THE PROJECT

Help scientists recover worldwide weather observations made by Royal Navy ships around the time of World War I. These transcriptions will contribute to climate model projections and improve a database of weather extremes. Historians will use your work to track past ship movements and the stories of the people on board.

What we made:

  • Interaction and visual design
  • Front-end development
OldWeather
OldWeather OldWeather
  • THE CHALLENGE

    The main aim of our work at the Old Weather project was to design a system able to engage users on the digitization job. The system should be easy to use, playful and enjoyable. Our future climate depends on it!

  • THE SOLUTION

    Old Weather design was oriented as a collaborative game, where each user earns points when digitizing. The collected points accumulate on the user profile, so he promotes from “cadet” to “captain” and so on. Who can resist to become the captain of an old vessel?

  • THE RESULTS

    A great example of crowdsourcing and “game with a purpose” model: an engaging game that supports an important scientific research.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • OldWeather

    Vessel travel visualization

    As the logbook digitalization progress, latitude and longitude information gets incorporated. With this information the ship route can be traced on a map.

  • OldWeather

    Digitization support

    The process of logbooks digitization is supported by a carefully designed system guiding the user at each task.

  • OldWeather

    User rankings

    Each time a user participates in the digitization of a logbook, he promotes as ship crew. The more he digitize, the higher his rank will be.

OLDWEATHER ON THE MEDIA

  • BBC

    “A new project aims to use old Royal Navy logbooks to help build a more accurate picture of how our climate has changed. [...] By getting an army of online human volunteers to retrace these voyages we can re-live both the climate of the past and key moments in naval history.”

    Read the complete article

  • Washington Post

    “A bunch of British scientists needs help digitizing the weather information from World War I Royal Navy logbooks, and they’re asking anyone with a few spare minutes to help.[...] The goal of Old Weather is to make century-old weather data available to researchers.”

    Read the complete article

  • The Economist

    “Old Weather thus manages to combine crowdsourced citizen science with climate research, naval history, a sense of narrative and vigorous competition between the crews of different virtual ships. That's a pretty impressive combination. Jump aboard!”

    Read the complete article

  • New York Times

    "That's the amazing thing about imaging these logs [...] We're getting the weather stuff out of them, but they're going to be great sources for historians, genealogists, biologists.”

    Read the complete article

  • Wired

    “The writing in these logs ranges from scribe-quality copperplate to slapdash and scruffy, and computers make too many errors to be useful for transcribing them. But human eyes and brains are good at interpreting written words.”

    Read the complete article

  • Discovery News

    “Historical weather data is vital because it allows us to test our models of the Earth's climate. If we can correctly account for what the weather was doing in the past, then we can have more confidence in our predictions of the future."”

    Read the complete article

We take enjoyment in being a small and productive company that delivers great user experiences for stories that matter

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