Map shows when it’s actually supposed to snow in your neighborhood

Much of the northeastern United States received the first snow of 2018 in mid-November – but not many were happy about it. The problem was not that the winter blizzard caught unsuspecting residents by surprise, but that it disrupted travel, littered the roads with motor accidents, and left more than 300,000 without power.

But, was mid-November really too early for snow? There’s an easy way to find out. The nation’s official climate record keepers have come up with a handy, interactive map that ballparks the first day of snow for the entire United States, down to the zip code level. The map draws on historical climate data to determine when exactly the chances of your first date with snow would rise to at least 50%. The dataset is based on climate patterns from 1981-2010 – the same one your local weatherperson uses to tell you the ‘normal high’ of the day.

The good folks at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), Climate Program Office (CPO), climate.gov, and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information joined forces to make this map possible. Check it out its interactive version here.

You will notice how the highest elevation areas like the Rockies have an almost year-round snow threat, while Hawaii has many regions where it snows so infrequently that no date could be listed? Naturally, latitude and altitude play a clear role in governing the average day of your first snow. Also, pay attention to the line stretching roughly from the Texas panhandle to Chicago. The earlier dates plunge farther southward in the plains because the coldest air accompanied by winter storms often barrels down the high plains.

Another interesting observation can be found near the southern shores of the Great Lakes. This region encounters winter precipitation rather early because the northerly winds of autumn pick up a lot of moisture from the still-relatively-warm lakes. Now, did your annual first date with snow go as expected this year?

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Top 100 Geospatial companies from 2016 – Where are they now? Part 2/3

In the previous blog post, I listed the 26 companies including DigitalGlobe and HERE Technologies that were acquired by other companies since the original Top 100 Geospatial Companies was published in 2016 (Top 100 Geospatial Companies from 2016 – Where are they now? Part 1/2).

In the second part, I wanted to focus on the companies that have shut shop since then or seem to have closed down.

  1. Mapzen: This was a real shocker! Mapzen announced that it is shutting down in January this year (2018) without giving any specific reasons but thanks to their focus on open-source right from their inception, all their work is still available. On a side note, Randy Meech, former CEO of Mapzen has since started a new company StreetCred which is IMHO a company to keep an eye on! (Related: Meet StreetCred – the startup that is on a mission to create an accessible database of places people care about! #TheNextGeo).
  2. Beacify: The Location-based services company started in 2013 has since been closed according to CrunchBase.
  3. Magellan: Although their CrunchBase page still lists them as active, their website is dead and their twitter handle also seems to be inactive.
  4. Mapjam: Mapjam is another company that is listed as active on CrunchBase but their website doesn’t work and LinkedIn page is inactive.
  5. NotifyNearMe: Their website redirects to another page, which also doesn’t open.
  6. WayTag: The South-African company founded in 2009 was working on helping people find addresses using a single word well before What3Words came into the picture. Looks like they have closed down in 2014.
  7. Pozzey: No information is available on CrunchBase about this company. Their domain is up for sale and their twitter account hasn’t been active in the past 38months…

Read on