[POST/WEBGL] 1: Skysheets

Michael Becker

The first project is something I’ve been meaning to make for a while.



It features some of my favorite elements of building with 1s and 0s, namely: 3d graphics and realtime data scraping/processing.

Skysheets uses the WeatherUnderground (free and publicly available) API to generate 4-day forecast based on a given zipcode, then utilizes the WebGL library Three.js to visualize each day’s weather on a “sheet”, which also contains more detailed information about that day’s conditions. You can scroll into the “future” and see what the rest of the week will bring.

One of the tools that proved indispensible was Squarefoot’s particle engine. It was so straightforward, fun and maleable that I may have gone overboard with particle-related fun. Hopefully GPUs won’t spontaneously burst into flames when processing it.


Of the difficulties I’ve encountered, most were on the coding side; I’m still struggling with questions of scope, separate file interoperability, and such. Theory notwithstanding (I’ve just finished an excellent course at Codefellows), it takes a lot of practice to get those concepts into your workflow and under your fingertips in actual production.


Fun parts: getting all kinds of data from the RESTful API (really straightforward), messing around with gorgeous snow particles, and whipping up an appropriately ambient track. Moving forward I’d like all my projects to have appropriately ambient music, forever and ever, amen.


Overall I’ve spent anywhere between 16 and 20 hours on this. It’s far from perfect but, in line with last week’s resolution, it’s now officially released. I’ll keep hacking away at it when I get a chance, but for now – onwards and upwards to week number 2!




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