A weather app that highlights a neighborhood's social temperature.
Nimbus was conceived as a means to combat the harsh realities of microclimates in San Francisco. While it might be 72 and sunny in The Mission, if you head to Ocean Beach you could be looking at sub-arctic temperatures and wind conditions. Instagram photos posted at locations within a given neighborhood enhance the apps effectiveness by showing the social temperature of the area along with degrees Fahrenheit. A hot day in the Castro, for instance, looks a lot different than a warm day in The Marina. Nimbus uses Foursquare location ID's to aggregate photos taken at locations within a given neighborhood and overlay data from personal weather stations to generate real-time photo streams.
Some Like It Hot
A quick, visual way to communicate temperature helps ensure Nimbus is useful at a glance. In an evolving world with an increasing number of micro-climates,temperatures can fluctuate dramatically. Nimbus fills the gap that most weather apps have that exclude neighborhoods and neglect to include photographic data from the people on the ground.
What I Learned
The Instagram API is not built for partner apps that attempt to access and aggregate large numbers of user generated photographs. Whatever developer-friendly features that existed in the past are being neglected in the present and will likely be abandoned in the future. Weather data, by comparison, is surprisingly open and accessible. People who have installed a personal weather station are often sharing their findings with the world, and highly localized, user-driven weather apps are likely here to stay.
What I Loved
It's one thing to say that the fabric of each neighborhoood within a relativly small city like San Francisco looks wholly unique. It's another thing entirely to view the images culled from the most popular locations within each hood, and browse through photo feeds that communicated those differences instantly, and viscerally, through Nimbus.
Research, Design, Development