Vaisala announced the winner of its Open Weather Data Challenge

HELSINKI, 04-Apr-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — RainMiner Wins Vaisala Open Weather Data Challenge

Vaisala launched the Open Weather Data Challenge at Slush 2015 in Helsinki, Finland last November. The competition challenged software and weather enthusiasts to leverage open weather data in innovative ways and received 23 submissions from around the world.

The Open Weather Data Challenge had three criteria for submissions. First, the idea or concept had to be novel and different, demonstrating originality and uniqueness, with a focus on innovation. Second, the judges were also looking at potential for impact, specifically how novel weather observations can lead to a better world. Finally, the key to any innovation is its ability to be realized. This meant that the submission had to be feasible, allowing it to make the impact it is looking to achieve.

RainMiner Wins Against Tough Competition

With a total of 23 original and exciting submissions received, the RainMiner concept by Mounir Ennenbach and Paulina Concha of Columbia University in New York, U.S.A. emerged as the winner of the Open Weather Data Challenge.

The RainMiner is a planning tool aimed at helping shift from centralized water distribution systems to more localized, decentralized networks. The concept leverages precipitation datasets (open weather data), cleans data so that information is more representative, and generates water supply rate information.

According to Paulina Concha “Our goal was to create a rainwater harvesting (RWH) sizing tool using open weather data to measure regional reliability based on precipitation, rooftop area, and population. Our solution arose out of a need to shift centralized water distribution systems to a more localized, decentralized network. Globally, water disruptions due to intermittent supply and mismanagement of water resources can also be alleviated through implementation of RWH techniques.”

RainMiner looks at rainwater harvesting,“from an individualized household standpoint and water resource perspective, innovating on existing tools that consider local systems. Our tool will help city planners and individuals make decisions about installing rainwater harvesting systems. Another major innovation was developing a novel deconvolution mechanism for gridded precipitation that reduced error to within 10% in most cases. The deconvolution algorithm was developed using actual weather station data in a trial-and-error process to make sure that it reflected conditions on the ground. Use of regional, gridded data allows for the unprecedented, wide-scale implementation of RWH technologies by making it more widely available”, said Mounir Ennenbach.

According to Dr. Kevin Petty, Vaisala Chief Science Officer and Head of Technology, “Vaisala’s Open Weather Data Challenge was designed to encourage individuals and groups to explore the use of open weather data in solving some of the issues facing society. The Challenge demonstrates the fact that by leverging the  power of community and open weather data novel and feasible concepts, with the potential for true impact, are increasingly possible.  RainMiner is a forward-leaning concept that clearly meets the criteria outlined in the Challenge and addresses a very important and critical societal issue, water availability. Moreover, it delivers on Vaisala’s belief in observations for a better world.”

Learn more about RainMiner at:

For more information, please contact:
Ilkka Mannonen, Head of Weather Offering
Phone: +358 9 8949 2405

About Vaisala

Vaisala is a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement. Building on 80 years of experience, Vaisala contributes to a better quality of life by providing a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services for chosen weather-related and industrial markets. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs approximately 1600 professionals worldwide and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange.


Vaisala announced the winner of its Open Weather Data Challenge

Vaisala announced the winner of its Open Weather Data Challenge


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