Monitoring Global Precipitation through UCI CHRS’s RainMapper App on Mobile Devices
Abstract:The Water and Development Information for Arid Lands–a Global Network (G-WADI) Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks—Cloud Classification System (PERSIANN-CCS) GeoServer has been developed through a collaboration between the Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing (CHRS) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the UNESCO’s International Hydrological Program (IHP). G-WADI PERSIANN-CCS GeoServer provides near real-time high resolution (0.04o, approx 4km) global (60oN – 60oS) satellite precipitation estimated by the PERSIANN-CCS algorithm developed by the scientists at CHRS. The G-WADI PERSIANN-CCS GeoServer utilizes the open-source MapServer software from the University of Minnesota to provide a user-friendly web-based mapping and visualization of satellite precipitation data.
Recent efforts have been made by the scientists at CHRS to provide free on-the-go access to the PERSIANN-CCS precipitation data through an application named RainMapper for mobile devices. RainMapper provides visualization of global satellite precipitation of the most recent 3, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 72-hour periods overlaid with various basemaps. RainMapper uses the Google maps application programing interface (API) and embedded global positioning system (GPS) access to better monitor the global precipitation data on mobile devices. Functionalities include using geographical searching with voice recognition technologies make it easy for the user to explore near real-time precipitation in a certain location. RainMapper also allows for conveniently sharing the precipitation information and visualizations with the public through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. RainMapper is available for iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded (free) from the App Store and Google Play. The usefulness of RainMapper was demonstrated through an application in tracking the evolution of the recent Rammasun Typhoon over the Philippines in mid July 2014.