App hopes to beat the British weather

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ARU

A free app that provides detailed local weather forecasts has been developed with the help of Anglia Ruskin University academics.

Hyperlocal Rainfall, which is now available across the whole of the UK on both Android and iOS platforms, is the result of an academic-industrial collaboration funded by Innovate UK.

A team at Anglia Ruskin led by Dr Jeannette Chin and Dr George Wilson used machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence algorithms to develop a personalisation engine, which is the “brain” for generating personalised information within the app.

To help with the task of planning routes and timings for walkers and cyclists, the personalisation engine analyses a combination of real-time data sources including user profile data, environmental data and location data, to provide the user with a unique route recommendation.

Dr Chin, Senior Lecturer in Computer Networking, said: “Poor weather conditions are cited as one of the major reasons people give for not walking and cycling more in urban cities.

“By focusing on this issue, our Hyperlocal Rainfall project has delivered a working demonstration of how accurate rainfall predictions, as well as personalised route recommendations, can be incorporated to benefit local residents by informing them about the likelihood of rain during their planned trip.

“We began this project by focusing on Cambridgeshire, but it has now been extended to provide data for the whole of the UK. As well as hopefully encouraging more people to travel under their own steam it also provides an incredibly accurate rainfall forecast, personalised down to street level, which is useful for anyone planning any outdoor activity – including a summer barbecue.”

The Hyperlocal Rainfall project, funded by Innovate UK, involved experts from Anglia Ruskin University, Loughborough University, Peterborough Environment City Trust and Meniscus Systems Ltd.

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