Watching the weather nationwide at a glance, see temperatures rise and fall, watch the rain fall, all from a wireless, wall mounted installation.
Continuing the post-hackathon weather gadget making, fueled by the Spark Core (Think Arduino with WiFi) I got from Zack at TechCrunch and liking shiny lights, I started on the weather map. A matrix of addressable LEDs that were in the general form of the United States. The idea was that the spark could talk to the Weather Underground API, pull down temperature data for each of the lat/long locations assigned to each light, and the light would change color to reflect the temperature.
The built in WiFi made talking to the API pretty straight forward, the challenge was more about memory and the API limit, making 100 requests per map refresh was not something my free api account could sustain. Luckily the API team helped me out with my limit to keep the project going.
The big break came when Adam Williams got involved, he was able to program node.js to read from the Wunderground.com API and push the data to the spark core and the light matrix to show temperature, precipitation, and more from the weather data available.
Bonus story: while working on the map all the lights switched purple (not assigned to anything), cluing the team into an API problem. Needless to say it was almost immediately fixed and the map came back to life. My little side project accidentally became a status board.
The color/number comes from a node.js script that queries an array of latitude/longitudes from the Weather Underground API.
Each lat/long is assigned to an LED number.
The Spark listens for a number and RGB value and sends it out to the LED string.