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Data gathered from Android phones via OpenSignal app used in geoscience research

Ian Paul | Aug. 15, 2013
OpenSignal recently announced that its app helped to prove that temperature readings from smartphone batteries correlate strongly to outdoor temperatures. Now it's thinking bigger.

Data taken from WeatherSignal users are uploaded to OpenSignal's servers where the information is anonymized and turned into a database for weather research. OpenSignal plans on providing data dumps to researchers from time to time.

The appeal of WeatherSignal is that instead of getting temperature from immobile weather stations, the app records temperature readings from all over the place as users go about their daily lives.

WeatherSignal operates periodically in the background, a setting you can control. And if you don't want WeatherSignal to automatically upload data, you can upload reports manually instead.

Getting personal with WeatherSignal
Sadly, while WeatherSignal may be able to accurately measure the external temperature in aggregate, the app's temperature readings aren't terribly accurate on individual phones.

Nevertheless, WeatherSignal can be used for all kinds of quantified self-tracking. The app outputs all individual data it collects into a CSV file that you can analyze yourself.

WeatherSignal can help collect information about daily activity levels. Migraine sufferers can use it to help find correlations between headaches and the weather. You could also track links between mood and weather, or the differences in lighting measurements between your home and the office. Check out OpenSignal's blog post for more information about self-tracking.

You can download WeatherSignal from Google Play. And, if you think that app is cool, don't forget to check out our collection of 13 science apps that can aid researchers or just enhance your own understanding and enjoyment of the world around you.



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