Some example python code to fetch weather forecasts…

Need to get some weather information? The website has a nice web based service you can use up to one thousand times a day for free. I was thinking of using it for an automated sprinkler application, but just to test it, I wrote this simple chunk of python to try it out. To use it yourself, you’ll need to get your own API key and modify it to use your own latitude and longitude. It’s not that amazing, but you might find it of use.

#!/usr/bin/env python

#   __                        _   
#  / _|___ _ _ ___ __ __ _ __| |_ 
# |  _/ _ \ '_/ -_) _/ _` (_-<  _|
# |_| \___/_| \___\__\__,_/__/\__|
# A python program which used some publically available
# web apis to find out what the forecast will be.

# You'll need an API key below... you get 1000 requests per day for free.
# Go to and sign up.


# Your latitude and longitude belong here, I use SF for example
LAT= 37.7833

directions = ["N", "NNE", "ENE", "E", "ESE", "SSE", "S", "SSW", "WSW", "W", "WNW", "NNW"]

def bearing_to_direction(bearing):
    d = 360. / 12.
    return directions[int((bearing+d/2)/d)]
import sys
import os
import time
import optparse
import json

import urllib2

now = time.time()
cached = False

if os.path.exists("WEATHER.cache"):
    f = open("WEATHER.cache")
    parsed = json.loads(
    if now - parsed["currently"]["time"] < 900:
        cached = True

if cached:
    print "::: Using cached data..."
    print "::: Reloading cache..."
    req = urllib2.Request(URL+API+"/"+("%f,%f"%(LAT,LNG)))
    response = urllib2.urlopen(req)
    parsed = json.loads(
    f = open("WEATHER.cache", "w")
    f.write(json.dumps(parsed, indent=4, sort_keys=True))
    f.close() ;

c = parsed["currently"]
print ":::", time.strftime("%F %T", time.localtime(c["time"]))
print "::: Conditions:", c["summary"]
print "::: Temperature:", ("%.1f" % c["temperature"])+u"\u00B0"
print "::: Dew Point:", ("%.1f" % c["dewPoint"])+u"\u00B0"
print "::: Humidity:", ("%4.1f%%" % (c["humidity"]*100.))
print "::: Wind:", int(round(c["windSpeed"])), "mph", bearing_to_direction(c["windBearing"])

d = parsed["daily"]["data"][0]
print "::: High:", ("%.1f" % d["temperatureMax"])+u"\u00B0"
print "::: Low:", ("%.1f" % d["temperatureMin"])+u"\u00B0"

d = parsed["hourly"]["data"]

for x in d[:12]:
        print time.strftime("\t%H:%M", time.localtime(x["time"])), x["summary"], ("%.1f" % x["temperature"])+u"\u00B0"

Two more pictures from my foamcore 4×5 camera…

Here are two more photos I took at last night’s camera workshop. I wanted to take something slightly more beautiful than a selfie, so I chose the Luxo statue outside the Steve Jobs building at Pixar, and some white flowers from the garden. Both were taken rather late in the day, under partly cloudy skies using a 4 second exposure on some paper with an ASA value of around 4, and a 4 second exposure (timed by my accurately counting “Mississippis”). Both were shot at f/24. I scanned them using our copy machine at 600dpi, and then inverted them in gimp. I didn’t do any further processing on the Luxo. With the flowers, I adjusted the curve slightly to bring out some details in the darks between the flowers. I saved these versions as JPEGs, click on them to see them full resolution.



If you look to the upper right of the Luxo, you can see that there are some significant off-axis aberrations, as is also apparent in the background of the flowers. But the center of the field is remarkably sharp, considering. I’m rather pleased.