• Joey Lee

Better Weather Compass

Cover image


In preparation for my upcoming course All Maps Lie, I have been thinking about different expressions of locative media that have been points of inspiration and critical reflection. Projects like David Leonard's FataLATour, Philipp Schmitt's Camera Restrica, and Stephan Bogner's BesserWetterCompass are often the first that come to mind when showcasing work that has continued to resonate with me since I first saw them.

As an homage to Stephan Bogner who built the BesserWetterKompass, I built a version of this "fair weather seeking" device that runs on the web and your mobile device.

How it works

What is "better weather?" The Better Weather Compassretrieves the "feels like" temperatures from the 10 closest weather stations and calculates the differences between those temperatures and 22°C. The location with the smallest difference is where the compass points to. While in relative terms this means that the compass is pointing to a location that is technically "better," (as defined by the simple "feels like" temperature) this compass likely won't navigate you to weather perfection (though certainly you could add a more complex algorithm to attempt this).

The Better Weather Compass uses your browser's geo-location and your device heading as a way to find True North and the difference in angle between your current location and the "desired" location. In contrast to a normal compass where the needle always points north, this compass always points towards the location where the weather is "better."

Compass as Media

My plan is to create a JavaScript Library called Compass that makes it easier to use the browser's geo-location API to get compass direction. My hope is that other people will be able to more easily explore locative media in their creative works and prompt more exploration of physical geography.