FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Weather Podcasting

Just in time for holiday travel, a programmer named Jorge Velazquez has written a script that sends weather forecasts via RSS feeds.

The Perl script parses the XML feed of Weather.com, and has three variables: locid (location ID; a ZIP code will work for US locations), dayf (how many days forward you want your forecast, up to 10 days; default is 2), and unit ("m" for metric, "s" or "e" for standard/English). Included in Jorge's post is his programming methodology and the source code.

You can test the script by putting the following URL in your RSS feed reader:


Replace "XXXXX" with a valid ZIP code or city code. The result should be a five-day forecast for the location of your choice. The script also supposedly converts the text to audible speech in MP3 files, though the LAME encoder is necessary.

If nothing else, this is an interesting experiment in potential uses for RSS feeds and podcasts, and hopefully will serve as a inspiration to others.

Source: Gordon McLean