Whether you’re organizing a trip overseas or a picnic at a local park, knowing the weather forecast is a crucial part of the planning process. Today, we’re adding a weather layer on Google Maps that displays current temps and conditions around the globe, and will hopefully make travel and activity planning easier.
To add the weather layer, hover over the widget in the upper right corner of Google Maps and select the weather layer from the list of options. When zoomed out, you’ll see a map with current weather conditions from U.S. Naval Research Lab. And, if you look closely, you can also tell if it’s day or night around the world by sun and moon icons.
Enabling the weather layer also gives you an instant weather report for friends and family living around the world. For example, it looks like my family in London isn’t experiencing the best summer weather right now:
Weather near London, UK
Clicking on the weather icon for a particular city will open an info window with detailed data like current humidity and wind conditions, as well as a forecast for the next four days. Below is the upcoming forecast for my location in wintertime Sydney, which seems to have the similar weather as London!
Changing the units of wind speed (Mph/KMph) and temperature (F/C), and enabling or disabling the clouds (when you’re zoomed out), can also be done from the left-hand panel.
Weather left hand panel
Get started now and check out the weather layer here.
Correlation is a statistical technique very often used in data analysis. It can show whether and how strongly pairs of variables are related. It normally involves lots of mathematical calculations but a quick insight into the phenomenon under investigation can be gained by simply superimposing the data on a map, if both datasets have a common spatial component (eg. location).
Take, for example, a case of recent London riots, mapped on MapTube. Overlaying locations of civil commotions with Index of Deprivation (ie. a measure of poverty) allows drawing a hypothesis that poverty and propensity to violent demonstrations are related. The correlation may not necessary be obvious when analysing each dataset in isolation and in a numerical form.
A point to note however is that, if the two variables are said to be correlated they may or may not be the cause of one another. In other words, correlation does not imply causality. The correlation phenomena could be caused by a third, previously unconsidered phenomenon, called a lurking variable or confounding variable. For this reason, there is no way to immediately infer the existence of a causal relationship between the two variables. Hence, one should not jump to the conclusion that “poverty is a major factor contributing to London riots” without examining the phenomenon in more detail.
As a side note, I am very surprised to see so much “red” on the London map, implying that the majority of central suburbs are poverty stricken areas – with only a few pockets of wealth on the city fringes. This picture is in big contrast to Sydney where underprivileged areas are concentrated mainly in the south-western part of the city and, most importantly, account only for roughly a quarter of the overall metropolitan area. Australia indeed seems to be a very lucky country…
London Riots Map first spotted on Google Maps Mania
As Vic Gundotra announced previously, Google Developer Day (GDD) will be coming to eight cities in 2011. Please save the date, as we prepare to bring our world tour of GDDs to a city near you.
- September 16: Sao Paulo, Brazil
- September 19-20: Buenos Aires, Argentina
- October 10: Moscow, Russia
- October 18: Prague, Czech Republic
- November 1: Tokyo, Japan
- November 8: Sydney, Australia
- November 13: Tel-Aviv, Israel
- November 19: Berlin, Germany
Google Developer Days are a chance to learn about our latest developer products and meet the engineers who work on them. As in years past, we will have an application process when registration opens, so stay tuned, as we will continue to bring you updates.