Weather data is a critical element in the decision making process for a vast number of entities and its timely and accurate portrayal is essential. The U.S. National Weather Service has utilized a combination of Open Source projects including: OpenLayers, Qooxdoo, PostGIS and Flot among others to create a mash-up called the Enhanced Data Display or EDD (preview.weather.gov/edd) to promote the development of a Weather Ready Nation.
The EDD provides a platform to quickly communicate past, current and future weather conditions. What happens over the next couple of hours to a week dictates the agenda of everything from strategic resource placement to what to wear to work. More often than not, the weather forecast is not binary - there is always some probabilistic component that results from the inherent chaos of a 4-D fluid wrapped around a spinning sphere.
Luckily, the EDD makes use of a variety of techniques that leverage Open Source technologies to present forecasts in both deterministic and probabilistic forms. The EDD contains many visual displays that refine bulky meteorological datasets into palatable forms. Whether you are looking to see what hazards you may face along a travel route or trying to find a heat map of how many people will be impacted by a tornado warning, the EDD can display this quickly. Finally, the ability to combine EDD layers with your own data makes this an extremely powerful application. EDD is a good example of how leveraging Open Source resources can result in an exquisite product.