If you’re reading this as a UK resident then we need not tell you about just how our roads are affected by even a couple of inches of snow, where entire cities grind to a halt and commuter systems go into literal and almost immediate meltdown. And every year it seems that our government debates just how it will avoid the situation again. Only for commuters and drivers to see and experience the same situation year in, year out.
However not all countries are like us, in fact, some positively embrace the most volatile of weather, going about their daily lives and continuing to travel to where they need to be. So here we take a look at three of these countries and explain just what developers may be able to take away from their examples.
- Russia – Always inhospitable winters, but yet the country continues to operate
Russia copes admirably with the pressures of winter. Roads are managed well and residents appreciate the challenges of the coldest of seasons, where they have the right equipment to continue about their everyday lives (perhaps most helpful of which are winter tyres to overcome otherwise challenging roads).
What app developers can learn from Russia: The primary reason that the UK is so bad at coping with snow is the costs involved, which may otherwise be accrued for an event that never happens, or a scene that is relatively snow free. This contrasts against Russia, which is a country that lives continually with a snowy winter season.
For this reason it may fall to UK residents to prepare for such events, even where the local government does not. And for this, there may be an app! Such an app may help those plan their journeys, and may feature maps that denote areas that haven’t been gritted. Other features may include the pulling together of efforts, where locals use their corner salt bins to ensure roads are gritted and then marked as so within the app interface.
- The US – Storms and hurricanes
Areas of the US are found within the mid-latitudes, which falls between the equator and the North Pole, as well as between two oceans. Because of this vast swathes of the US are subject to all sorts of extreme weather, most particularly suffering from violent storms and hurricanes on a far more frequent basis than other areas of the world.
What app developers can learn from the US: Residents within the US are pretty savvy when it comes to protecting themselves from the most extreme of elements, with the majority of homes within the most affected regions featuring protective basements.
A key technological tool that many an American utilises is the collection of Red Cross apps, which prepare those for emergencies. These apps are the perfect example of designing for real life emergency situations.
- Spain – Long, hot summers
Spain consistently sees long, hot summers where heat waves can last for weeks at a time. For this reason many Spanish properties have air conditioning as standard and, at the very least, are designed with thick walls, small windows and whitewashed exteriors to keep the property as cool as is possible. Couple this with siesta breaks from working during the hottest times of the day and you have a country that copes admirably with its hot climate.
What app developers can learn from the US: Whilst in the UK we are notorious for celebrating the coming of a heatwave, there is an inherently serious side to such hot weather. Namely this is the deaths that occur as a result. To put this into perspective, take it that the heatwave of July 2015 caused 447 deaths (The Standard 2015). And whilst app devs can’t arrange siestas off from work throughout the country, they can code up apps that provide for practical advice with coping with the heat. And with the right, reliable API this advice can be customised as according to the temperature, time of day and user metrics such as the person’s age.
The hard-core weather events around the world listed here demonstrate just how logistics and transport should be done, and from this may come many a developer idea for the next big thing within the app world; for which, we have the solid weather API to serve up the always up to date data upon which such solutions will be built.