How’s the weather out there?

One of the things that takes getting used to living in the Bay Area is the many microclimates. Temperatures and conditions can vary dramatically within a few miles.

I was deciding whether to head out to the Beach Chalet, a microbrewery and restaurant on the Pacific Ocean, on Sunday. They’ve got a great back yard with Adirondack chairs and live music. It’s a gorgeous place — on a sunny day. Unfortunately, it’s located in one of the foggiest parts of San Francisco.

Before trekking all the way to the other side of the city I wanted to know whether it was sunny there. Could social networking help?

I decided to post the question — to noone in particular — on Twitter:

Wonder if it is sunny there. My question posed on Twitter.

Within 10 minutes, I had my answer:

Its Not.

Of course, this particular experiment is likely only to work this well this quickly in the Bay Area, where it’s easier to find a Twitter user than a newspaper reader.

How else could I find the answer? Google now has geo-coded Webcams in Google Earth. Find where you want to be and check to see if there’s a camera. Click and you’ll get your answer. In the case of the Beach Chalet, it’s often this:

No, I didn't just paste in a white image. This is a view from a webcam near Ocean Beach.

No, I didn't take a picture of a white wall. This is a view from the Cliff House webcam near Ocean Beach.

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About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. His personal blog is at http://blog.agrawals.org and tweets at @rakeshlobster.
This entry was posted in geotagging, google, maps, social networking, twitter, web 2.0. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How’s the weather out there?

  1. Pingback: Realtime Twitter search is not a Google killer « reDesign

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