Alternative Project Proposal Description

I thought of creating a web-based app using “openweathermap” API that hits back a type of “whether you should visit message” based on weather condition for a location (city) a user is planning to visit. The option is a user can check up to 7 days in advance to a planned visit based on 7-day weather forecast.

Here is the link to the HTML Form: http://pthinley.com/web/finalweb/weatherform.html

To start with, I wanted to confine to New York city (http://api.openweathermap.org/data/2.5/forecast/daily?q=New_York&mode=json&units=imperial&cnt=7) to test the outcome, although this is just a proposal sample.

This app is handy for users who are planning the visit over a week’s time for which weather forecast data might be available.

The user’s info is stored in a CSV that will show other users who are also visiting the same city around the same date.

In short, the app is to check whether visit a place (city) based on weather on or from a selected date.

Once a user’s inputs are collected, the outcome would most likely be attached with one of the following messages depending on weather condition (temperature):

Temp: 1-30 ‘F’ – A: Extreme winter weather, you might want to reconsider your visit.
Temp: 31-50 ‘F’ – B: Late winter – Are you sure you want to visit now?
Temp: 51 – 70 ‘F’ – C: Seems Springtime – looks good!
Temp: 71 – 90 ‘F’ – D: It is summer here!
Temp: 91-200 ‘F’ – E: Hot summer – you might want to reconsider.

Note: Since it is based on week-long weather forecast, this app will not be suitable for users with plans too far in advance like a month from now.

I want to also possibly show lists of people who have filled out the search form, in response to a new user’s search, including the range of dates they have entered. (e.g. let’s say These people also searched to visit [city name] around the same time.) For aesthetic purpose, the weather condition can be displayed by cartoon images, based on Sunny, Rain, snow, clear sky and so on…

And add up would be to add nearby cities or places using Foursquare mash up. I, however, don’t have much idea if that would possibly come to fruition. But I want to keep trying.

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Final Project: Weather Forecast using OpenWeatherMap API

Using the OpenWeatherMap API, my final project is a simple weather forecast app based on geo-location. It doesn’t really seem to work well. It is a project based on some mixed tutorials.

Initially, I tried another version, but I got lost halfway through. I  thought of working for an app with city input (enter city here), but it didn’t pay off. I was more of lost in the styling and script. (Here is the Link: City-based Weather forecast). I will continue working on it to see for myself a very simple weather app.

My project will throw back 7-day weather forecast app based on location of a user. It will display time, weather image, temperature with weather condition based on rain, snow, cloud, shower, clear sky.

Final Production (Weather Forecast Using openweathermap API): Location-based weather forecast

Week 5: Preparation for Final Project

I tried to work on a location based weather forecast by using the Openweathermap API. My target is limited since at this stage it seems beyond my capability to work on a more sophisticated app with lots of other advanced features.  Here is the Link:  Location Based Weather Forecast. This is just a rough structural phase.

I will continue working on the forecast for my final project. Basically I will add some features like background, different images for different weather forecasts with timeline information, and of course name of the location and country. It is expected to throw back a set of weather forecast over a period of time. I will rely on lot of online tutorials, as I’m yet to take a whole grasp on every aspect of interactive web, and the aesthetic parts.

Week 3: Form with PHP ($_POST)

I built a different form for this assignment. It is a simple rating based on general knowledge quiz. And then I used PHP (method=”post” action=””) to reward a user with quiz rating based on the number of correct answers received. The rating is based on total number of quiz questions. In my case out of 4.

I have also added a simple CSS for styling.

Here is the Quiz Test!

I also tried another version to test the outcome. It is a form with a list of order and returns with processed message.

Here is the Trial Version

Reading Response 3: Art and the APIs

Brief response and brainstorm interesting, wacky, innovative, possibly “big” ideas for projects using APIs:

Reading the article Art and the API allowed me to understand that API has a lot of utility to the point that “our  day-to-day interaction with social networks, e-mail applications or mobile apps is facilitated by APIs.” I have never stopped a second to think and imagine how all these are made functional.

The ‘open API’ model success first initiated by Twitter, allowing others to build interactive products around the system.

Despite these limited understanding of what API is capable of doing, I’m still running short of any creative let alone “big” ideas. What I would like to try on is create a simple city-based weather forecast that I can place on my own blog, or may be based on the location of user, show the weather condition. I personally feel, a good app is one that is simple and user friendly, rather than something is overloaded with features.

