Yandex Introduces Hyperlocal Weather Forecasting Service Based on Machine Learning Technology
Internet, November 26, 2015. Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX), one of the largest European internet companies and the leading search provider in Russia, has launched a service offering hyperlocal weather information based on its proprietary weather forecasting technology, Meteum. Powered by machine learning, it gives accurate forecasts for areas as local as specific parts of a city or even individual buildings.
“Predicting the weather has never been easy,” said the head of Yandex’s weather forecasting technology, Dmitry Solomentsev. “Contemporary weather models are exceptionally complex – they take into account a very large number of factors, involve hundreds of thousands of lines of code, and require the power of massive supercomputers. But, even then mistakes are possible. Machine learning has interesting prospects in meteorology, and our new Meteum technology and the Yandex.Weather service are aimed at giving people accurate weather information exactly when and where they want it.”
To calculate the weather forecast, Yandex’s new technology uses data from meteorological stations, as well as from other sources indirectly indicating the situation – about 9 terabytes of information every day. Traditional meteorology models are used to process the initial data, and then the intermediate results are processed using Yandex’s machine learning technology MatrixNet. This combined approach eliminates the need to factor in the laws of nature for each new forecast and concentrates the capabilities of machine learning on refining existing models and localizing the forecast. To increase precision, Meteum constantly compares its forecast with actual weather conditions – more than 140,000 times a day.
Yandex.Weather calculates a new forecast every time a user consults the service. It determines a person’s position – down to their current geographic coordinates – and shows a fresh forecast for precisely that location. The user can choose a different place or time for the forecast – to see what the weather will be like around the office in an hour, or if it might rain in the evening if they go out of town after work. Inaccurate forecasts can be reported right from the app to help improve accuracy in the future.
The new Yandex.Weather service currently offers hyperlocal weather forecasts for people living in 36 regions of Russia and is available on desktop, as well as an app for iOS and an update for the Android version. The service’s geographic spread is set to expand in the future. More information about Meteum can be found on Yandex’s blog.
Vladimir Isaev, Ochir Mandzhikov
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