For residents, but especially for professional farmers and breeders in the area of Sarantaporo, opposite Olympus, in the municipality of Elassona, the weather is probably the most important factor affecting their daily lives and professional activity. This was also confirmed by a survey of questionnaires by professionals in the area during the current year (G. Klisiaris, 2016). However, the reliability of the weather forecast offered by various providers does not meet the citizens' need for timely and reliable information. For locals it is a common experience that no provider consistently gives a reliable weather forecast throughout the year. The consequences can be significant, such as last May with the hailstorm in Dolichi, causing damage to crops, trees, tobacco, vineyards and more.
Aiming at providing a reliable weather forecast for the area, Sarantaporo.gr has partnered with the startup Ex Machina1, which has provided a state-of-the-art weather station for this purpose. The station was placed at a site of the Sarantaporo.gr Community Network next to the village square of Sarantaporo on Sunday 14/02/2016 and, utilizing the Sarantaporo.gr wireless community network in the area, began sending online meteorological data to the known US network Weather Underground. There one can find the weather forecast for Sarantaporo from this provider as well as the current weather conditions in real time.
It is important to emphasize here that the purpose of using the weather station is to provide information on the actual weather conditions in the area. The station itself does not forecast the weather. Ex Machina uses the station's meteorological data to evaluate the reliability of the forecasts of various providers, including the Weather Underground mentioned earlier.
Ex Machina recently launched the innovative meteorological service called Weather ex Machina, which is now available to all citizens free of charge. The relevant app for smartphones and tablets allows the user to see the weather forecast for the region at the same time from many different providers (see image below), while also suggesting the most reliable forecast for the given time period for that site. For Android mobile phone or tablet the app is available on Google Play.
1. Ex Machina is active in the field of smart crop automation and smart city technologies (Internet of Things). In addition to weather forecasting, it generally deals with environmental monitoring (water quality, air pollutants, noise pollution, etc.). It is currently participating in the EGG Youth and Innovation Entrepreneurship Program. For more information visit its Website: http://exm.gr