RainMapper – A New Mobile Device Application for Real-time Global Precipitation Monitoring

RainMapper – A New Mobile Device Application for Real-time Global Precipitation Monitoring

The cohort of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Program (IHP) and the Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing (CHRS, http://chrs.web.uci.edu) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), have been freely providing real-time high resolution (0.04o, approx 4km) global (60oN – 60oS) satellite precipitation estimates for over a decade.  This has been facilitated over the web by 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. By utilizing open-source MapServer software from the University of Minnesota, the G-WADI PERSIANN-CCS GeoServer provides precipitation estimated by the PERSIANN-CCS algorithm in a user-friendly web-based mapping and visualization tool.

Figure 1.RainMapper’s layout

A newly developed application called RainMapper is the result of the latest effort to make the PERSIANN-CCS precipitation data even more accessible to the public.  This free mobile app provides on-the-go access to the most recent (3, 6, 12, 24, 48, and 72-hour past accumulations) PERSIANN-CCS precipitation data. Utilizing the Google maps application programming interface (API) and embedded global positioning system (GPS) access, RainMapper allows users to efficiently monitor and visualize global precipitation estimates through their mobile devices.

Figure 2. RainMapper’s functionalities (Select Rain Totals, Base Maps, Search for a Location)

The application features geographical searching for user-friendly exploration of local real-time precipitation and several display options for basemaps.  RainMapper readily allows for social media-based sharing of the precipitation information and visualizations via Facebook and Twitter. The app is available for iOS and Android devices and can be freely downloaded from the App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rainmapper/id891909977?mt=8)  and Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chrs.rainmapper&hl=en). A sample of RainMapper utility is shown in the figure as it was used to track Typhoon Rammasun across the Philippines in July 2014.


Figure 3. Tracking  the evolution of Typhoon Rammasun over the Philippines in mid July 2014 using RainMapper


We acknowledge NASA, NOAA Office of Hydrologic Development (OHD) National Weather Service (NWS), Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS), Army Research Office (ARO), and UNESCO for supporting this research.



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