WeatherBug Debuts HTML5 Mobile Lightning Widget for Developers at SXSW

WeatherBug’s Spark is the First Widget to Show Where the Nearest Lightning is So You Can Know BeforeTM 


SXSW in Austin, TX and Germantown, MD – March 8, 2013 – Just in time for severe weather season, WeatherBug is unveiling its new Spark™ HTML5 Mobile Lightning Widget for app developers at South by Southwest® (SXSW®), March 9-10 in Austin, Texas. Available at no cost to all mobile app developers and designed for easy and quick integration into existing apps, WeatherBug’s Spark Mobile Lightning Widget makes it possible for developers to offer additional and potentially life-saving features to mobile apps aimed at users who enjoy spending time outdoors.

Anytime people are outdoors, weather matters -- and keeping safe from lightning, which can strike more than 10 miles out from a storm, is critical. WeatherBug’s Spark HTML5 Mobile Lightning Widget is the only product and mobile developer tool that reports the nearest lightning strike, minute-by-minute and mile-by-mile, based on a user’s GPS location on their smartphone. The new widget is based on Spark, an exclusive feature coming soon to WeatherBug’s iPhone and Android apps. Spark is the only mobile tool that can detect both cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning and is made possible by WeatherBug’s unique and proprietary Total Lightning Network™ – the world’s largest network for detecting lightning in the clouds and strikes that hit the ground.

TapTools LLC is the first developer integrating the Spark HTML5 Mobile Lightning Widget. Taptool’s Trail Tracker GPS, a popular iPhone and iPad app designed for outdoor enthusiasts for tracking their entire trip whether biking, hiking, skiing, walking, running or even driving. Says TapTools’ Founder, Eric Mitchell, “Our users love to be out on the trail and on the road, and we’re integrating WeatherBug’s Spark Lightning Detection to give people peace of mind and an added measure of safety. With just a click within our app, they’ll know how far away lightning is from their location to help stay out of harm’s way."


Caption: WeatherBug’s Spark HTML5 Mobile Lightning Widget for developers reports the nearest lightning strike based on a phone’s GPS location. From left to right: Access Spark with one click (Shown here on TapTools’ Trail Tracker app); receive information on the nearest lightning strike; and view lightning strikes on the map.

“Until now, there has been no systematic way to get information on lightning detected near you,” says Amena Ali, Chief Marketing Officer, Earth Networks -WeatherBug. “We are thrilled to bring this innovative capability not only to our own apps, but also to mobile developers in the U.S. via our Spark Mobile Lightning Widget. Spark is a perfect fit for apps used by outdoor enthusiasts, including runners, cyclists and golfers, and even travelers. We’ve made our widget available for free and designed our Spark API to work seamlessly into existing apps on iOS and Android, so developers can give their on-the-go users this new and important feature and increase the value of their apps at the same time.”

Spark is an ad-supported service that is free to developers and partners. Developers can learn more and integrate Spark Lightning by registering at or emailing

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About Earth Networks - WeatherBug
For 20 years, Earth NetworksSM has been Taking the Pulse of the Planet with the world’s largest weather observation, lightning detection, and greenhouse gas monitoring networks. The company’s popular WeatherBug® website, desktop application and mobile apps for smartphones provide real-time neighborhood-level weather and advanced severe weather alerts to millions of consumers. Enterprise solutions from Earth Networks enable organizations and markets, including energy and utilities, agriculture, schools, sports and recreation, emergency operations and government entities, to safeguard lives, prepare for weather and climate events and improve business operations. Founded in 1993, Earth Networks ( is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with locations in Mountain View, Calif.; New York, NY; Milan, Italy and a local presence in 50 countries worldwide.



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