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Re: Another SVG challenge -- virtual weather station

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 20:31:07 +0000
To: "Dailey, David P." <david.dailey@sru.edu>, <public-svg-ig@w3.org>, <svg-developers@yahoogroups.com>
Message-Id: <20081106202432.M82690@hicom.net>

aloha, david!

instead of SVG-fits all, wouldn't it be wiser and more useful to 
repurpose the data in conformance with the profile -- software, 
hardware, delivery speed, the user's needs at that moment -- and 
user-side settings and preferences of the consumer of this 

i'm not arguing against "accessible SVG", or your vision of a "virtual
window", which i personally find quite appealing, although i wouldn't 
be able to use it, because i am blind...  but it isn't myself that i
have in mind as i compose this, but those cases when a sailor, for 
example, or a tourist canoeing in a park or wilderness area to needs 
stroke prefers that this info be communicated to them verbally or in 
another medium less distracting than the interpretation of a visual 
representation built upon raw data that SHOULD be expressed as SVG, 
and as accessible SVG as possible, but SVG MUST not be the user's 
only option...

this is an issue that i've worked on in the abstract and in practice 
with a few blind sailors' groups and weather information distributors -- 
the graphical representation is being generated based upon the 
underlying data collected by many means -- a "smart" weather information 
distribution system would take that into account...  in your example, 
you used as an initial data point the user's location, which could be 
determined by IP address, GPS, or direct query via a simple form: postal 
code, longitude & latitude, and the like, to obtain accumulated data for 
that specific geographic location on earth -- yes, it is not only very 
cool that that data could be transformed into accessible SVG, but that is 
not the optimal nor can it be the ONLY data transformation available from 
the weather information source, for like me, who is blind, those engaging 
in concentration-intense activities, such as rock climbing, white water 
rafting, trekking across a glacier, or other similar situation....

again, my reply is NOT an argument against your proposed exercise -- 
on the contrary, i support and encourage it (i'd like to be able to 
check out the weather on the serengeti or keep tabs on the polar ice 
caps), but when serving data from a backplane, it must always be 
remembered that the best data is that served in a manner most suited to 
the requestor at the time of the request, as well as providing a means of 
accessing the information contained in the generated SVG for those 
checking the weather on their computer in the morning because they can't 
determine if the sky is cloudy, clear or grey...

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of
focus.                                           -- Mark Twain
Gregory J. Rosmaita: gregory@linux-foundation.org
   Vice-Chair: Linux Foundation's Open Accessibility Workgroup
http://a11y.org                          http://a11y.org/specs

---------- Original Message -----------
From: "Dailey, David P." <david.dailey@sru.edu>
To: <public-svg-ig@w3.org>, <svg-developers@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 09:32:25 -0500
Subject: Another SVG challenge -- virtual weather station

> For maybe five years now, I have given my Interface Design 
> students a wide variety of possible final projects to choose 
> from [1]. There are a few several on which nobody has made much 
> progress over the years. Today someone showed me a demo of a new 
> beta desktop environment (called BumpTop [2]) would work. It 
> reminds me of some of what I've been talking about in terms of 
> "physics in layout" and the <superpath> idea, and presents some 
> very intriguing concepts for interface. Anyhow, they have a 
> little widget thingy that starts to look a bit like the virtual 
> weather station I've been asking my students to do. Given that 
> the idea is starting to reinvent itself outside of my own little 
> world, I figure it's time to try to challenge some folks other 
> than my students (if for no other reason than to save someone 
> the agony of accidentally trying to patent something for which 
> prior art already exists).
> So here's the challenge:
> Some people work in offices that have no windows. Let's build 
> one for them.
> Make an SVG page that determines the visitor's geographic location
> (based on IP address, or direct query through a form).  Next 
> artificially generate an animated depiction of what the weather outside
> would look like based on current weather data (e.g. 
> precipitation, wind velocity and temperature data) from the 
> National Weather Service), the visitor's latitude and longitude, 
> the time of day, and the time of year. How light or dark it is 
> should vary as a function time of year, latitude, humidity and 
> cloud cover.
> For example, if it is currently raining heavily and the wind is blowing
> very hard, and it is noon in October in Nome, and the 
> temperature is -3 C, the sky will look rather different than 
> similar circumstances at
> 17:00 in Miami at a warmer temperature.
> Overall weather categories (like rain, snow, sleet, hail,
>  sandstorms, etc.) should be chosen from some relatively 
> international weather vocabulary if such exists.
> To depict a windy day when there is no precipitation or airborne 
> sand, one may wish to draw artificial trees and or clouds, to 
> show the effect of the wind.
> The best entry will receive the largest smile so tell all your friends
> and neighbors.
> David
> [1] http://srufaculty.sru.edu/david.dailey/cs427/projects.htm
> [2] BumpTop demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0ODskdEPnQ
> [3] new features for SVG
> http://srufaculty.sru.edu/david.dailey/svg/Spec.html
------- End of Original Message -------
Received on Thursday, 6 November 2008 20:32:20 UTC

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