Weather Warnings and Watches

A Companion Web Page to the Book:

The Automated Display of Maps and Images from the Web

or "How to Make your old Computer Download and Display Weather Maps for Public Viewing"

About the Book:

 Book Description:

  • 66 page pdf document
  • 52 figures
  • web addresses of 100's of weather maps and webcam images
  • complete AppleScript code for display of maps on a Macintosh computer

By Chapter:

  1. Automated Image Display
  2. Weather Maps on the Web
  3. Webcams
  4. Software Components
  5. Scripting a Complete System
  6. Conclusion

Designed and written for:

  • Displays in schools or libraries and other public areas.
  • Ideal for science-oriented display cases and travel center booths.
  • Makes it possible to see the relationship between global weather patterns and the weather that we experience.
  • Any color Apple Macintosh (IIci or IIcx or higher)
    System 7.5 or higher
    8 MB of memory
    *** No Web Browser Needed ***

 The Working System:


 The Weather Map Display System. Each computer downloads 3-6 weather maps every hour. Maps are displayed continuously with a display time of about 10 seconds each.

Map #1 Radar

Map #2: US Severe Weather

Map #3 Central US Severe Weather

How it works:

The web contains a variety of weather maps that are updated continuously throughout the day. This book describes how to download a series of these maps to a dedicated computer and display them in a continuous loop. The specific images that are downloaded can be changed by simply inserting another web address. The system can also display a series of webcam images.

Once the maps or webcam images are downloaded, they are shown in a continuous loop using the full screen of your Macintosh display. No menu titles are visible. The amount of time that each image is shown is adjustable. Ten seconds is sufficient in most cases. The display of maps loops continuously. At a pre-determined interval, usually an hour, the display program stops, the images are deleted and new images are downloaded. Once downloaded, the display program starts displaying the new maps and images.

The "show" can be set to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It can also be turned on and off at certain times and days of the week. For example, it can be set to work only on weekdays during working hours. Some Macintosh models can be set to turn on and off at certain times.

Memory usage is kept to a minimum by using AppleScript and a series of smaller programs. This makes the system ideal for older computers. Eight megabytes is the recommended minimum. No web browser is needed.

How to get the book:

The Automated Display of Maps and Images from the Web book is available as a PDF file from Michael Peterson. All instructions and access to software are contained in the 66 page book. The book contains a link to an on-line site with updated information on available weather maps and changes in programs and operating systems which may affect your implementation.

The book does not describe a single program. Rather, it describes how a series of programs can be used to transform an otherwise interactive computer to work in an automated fashion. These programs are combination of freeware (no cost), postcardware (requiring you only to send a postcard to the author), and shareware (only a small payment). Of the two shareware programs, one ceases to function two weeks after the initial usage if the registration fee of $40 is not paid. The second shareware program is $10.

The Automated Display of Maps and Images from the Web available from Michael Peterson