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EarthBuzz Weather

EarthBuzz Limited is a mobile app company that developed and marketed the EarthBuzz Weather app from 2010-2015. Unfortunately the application was withdrawn from the iTunes App Store due to unforseen circumstances. This website provides some historical context regarding the features and architecture of the EarthBuzz Weather app.

Screenshot of EarthBuzz Weather showing North American weather conditions

EarthBuzz Weather was one of the highest rated and most obscure weather apps on the iTunes App Store and was unique in that it blended a 3D earth with social networking, real-time animated satellite clouds, current weather conditions, weather forecasts and geological events. The app was written in C++ targeting OpenGL and featured precise quaternion-based touch navigation and animation between favorite geographical locations.

Screenshot of EarthBuzz Weather showing 7-Day Accumulated Snowfall

The EarthBuzz Weather app embedded NASA's Blue Marble imagery overlaid with real-time animated satellite clouds downloaded over the network plus shape layers with earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and current conditions for airfield weather stations. Blue Marble: Next Generation was produced by Reto Stöckli, NASA Earth Observatory.

Collection of iPhone and iPad screenshots showing various different layers

The EarthBuzz global image layers included: animated satellite imagery, estimated precipitation, cloud cover, daily rainfall, 7-day accumulated snowfall, ice, relative humidity, min/max/mean temperatures, avg/max windspeed, convective available potential energy, heating/cooling degree days, and soil moisture, as well as shape layers for hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes and observations. Weather data was provided by CustomWeather, Inc.

Feature Overview

Point and Shape layers

Image layers

Map Projection

The EarthBuzz Weather app map layers use the tessellated octahedron projection with recursive subdivision. The tessellated octahedron is is a novel projection based on recursive subdivision of a 3D octahedral sphere with a mappings to 2D textures. The tessellated octahedron has excellent texture linearity compared to equirectangular or mercator projections, and it naturally tiles for deep zoom due to the recursive square embedding.

Visualization showing Blue Marble tesselated octahedron tiles

The Blue Marble Next Generation base map tiles are stored compressed in the tessellated octahedron projection at multiple resolutions with recursive subdivision to allow deep zoom. An image processing server downloads satellite images over the Internet in near realtime and converts them to the tessellated octahedron projection which are then served to the EarthBuzz Weather app.

Visualization showing texture mapping for tesselated octahedron tiles


The EarthBuzz Weather app included a native mobile application for iOS/android plus web services infrastructure to fetch, transcode and cache satellite imagery, and to fetch and transcode weather condition data. The app supported asynchronous request batching for accelerated loading during pan and zoom of current condition data for thousands of geographically distributed weather stations.

EarthBuzz Weather High Level Application Architecture

The EarthBuzz Weather server architecture is composed of a load balancer with several Front End Processors presenting the weather data API to the EarthBuzz Weather app and a Back End Processor that receives the current condition feed, fetches and transforms images to the tessellated octahedron projection, compresses and distributes images and current conditions to the Front End Processors, and also runs service monitoring and alerts. The Front End Processors cache weather conditions in memcached for fast access.

EarthBuzz Weather Logical Server Architecture

EarthBuzz Limited will assist with proposals related to global geospatial events, web services, and cross-platform mobile application development for iOS and android. Please contact us for more information.

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