Crowdsourced observations with FMI Weather Application

Our free Weather smart phone application FMI Weather allows users to make their own observations and follow weather observations reported by other users. This feature can be found from My observations section in the menu of the application. There is no need to register to send observations. Since the production version 2.3.0, users can register with their mobile number in the settings section. Registered users are allowed to send attached photos to FMI. Anonymous users' observations are sent to FMI but photos are not shown.Free Weather app works on Android and iOS devices.

You can report your observations on the following weather phenomena

  • Wind damage – did severe weather bring down trees?

  • Flood – has heavy rain cut the road off or is the cellar/basement full of water

  • Hail – how large were the hailstones you saw?

  • Tornado – was the vortex over land or water?

  • Fog – does fog disrupt boating and other activities?

  • Is there precipitation or not? – is there precipitation where you are right now?

  • Thunder and lightning – did you see lighting or hear thunder?

  • Water surface temperature – where do you find the best temperatures for swimming?

  • Weather induced road traffic disturbance – are weather conditions making it difficult to drive?

  • Snow depth - how much is there snow around you?

  • Ice thickness - how much is there ice on lake or sea?

  • Slippery pedestrian weather - is the sidewalk dangerously slippery?

  • Snow burden - is these significant snow burden on trees or power lines?

Each phenomena also includes additional information field that can be filled with free text. It is also possible to attach photos and share the observation to social media. It is recommended to use hashtag #omathavainnot (#myobservations in English). These shared photos are not collected automatically to FMI's system and they will stored to user's device. New since production version 2.3.0: those who sign in using their mobile number, can send photos directly to FMI and they are also shown to others users in the app. You can register by using your mobile number in Settings of the app. FMI may use the sent photos in web services such as our public website or in Twitter tweets. Each observation includes also observation time, place and location. Sent observations are shown up to one week for other users, your own observations are stored to the app as long as you delete them or reinstall the app.

Pilot project has ended - My observations continues as part of Weather App

Related pilot project ended the 31st October 2018. During the pilot project we had over 15 000 users who sent us about 50 000 observations between the 10th July 2017 and the 31st October 2018. FMI wanted to gather experience and feedback about how popular these crowdsourced observations are and is Weather app technically suitable for this purpose. Feedback has been positive and we have decided to continue the development. Therefore My observation sections continues as part of Weather app in the future.

New features are designed based on the tests and feedback received during the pilot project. Since summer 2019, the users can send photos with the app to FMI and other users can see them as well. Sending photos requires signing in with mobile number from Weather app's settings. Observations can still be send anonymously and mobile number is not shown the others. Individual device ID remains in use. New features will be always tested with Beta version of the app before they are taken in use to the production version. Users can participate to Beta with their Android devices via Google Play and iOS users can install  TestFlight so that they can download Beta version.

Participating does not to require registration

Using My observations does not require registration. Observations are collected anonymously, with help of randomly generated 8-digit device ID.

Note that by sending observation with FMI Weather App, you waive all rights according to CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. See also our privacy policy (only in Finnish) of My observation service.

Frequently asked about My observations

Which devices I can use with My observation and where can I load it?

My observation section is part of FMI Weather App. It works with Android devices which have Android version 5.0 or newer. With Apple's device the minimum required iOS version is 9.

Install FMI Weather's Android version from Google Play store

Install FMI Weather's iOS version from AppStore

How do I find My observations from Weather App?

You can enter My observation section in two ways. Either you can click the binoculars icons from top right corner of the main display or by using the main menu from top left corner.

Why have you picked these specific phenomena? Can I report something else as well?

Weather phenomena have been chosen with help of FMI's personnel of Weather and Safety Center and a few researchers who are interested in these. These chosen observation types support nearby forecasts and development of forecasting impacts of the weather. The only exception is precipitation observations. It was chosen among the phenomena so that we could see the full potential of crowsourced observations. Without it the pilot project may have not gathered enough observations. That way we get more experience about how the application works while reporting weather observations. Precipitation observations will not be left without use, they may be used while calibrating wind errors in our weather radars.

More weather phenomena may be added later to this service.

If you want to report other than weather phenomena, see more information about other crowsourcing related projects/services from www.kansalaishavainnot.fi (in Finnish only)

​What else is collected among the observations? What information is shown to other users?

You can find the related information from our privacy policy (only in Finnish). We collect randomly generated device ID, location, observations time, answered question of observed phenomenon and filled text form related to the observation. Users can also take photos and attach them to the observations. If the user has signed in from the settings of the application, the photos can be sent to FMI and shown the others. Otherwise the photos will be remained in the user's device only.

Other users can see the observed phenomenon and related answer, location and time information and addional text if it is filled. Also photos are shown, if the observer has signed in with his/her mobile number. Mobile number is not shown the others. Users can see other users observations from the past one week.

Can I send a photo or a videoclip with observations?

We added the possibility to add photos in summer 2018. Photos can be attached to the observations by taking photos while adding the observation and add them from device's gallery. The photos are not sent to FMI unless the user has sign in and has given permission for sending on each observation. If the user is anonymous, the photos remain in the device but they can shared to social media where we follow hashtag #omathavainnot (#myobservations in English). Mobile number registering was added in summer 2019 and it works if the application is version 2.3.0 or newer.

There is no support for video clips.

Can I report observations as combination such as rain and lightnings together?

Each observation type must be reported separately. Sending observation is designed so that it is easy as possible, meaning quick and straight forward approach. You can also add text to the addional textbox on each observation. There you can describe the situation in details.

What do you do with these observations?

These crowdsourced observations are followed in the Weather and Safety Center and they support forecasting of weather and development of impact data and its forecasting.

Registering is not compulsory but I still need to accept CC0 1.0 licence, why?

Observations data includes location information, text, photos etc. that creates copyrights. That is why the data cannot be copied and collected without permission to do so.

You can read more about CC0 1.0 licence from Creative Commons webste.

What is the device ID that the application uses? How it is created?

Device ID is randomly generoited 8-digit ID that you will get once you have saved your first observation. You see your device ID from "About the application" section after you have done your first observation. On that section, you can also see the version of the application.

Can I delete observations?

Yes, but you have to delete each observation separately. You can do that when you open one of your observations and click "Delete" from the top right corner of that view.

Application says that My observations section is not working and it does not open. Why is that?

There could be some related technical problems and the section could have been switched off. The feature will be switched back on as soon as the problems are solved. The other features and functions of the mobile app should work as this is a separated section in it.