Increase web app zoom level where weather overlays are displayed
This is the maximum zoom level before the Windy web application switches to street maps. I find myself often squinting at this to figure out how my activities relate to predicted cloudcover and temperature gradients. The cropped image probably does not reproduce my subjective experience, because my screen is a high-DPI one. It's even more pronounced when applied against the (wonderful!) HRRR forecast availability, as it has such high resolution.
I have been working around this since, well, forever, by either moving the weather picker around when using the street map (for simple checks) or using the browser font-increase function (when I'm checking forecasts over time or evaluating a more complex interface), at a lower zoom level, but it's been annoying me and I'm not sure of what use street maps are at such a low zoom level.
Blessedly, this frustration is not replicated on mobile, where gradients stay active at much higher zooms.
In a related consideration regarding zoom levels, I do find when I type in the name of a favorite or feature in the Windy search that it loses my zoom level and zooms out way, way too far. Both issues seem to relate to a design with much lower zoom levels in mind.
What would be the benefit of increasing the zoom level? It would be like increasing the zoom level on a low resolution picture, showing large pixels. It would not allow to obtain more details of the photo.
Even with a high resolution weather model like HRRR, there is not much benefit to increasing the zoom level. Its resolution is 3 km, about 2 miles.
This is the dimension of the HRRR "pixel". Increasing the zoom level would just make the "pixel" bigger. It is may be not obvious because between the model grid points the values are smoothed by interpolation.
@idefix37 It's easier to orient on and move the weather picker around the map. It's disruptive to lose the gradient when looking at the most common view of the city of San Francisco, I have to focus a great deal on looking at the Bay Area a certain way. The reasoning you give cuts both ways, since there's little point in having street-by-street information about the weather and dragging the picker around.
Like, for what is a weather mapping application, what's the point of showing a street map without weather gradient here, so you can maintain your orientation about where the interfaces (e.g. in cloudcover) are in the model?
To show how this feels in the browser viewport, I have scaled these images so they can fit the forums.
Natural view where it's reasonable to want gradients maintained:
The highest zoom level I can use with gradients, and I must be very conscious at all times to never zoom:
@danfarina Hello, thank you for your input. The zoom level is connected with the resolution of weather models. There is not much benefit to increasing it since the resolution of models varies from 9km to 1.3km.
@korina The problem is the user interface: I'm stuck dragging the weather picker around a couple of inches on my screen, being very conscious at all times to not look at San Francisco the normal way. Weather resolution does still matter: this is less important for 13KM models where there's not much point looking at the north-east city or the south-west city beyond generalities.
Besides that, of what utility is the street map at that resolution? Doesn't seem to have much comparative advantage.
And finally: mobile gets it right, in terms of not squeezing my use into a tiny sliver of the screen. Are you saying you should make it a street map at this zoom level?
@danfarina Hello, the street map has informative character and is there for better orientation for the user.
@korina I suppose I simply disagree: it's disruptive to be aware to not zoom the map to look at San Francisco or even the Bay Area (of which Brentwood probably not a part) without losing track of what the contours of the weather forecasting model looks like and squeeze me into 8cm * 8cm of the screen.