select countries:

   Item Not Available
   
   The item you've requested is not currently available in the French
   Store, but it is available in the U.S. Store. Click Change Store to view
   this item.


I believe that's because their original focus, and still the primary focus of the mobile app, is 'hyperlocal', near-term precipitation prediction.

To do this they require access to high-resolution (spatial and temporal) rain radar data, which isn't universally available. (In the USA this is provided by the NOAA, in the UK by the Met Office.)


Hyperlocal because it also uses the data from many small private weather stations around the US. So many times the data you're seeing is from a weather station in a neighbors yard around the block.


Is the Android app available worldwide? I can't install it in Poland.


I'm talking about third party ones such as Weather Timeline (the official one is quite recent).

[0]: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.samruston....


I prefer forecast.io. First, when I visit darksky.net, I get a location in Kansas. Forecast.io gives me New York, via GeoIP (?), without requiring location services. I'll assume that's just a bug, though.

The main problem is that I really don't care about the maps. It's 78 in Jacksonville, apparently, but I live in New York. I will very, very, very rarely care about the weather in Jacksonville.

Forecast.io quickly tells me, without scrolling, what the weather will be for the next hour, the next day, and the next seven days. That matters. It does it with a quick, easy to parse hierarchy - all in a column, same sizes for elements, left-aligned. It does have the globe map, but I mostly consider that a visual accent. It's a rain map though, which is at least more useful than a temperature map (rain tends to move in a certain direction).

While darksky.net has this information, it's not as easy to follow. It's center-aligned, which is harder to read, and the different fonts don't have a clear role. It goes now -> day -> hour -> (ad for an app I've already downloaded) -> (giant map) -> week, instead of now -> hour -> day -> week, so the scope jumps around instead of increasing with each step.


I have some bad news to give you: forecast.io is going to be replaced by darksky.net[1].

1. (http://blog.darksky.net/introducing-darksky-net/)


I think it just defaults you to New York on forecast.io because I'm getting that when I load the page and I'm located in San Diego


Oh, bleh, dumb luck then. It should really use GeoIP.


This is great- most weather sites are slow and crappy and covered in ads. The maps especially are gorgeous. And it's getting close to being a good replacement for weatherspark.com, the best weather site ever built IMO (formerly - they built it on flash and couldn't maintain it anymore).

Dark Sky has the historic data too but weatherspark let you pan across the timeline and zoom in and out easily. It made it fun to explore and discover patterns in different areas.

I'd looked into building my own weather site frontend, but finding a good source for radar data was the sticking point, since they were all too expensive or hard to work with. DarkSky.net has radar on the maps, but I don't see it in the API, unless I'm missing something.


It is a bit confusing that you have unit selection (for temperature and wind speed) in top-right corner, and then separate for map. I thought it is broken before I noticed the other switch.


And its state isn't saved so I have to switch each time I open the page. And it defaults to proprietary units from used in only one country.


Last I checked, the US didn't invent Imperial units, there's nothing proprietary about them (they easily and readily inter-convert with metric) and Fahrenheit was Polish/German.

The DarkSky team is based in and focus is also the US and (partially) UK.


Nice colors and resolution!

I'd love to see one of these weather visualization sites overlay the live lightning strikes from http://en.blitzortung.org/live_dynamic_maps.php.


Thought this was going to be something related to light pollution:

http://darksky.org/


Same. Poor choice in domain.


Really poor choice of name.


One thing I always find missing with forecast.io/DarkSky apis is that you have to supply cordinates to get the weather of a location. What if I want to be able to query by city or postal code? It's the only reason why I stick with weather underground for my weather chat bot where people are trying to get weather info based on a (city, region), (city, region, country), or (postal code).


You can use other data / APIs to convert from zip code[1] or physical addresses[2]

1. https://gist.github.com/erichurst/7882666 2. https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/geocoding/i...


Sure, its another API, but its relatively trivial to get the lat/long from a location using something like the Google Geocoding API.

All things equal, a single API call is nicer, but I wouldn't personally let that be the only reason to not use DarkSky's API.


So, instead of depending on one service, you now depend on two.


Yes, because I'd rather DarkSky focus on being a great weather API than being a mediocre geocoding API.


Exactly why I said: "All things equal, a single API call is nicer"


There's a pretty good free data source if you wanted to build the resolving support yourself. I've used it successfully in the past.

http://www.geonames.org


I love the forecast.io rainfall animation, seems to have been removed from the DarkSky website. that's such a shame.


They seem to be upsetting a lot of Android users by charging £2.99 a year for it as a subscription model.

Personally I don't mind since I've been using forecast.io for years and it's invaluable when planning to walk the dog without getting caught in a downpour.


Yeah, this is why I didn't buy the app when it came to Android. I've got friends on iOS who swear by it so I was psyched to see it hit the Play Store. But when I saw it was a recurring bill, I just stuck with 1Weather or Weather Timeline.

I guess there's just a point where I can get weather info (sometimes from the same source, as in Weather Timeline) for a few bucks one time. And if it's a service that requires constant funding, I understand that. But it doesn't make sense that I have to keep paying while many friends just paid their $4 one time.

I think it's that different approach that turned me off to it regardless of how good the product was. Is it enough of an improvement over other apps (even ones that use forecast.io) to be worth a subscription fee instead of a one-time payment of $4 or $5?


Meta: seems like a setting or plugin in their Wordpress instance is stealing the default middle-click functionality (open in new window). I always wonder what the original intent with such things is...


I expected a project dedicated to combating light pollution, or possibly saying where the closes dark sky was. Got severely disappointed.


I'm in Sweden and I can't find the app in Google Play, even if I'm searching for "net.darksky.darksky".


Pretty cool!




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