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Tracking Hurricane Sandy with Open Data and R

Hurricane Sandy is shaping up to be a major, and very dangerous, meteorological event for the US's East coast. Naturally, everyone is looking for the latest information and forecasts. Fortunately, the wealth of public meteorological data available on the open web, combined with real-time on-the-ground updates via social media, means that an ecosystem of on-line apps is now available providing all the up-to-date information you need. O'Reilly's Strata site has a good overview of the open-data Sandy-tracking apps available. For example, R user Bob Rudis has written an R script to grab up-to-date hurricane tracking data from Unisys Weather, and combine it with the forecast cone from Google's crisis map, to create the following combined picture of where Sandy's been, and where it's going: The forecast track shows Sandy heading north into Canada. It differers from the version on Bob's blog post because I ran the R script just now (at 16:38 PST) — that's the power of using live data! If you're anywhere near Sandy, stay informed and above all, stay safe. You can find information on how to keep safe at Ready.gov. rud.is: Watch Sandy in “R” (Including Forecast Cone)

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More Stories By David Smith

David Smith is Vice President of Marketing and Community at Revolution Analytics. He has a long history with the R and statistics communities. After graduating with a degree in Statistics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, he spent four years researching statistical methodology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, where he also developed a number of packages for the S-PLUS statistical modeling environment. He continued his association with S-PLUS at Insightful (now TIBCO Spotfire) overseeing the product management of S-PLUS and other statistical and data mining products.<

David smith is the co-author (with Bill Venables) of the popular tutorial manual, An Introduction to R, and one of the originating developers of the ESS: Emacs Speaks Statistics project. Today, he leads marketing for REvolution R, supports R communities worldwide, and is responsible for the Revolutions blog. Prior to joining Revolution Analytics, he served as vice president of product management at Zynchros, Inc. Follow him on twitter at @RevoDavid

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