AccuWeather: Seeding Creativity with Weather APIs
Editor's note: Today we hear from Mark Iannelli, senior technical account manager at AccuWeather, the leader in providing accurate weather data. Mark is responsible for providing technical guidance to key global partners who leverage AccuWeather’s industry-leading location and weather data APIs.
AccuWeather is a name that people worldwide know and trust. AccuWeather is widely recognized as the most accurate global weather provider, and was recently recognized as such for the third time in an independent Forecast Watch study. No matter where you are, we give you access to the same content and the same tools that we use here at AccuWeather to power our own products.
Whether you’re developing commercial apps for an enterprise or you’re a weather-enthusiast developing apps on your own, you can access the best weather data and tools to build really amazing things with the AccuWeather API Developer Portal.
Save lives, protect property
Our overarching goal is to help keep people safe. That means different things to different people. Depending on your needs and interests, you can access AccuWeather.com, listen to an AccuWeather-sponsored forecast on your local news, download our weather app, tune in to a podcast, or even build something yourself using our APIs.
We serve a global community of weather consumers and enthusiasts with content provided in over 200 languages and dialects. We localize content in your own language wherever you are, so that you always have information on current conditions, forecasts, and even severe weather alerts. We also localize key alert information from the languages that they're issued in so that visitors from other countries receive warnings in their own languages. This is vital for keeping people safe during severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, flash floods, and other dangerous conditions.
Sunny with a chance of apps
Aside from people consuming weather information through AccuWeather’s own channels, we’re excited about the innovative ways that weather-enthusiasts are leveraging our APIs to create new products for themselves and their communities. By making these APIs accessible to them with the Apigee platform, we’re feeding their creativity and entrepreneurial spirits.
It's been great for us to see how excited people are about our APIs. In a digital age where people are more empowered and more creative than ever, they're interested in what they can build on their own to automate their lives in ways that they never could before. Using the weather as the backbone of action-driven decisions and products, people are coming up with amazing ideas.
Our API strategy is simple: we want you to develop cool products with the APIs available on our AccuWeather API Developer Portal. We hope that people will be proud to say they’re using AccuWeather to develop their products. As developers scale up successful API-based products, they have the possibility to purchase high-volume packages, but at the basic level we’re democratizing access with free APIs. This is giving rise to terrific ideas, like a 15-year-old with a tortoise habitat who’s planning to control the ecosystem for his family pets with our weather APIs.
Another example is a homeowner with a backyard awning that he’s programmed to automatically adjust based on the weather. He told us that he chose our weather APIs because they’re the most accurate ones he’s ever used. That kind of word of mouth is gold. He’s telling his whole neighborhood about this cool app home automation tool on his deck and that he’s using AccuWeather to power it. You never know who might get the next great idea based on that awning.
We've also seen a lot of agriculture apps that AccuWeather has helped improve. People have told us about apps that use our weather information combined with their own analytics and tools to determine the best times to plant, harvest, and irrigate different crops. We've even seen someone with a smart mirror that displays weather information directly on it as they’re getting ready in the morning, and a couple of different smart closet apps that present clothing options based on weather conditions.
What we’re most excited about with our developer portal is the ability to reach people that we previously couldn't. In the past we mostly focused on partnerships with global OEMs from around the world such as Fitbit, Ford, LG, HTC, and Sony, but did not effectively reach individual developers and the weather-enthusiast community. The AccuWeather API Developer Portal has enabled us to do that.
Now, over one year in with our developer portal, and with over 40,000 registered users, we have seen what can be accomplished with APIs. We’re looking at expanding the content that's on the portal itself, adding more exclusive AccuWeather APIs like our minute-by-minute precipitation forecast, MinuteCast® and high resolution radar content—things that users are asking for all the time. We want to offer those services on the portal so that people can easily engage with us and start building even more creative products.
We predict a bright future for our API business and can’t wait to see exponential growth in the number of innovative weather products and “life hacks” from our expanding developer community!