Crowdsourcing Technology Enables New Type of Data for Marine Weather and Navigation
Today, alongside project partners, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced the $1.8 million Crowdsourced Wind Maps: A New Type of Data for Marine Weather & Navigation. This Nova Scotia-led project uses connected wind sensors on boats to display crowdsourced wind zones to aid in navigation and route-planning.
Unlike satellite imaging typically used to gather marine weather data, using crowdsourced wind measurements provides higher resolution than has ever been possible before. The Crowdsourced Wind Maps project provides wind zone contour lines showing how the wind funnels into channels and around headlands, to improve marine navigation for all types of vessels. Data from internet-connected wind sensors is merged with the worldwide meteorological data forecast. There are never enough weather stations, but this project uses data from users who move around. This innovative solution archives incoming data, allowing the generation of wind maps showing how the wind is flowing even when there is no live data in a particular location.
With a total project value of over $1.8 million, the OSC will provide $536 thousand in funding with the balance coming from project partners. In the Crowdsourced Wind Maps project, Halifax-based SailTimer will work with Canadian partners Canadian Yachting Media, IIC Technologies, and Navcast. Four international companies are also collaborating on the project, including MarksetBot, McBride Racing, Storm Glass, and Weather Tactics. The team will use the crowdsourced data to create new commercial opportunities, and a new supply chain for this type of marine weather data.
The new S-100 industry standard from the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) supports new higher resolution for all types of chart data, from bottom depths to wind maps. The crowdsourcing technology created by this project provides more data sources than has ever been possible until now. End-users will be able to use GPS chart plotter displays or smartphone apps with this subscription based IoT platform. Manufacturers, weather organizations, app developers and other providers will be able to license the data via cloud APIs for their own products.
Anyone who is a boater on a vessel of any size will know that when deciding to head out you always need to know if the water is safe, which way is the wind blowing, how are the waves, and if you will be able to arrive safely. Data for the new crowdsourced wind maps comes from the patented wireless SailTimer Wind Instrument™, Air Link™ accessory for legacy anemometers, and licensees. This project will create 25 full-time jobs with the potential for 150 indirect jobs.
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a pan-Canadian, industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling some of the biggest challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally relevant solutions, while also building a highly-capable, inclusive workforce. The OSC has approved more than 70 projects with a total value of more than $360 million which will deliver more than 120 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world.
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
“Weather conditions are crucial and unpredictable in the ocean sector. The new wind map project from Canada’s Ocean Supercluster will improve marine weather prediction and navigation for all types of marine vessels. This will provide personnel on the vessels with safer operating conditions, and create strong growth opportunities for Canadian companies,” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Having access to the most accurate data possible is critical to navigation planning and in the consideration of conditions at sea. This project will provide higher resolution wind measurements than ever possible before and combine it with forecast data to supply all marine vessels with the best marine navigation data for safer operations and better decision making. – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster