Local app contends for Google prize

A Kimberley software developer is in the running for huge international recognition for a new app called Uber Weather.

  • Dec. 17, 2012 5:00 p.m.

Carolyn Grant

A Kimberley software developer is in the running for huge international recognition for a new app called Uber Weather.

Uber Weather, developed by James Swansburg, was accepted as a contestant in the Google Places API Developer Challenge late last week.

The winner of the contest will have an opportunity to demonstrate the application at the Google I/O conference in San Fransisco in 2013, potentially reaching millions of people, Swansburg says.

There is a peoples choice award and he encourages everyone to vote: https://developers.google.com/places/challenge/gallery

So what is Uber Weather? It’s a weather site with a whole lot of extras.

“Weather is the number one Google search,” Swansburg said. “But every site is almost all spam (ads). Uber Weather is 100 per cent content.”

It’s all possible because of GIS — Geographic Information Systems, which integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

“Uber Weather uses all kinds of GIS. Every ski lift on the planet is there, every Starbucks. It has a ridiculous amount of data. We hooked into Google Places so almost every business on the planet is already there.”

Because Swansburg is a skier, the Uber Weather maps will always indicate ski lifts in red. Every ski lift in the world can be found easily, simply look at that region and the ski lifts will show up. Uber Weather also offers a hook in to Google Earth, just right click.

But you can find anything with it —plan trips, find out where every Tim Hortons on your route is. The possibilities are endless, Swansburg says.

Swansburg featured Kimberley and Fernie in his video submission for Google and says the exposure would be terrific for both communities if Uber Weather were to win.

“It would be great for a Canadian to win,” he said.

For more information on Uber Weather go to landmax.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/gis-goes-mainstream/

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