AusRainAR

AusRainAR is an augmented reality rain radar visualisation and rain alarm app for Android phones

About

About AusRainAR

  • Augmented Reality display of Australian Rain Radars
  • Automatically detects your location and best radar – just launch the app and look around
  • Interactive Radar Maps
  • Animated display of previous radar images
  • Rain Distance Indicator
  • Customisable settings

AusRainAR is an Android phone and tablet app which shows you the current location of rain using Augmented Reality – that is, it takes the camera image from your phone, downloads the latest radar information from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and overlays the location of rain across the camera image. The phone’s location sensors are activated, so as you look around, the overlaid image also moves around, all in real time! Just point your camera in any direction – usually the direction where you want to know if it’s raining – and the sky will be painted with colours to indicate the intensity of the rain. On a rainy day, it looks something like this:

Screenshot_2015-01-03-17-23-12

AusRainAR rainy day example

Another cool feature of the app is that it will automatically detect your current location and find the nearest radar to you – so there’s nothing you need to do except start the app and it will do the rest. You can also use the Google Maps interface to view your current location, along with the available radars nation-wide.

AusRainAR Google Maps interface showing national radars available

AusRainAR Google Maps interface showing your location and direction, along with all the national radars available

You can click and drag your location to anywhere else on the map to see what the rain would look like from that vantage point. You can also click on the radar icons on the map to make that radar active. which allows you to override the automatically detected radar – great for places like South Australia where the Buckland Park radar is typically preferred to the Sellicks Hill radar. Not only will it make it the active radar for the augmentation display, but it will also show you the latest radar image on the map, where you can easily zoom and pan around the area.

AusRainAR map with radar image overlay

AusRainAR map with radar image overlay

The map display will also retain up to 10 radar images, meaning you can select multiple radars to display at once and build up a picture of a much broader area. Combined with the ability to pan and zoom freely around the map, this is a far easier, quicker and richer experience than most radar image viewers offer. All the images are cached locally, so you won’t be wasting your downloads every time you access them. This animated example below shows 5 radars being activated at once – the radar image headers have been intentionally left showing in this example, so it’s more obvious as radars are activated.

Animated map example

Animated map example showing multiple radars being selected

The augmented reality display also gives you the ability to cycle through previous radar images. You can control this by either pressing the play button, or by moving through the images using the slider. This way, not only can you see where the rain is now, but where it has come from and where it may be heading. A calculated distance is displayed in the centre of the augmentation display, so you know how far away the rain is.

Animated example of augmentation display show multiple sequential radar images

Animated example of isolated showers developing and moving across the sky

So that is AusRainAR – if this sounds like something that would be useful for you – and why wouldn’t it? Everyone wants to know if it’s going to rain! – then head on over to the Google Play Store where you can download AusRainAR augmented reality rain radar for your Android phone now.

 About the Developer

My name is David Parsons and I’m an independent developer with long history of programming experience – some say I was born with a keyboard in my hands – and this small app represents my first foray into the world of Android development. The idea and basic app initially came about from a project I did as part of a software engineering degree, however a lot of interest from people wanting to actually buy it (imagine that! I made something that works and is useful!) has led me to polish the app into a final product that everyone can use and benefit from. It’s also an opportunity for me to start to capitalise on my programming and app development endeavours. So if you have chosen to buy this app, I thank you, your contribution will encourage me to keep working on this app, as there are a few more ideas yet to be realised, while also trying to find other new and creative ways to make use of cool technology.

Of course – being an independent developer, I don’t have access to multitudes of devices to test on (actually all I have is a beat up Samsung Galaxy S4 with a cracked screen and friends’ devices to test on). However, I have gone out of my way to make sure that this app is compatible with as many devices as possible throughout the development. All I ask is that you let me know if it doesn’t work on your phone before rating it poorly or leaving a negative review – I will honestly try my best to address as many issues as possible.

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