Hurricane Ike is pointed at Galveston and Houston, and the forecast as I write this says it could be packing sustained winds of more than 100 mph when it makes landfall late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Not a storm to mess around with, and the sort of news that absolutely monopolizes a community’s attention. The perfect time for news sites to stop whispering and start shouting, in other words.
Not to pick on any one newspaper, because we all know none of us are truly putting it all together online, but does this screenshot, grabbed less than 24 hours (more…)
It’s been amazing sitting next to Matt at the day job and having a front row seat for the massive and sudden popularity of his hurricane tracking site Stormpulse.com. He looked like Squidley Diddley last week, arms flying around, furiously juggling two phones, e-mail, instant messages, text messages and even one whacko lawsuit threat, all hurricane-related. (Does anyone else remember Squidley Diddley, the octopus cartoon character from Hanna-Barbera, or am I making that up?) Then there’s his full-time job at The Post, not to mention two young kids at home. Maybe he’s just conducting an elaborate sleep-deprivation experiment.
Matt started Stormpulse before joining the Backyard Post team at The Palm Beach Post, so it’s cool to see the two finally come together. And though I have absolutely nothing to do with Stormpulse, seeing its mapping software embedded on The Post is personally gratifying because of the crazy, fortuitous way that I met Matt.
Now here’s the part where I casually mention that, as Will recently noted, and as I’ve been meaning to point out for a couple weeks now, Matt Wensing, one of the gigantic brains behind Stormpulse, is now a colleague over at the office. In the interest of still fuller disclosure, I’ll just further note that Stormpulse isn’t affiliated with our employer. So what does Matt do all day, then? I can’t give too much away, but here’s a hint: lolcats. Uh-oh, I’ve already said too much …
Ever wanted to make your own sweet hurricane-tracking web site, like Stormpulse? Ha! Best get started studying up on Python, MySQL, Apache, FreeBSD, etc. in that case. But if you can settle for simply reading how the people actually behind a hurricane-tracking web site did it, check out the latest post on the Stormpulse blog: The Startup Saga, Part I: Weather information is free?