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Working with Meteorological Data

Date:  9th August, 2004

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I am always impressed when I see real-time data on a website. I am even more impressed when such data is used imaginatively. Thus Dunstan Orchard's panorama and weather information have long intrigued me.

Out of curiosity, I investigated the possibilities of adding some local weather information to the Urban Mainframe.

Being a Perl Monk, I knew that the best place to begin my quest would be the vast catacombs of the CPAN and I discovered three modules that, between them, make real-time meteorological data handling effortless:

Astro::Sunrise - computes sunrise/sunset for any given day;
Geo::WeatherNWS - a object-oriented interface to the United States' National Weather Service;
Astro::MoonPhase - provides details of the phase of the Moon.

I wrote a plug-in for my CMS that ties these three modules together, added a little presentational markup and a few graphics and now have a neat, real-time summary of the current meteorological conditions for my locale.

What do you think?