back to article Pinging in the rain: Boffins track wet spots using phone masts

Dutch university boffins working with meteorological experts and, er, T-Mobile have mapped rainfall using records of radio attenuation, producing real-time maps as good as radar and a lot cheaper. Not that they tried real-time first: as the writeup in the National Academy of Sciences explains, the proof-of-concept uses …

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Very neat

A question would be how vague the operators are about stating the exact location of their masts and how much does that affect any derived weather modelling.

Note this would be for weather modelling and nowcasting rather than climate change.

Thumbs up for clever use of data to derive secondary information.

As to why it's never been done before I guess the operators never cared (it's a problem they can't do anything about other than re-site their masts) and the researchers who never asked, probably because they either didn't think the operators kept this sort of data or would not release it to them.

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Ok I knew I heard this before

Ignoring the fact the Beeb reported this 2 days ago...

Similar research from quite a few years back, although not quite the same.

http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060504/full/news060501-10.html

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Stop

Except that

not all of us read every article on the Beeb, so the Reg's rebroadcasting of it here means that I for one would never have known about this had they not done so.

Just because a news site doesn't print a story within 5 minutes of it breaking doesn't mean the story is no longer relevant.

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I'm happy to wait two days

for the puns.

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Happy

"Pinging in the rain" - love it.

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Make sharing data a part of the licence agreement

If they want to use microwave links, make them cough up statistics as part of the deal.

There, fixed.

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Re: Make sharing data a part of the licence agreement

Combine it with data from sky stb's (relative signal strengths from hour to hour) and you've got a hell of a lot more data points.

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Precision?

As most networks, includung T-mobile, have massive gaps in their networks how were they able to be so precise?

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Re: Precision?

Is "includung T-mobile" a comment on the sh!tty nature of the coverage?

More seriously, we could crowdsource the locations of the sodding EE masts. I have an app called Llama installed on my Android phone the purpose of which is to automate actions depending on where it finds itself in relation to cell towers, which it uniquely identifies, with the time it came within range. If enough people correlated their GPS positions with picking up/dropping certain cells we could locate the damn things well enough, I guess. Oh, wait, wasn't it something like this that got Aubrey, Berry and Campbell into hot water?

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