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High resolution, low bandwidth model data viewer

I'm writing a high resolution, low bandwidth model data viewer. It's
completely free, no strings, plenty of maps to use, and GIS-Driven.

Sound good? Great... tell me what you want it to do then.
Go to http://www.aprweather.com/phpBB/ and post under the F5Viewer
category with your feature requests.

What's the catch? No catch. I will provide all the basic maps you see on
web sites today for free, but the advantage as you get to use a very expensive GIS mapping component to view the data. That means zooming down to county levels, setting color gradients, setting thresholds (only show CAPE > 1000 for example), zoom in on a roaming sounding and modify it, overlay several maps, etc. Maybe even overlay crude radar and satellite (nothing like what GRLevelX does.. I don't want to attempt to compete with that bad boy). This is intended to be a model data viewer (and current conditions too I suppose).

Why would I spend thousands on a GIS mapping component? Why set up a server to process model data, customize the output so files are low bandwidth files that you can view easily? Why all for free?

Because my *hope* is that some of you will see the benefit of the software and add on a subscription to add another 110+ maps. No catch, you can use it for free forever, don't add on the extra maps if you don't want to, and have some killer software for using when forecasting chase targets, or finding where the rain/snow line is. :)

So... with all that out on the table, help me design it. Go to the URL above
and post your suggestions on how the software should work.

More info on F5Viewer can be found on the web site:
What an awesome idea! I cant wait to try it out...this would be my dream software. Most models sites don't show very high resolution images for southern California.
I expect to have the first version available for download by March 12.

Progress on the back-end services are coming along nicely. I'll spend the next week working on the interaction with the data in the interface, and then we can start getting user feedback from the Alpha release.
Not really. I've been focusing my time on the back end code up to this point and haven't really designed the interface yet. I did put up some generic captures of the GIS component's abilities to add layers, color fill counties (AKA warnings/watches), etc.

You can view those generic images by going to:

scroll down to F5Viewer News and go into the Screen Shots thread.

The real design of it has to be pictured in your head right now... I expect to have it have/look like this:

- Main tab has mapping window and a set of check boxes that turns on/off layers of maps that are in your 'favorites' list. You go into settings to select from about 150 map types and choose which ones you want in your quick favorites list (which displays next to the map for easy toggling of those layers).

- The maps themselves will download pre-processed contour coordinates of lines of equal value. This makes your download of national model data extremely fast because it's a small text file of coordinates that the software renders.

- The software then will either display the lines as plain lines or color shade the area between the lines based on your settings. You can set transparency levels so you can overlay a couple maps on top of each other and easily see where a couple parameters overlap, etc.

More detail can be found at http://www.f5viewer.com or you can continue asking questions. :)
If this really does all that you claim, then I have no doubt this application will be a staple application for chasers, especially those using a cell-phone connection in the field. So far, the features you mention are already implemented in Unidata IDV, yet IDV is far too slow and unstable to use in the field; F5Viewer sounds like a great solution.

Please keep us updated! Is the March 12 deadline still accurate?
That's still my goal, yes.

I've used IDV, and like you said it's got some issues although very powerful if you can get it to work. I tried installing it on a couple windows machines and both failed. I did finally get it to install on a machine but the interface was less than intuitive.