Reading Response 2: The Web We Lost

I know very little about the things that we missed about web over the years. My first memory of getting access to Internet or website is visiting internet café and waiting in lines and when you finally get a computer, you print out your email. Because back then we had to pay per minute to use Internet. And a slow system and slow Internet meant, you end up paying more. Fast forward today, we have Internet access and thousands of websites and blogs to explore round the clock.

But then yearning for yesteryears is only a wishful thinking. Change is inevitable. With all the drawbacks or the lost of “core values” or the “civic mindedness” of those times, web of today has come a long way. As one of the ads I frequently see on public avenues says it all: in the past just having a website is a smart thing and today it’s about how smart your website is.”

So reading Anil Dash’s web article invoked a mixed reaction in me. Today with increasing users, the web demand has multiplied and with it the demands for more web sophistication and the amount of labor that is needed to make a smart website with multiple functionality. Today owning a blog and website is so much more accessible, ten years ago it was possible for a small community of web savvy people.

This, however, doesn’t discard all the civic mindedness or the core values of the web that the writer Anil Dash is calling for or at least remind us to be mindful of. All is still not lost. And the good part is it is still evolving – and we don’t know what future holds for it.

Week 2: HTML Form and PHP

I’m still struggling to understand the basics of HTML and a good understanding of FTP, before going deeper into designing web pages and familiarizing myself with CSS to properly format and layout my first simple web page. However, my understanding is now beginning to take shape. But, for someone without any knowledge on the technical world of web, programming and processing languages sounds very intimidating now.

I also learned that there is an alternative without having to worry about all the hassles to programming. There are dozens of CMS services such as WordPress that can make setting up and designing a web page easier and dozens of online blog services to setup a blog.

To do more advanced features on a website such as forums, web page counters, guest books, online e-mail, and other stuffs, becoming familiar with or learning CGI programming languages such as PHP or Perl is the next step.

However, the PHP tutorials on lynda.com didn’t take me that far. It is taking more time to grasp the bigger picture of PHP. So I’m more on the nervous side to implement PHP on my next form.

As of now I have managed to build a very SIMPLE & BASIC FORM!.

In this form, I tried to understand how to text in variables, and then display their values in a browser. I also tried to understand what I really need to know to start working with PHP or understand how it works. The tutorial says it’s rather “ugly name for a very powerful scripting language” but at the same time it’s ” relatively easy to learn.” Among a wide range of tasks, PHP can be used for processing online forms or uploading files, and that’s what I will try to do with my PHP form in my next assignment. I tried testing the way variables works in PHP. But, I definitely have to spend more time on parsing variables and code as I move on to the next level.

Reading Response 1: Long Live Web

This is probably the first time I’m looking closely into web development and what it takes behind in making simple to sophisticated looking websites. It’s interesting to realize that I have been taking web as a tool for granted and simply being on the consuming end. But this reading in a subtle way reminds the web users to make efforts to safeguard the principle of egalitarianism on which it was built.

Reading this article allowed me to understand the larger issues facing web. Internet and web design being two separate thing, and the idea of keeping the two separate wand how monopolization of web by big social networking sites actually limits innovation, are something I learned from this article.

In one of my journalism ethics class, the professor alerted everyone to be careful about what we put out there on the web, specially on social networking sites. But that was primarily in terms of journalistic ethics. But I never thought carefully about infringing the rights and, specially in terms of human rights issue when it comes to web. For sure web and mobile apps have played big roles in Arab Spring and many countries, despite strict censorship and monitoring of web, so it is interesting learn from this article on how web users have roles in keeping the free web alive!

This article also introduced me to the differences between applications and mobile sites, and the changes that are taking place.

Week 1: HTML Text Art

HTML is entirely a new thing to me. So I’m starting with the very root basics. But learning the tags and commands looks cool and seeing them work in the browser excites me.

As for this week’s production assignment, I’m almost clueless, except to test my limits and try to do a Simple Image Uploads and learn to use the different html tags.

So it turned out to be a task for me to experiment HTML with features such as headings, alignments, background color, bold texting, paragraphs, line breaks, links and text styles. So my work is basically an experiment based on the tutorials that I followed. But it is a good start and basic start to explore elements and attributes.

For the HTML Art, I posted cartoon images of three popular western foods in order of my choice.