CustomWeather expands wireless global coverage

Weather forecasts and reports for 58,000 cities around the world are now available on Web-enabled mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices. CustomWeather , a supplier of syndicated geo-coded weather data, will provide location-sensitive weather services for more than 125,000 global locations by year-end.


The company said that by offering global weather coverage, wireless service providers can distribute instant weather information and predict exact forecasts for specific coordinates around the world.


CustomWeather launched its wireless weather forecasts last year, using proprietary weather models and applications that automate the weather forecasting process. For the wireless and location-based services industries, CustomWeather provides XML-based, geo-coded forecasts. The geo-code identifiers (or GPS coordinates) enable wireless providers to supply exact weather data, without requesting any input from wireless device users.


“One of the most difficult challenges facing mobile users is having access to critical and relevant information -when and where they need it,” said Geoff Flint, CEO of CustomWeather. “Today`s announcement shows our commitment to provide wireless operators an unparalleled level of exact weather forecast locations, along with the ability to offer services that leverage desirable technologies such as XML, WML and HDML.”


CustomWeather offers a hosted SMS service to allow CustomWeather forecasts and reports to be sent easily right to customers` wireless devices. Flint said all of his company`s products can be delivered in a standardized output in both WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) and HDML (Handheld Device Markup Language) formats using JSP (Java Servlet Page) technology. The output is compatible with all Openwave (Phone.com) wireless gateways.

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Flint said that any wireless device that is compatible with the Phone.com gateway is compatible with CustomWeather. “Historically, the usability of WAP services has been severely reduced because of a misguided use of design principles from traditional Web design,” he said. “However, CustomWeather designed its WAP site with the end user in mind and we believe it ranks very well in terms of usability.”


CustomWeather offers a variety of weather products and services available via WAP, including such things as forecasted airport delays, tide tables and earthquake reports. Also, CustomWeather has a line of products available for wireless users from the ski enthusiast to the surfer to the business traveler.


All CustomWeather wireless products revolve around a users` location, Flint said. Wireless providers can therefore provide weather content based solely on a users` location through GPS coordinates or allow users to search by entering postal codes or city names domestically and internationally. CustomWeather will also allow users to individually register and personalize their weather.


Already available in eight languages in addition to English, and in both imperial and metric units, basic CustomWeather services such as current conditions and seven-day forecasts are connected to more sophisticated services such as hurricane tracking, severe weather alerts and customized weather maps that can be generated instantly for any area of the world.


Flint said CustomWeather`s content has the distinction as the only weather forecast data available via Web-based XML queries. It is the only weather company that has geo-coded all of its products to enable content delivery based solely on GPS coordinates to accommodate the needs of the growing wireless and location-based services markets.


Related stories on ITN:

(23/10/2001) CustomWeather launches geo-coded XML wireless alerts


(01/10/2001) InfoMove, CustomWeather offer location-based weather data
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