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  1. #1
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    New CAIC website

    The CAIC's old website was one of the worst on the internetz, it's about time they made some changes. It was practically unusable on a phone.

    Now that they're doing daily forecasts with the new website, what do you think of the new format?

  2. #2
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    It's still unusable on a phone, maybe even worse. That said apparently a new app is coming soon.

    I like the idea of dynamic forecast zones on paper, we'll see how it works out in practice. Grouping/ungrouping zones based on current conditions makes a lot more sense to me than having strict geographic lines, but I can see it having the potential to be a bit confusing for some people. Basing the navigation around "click the place where you are planning to go" also makes sense and hopefully helps combat that potential confusion, though. I think it's a step in the right direction!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    It's still unusable on a phone, maybe even worse. That said apparently a new app is coming soon.

    I like the idea of dynamic forecast zones on paper, we'll see how it works out in practice. Grouping/ungrouping zones based on current conditions makes a lot more sense to me than having strict geographic lines, but I can see it having the potential to be a bit confusing for some people. Basing the navigation around "click the place where you are planning to go" also makes sense and hopefully helps combat that potential confusion, though. I think it's a step in the right direction!
    Are you talking about the map view using safari? There's an interaction bug on safari mobile that is in the queue to be fixed.

    If you're talking about filling out field reports/observations or viewing them on mobile -- iframed from the old site currently so hopefully not a major regression. The new observation/field reports platform that will be mobile responsive should be ready in the next couple of weeks. Getting the forecaster workflow dialed is important for internal operations before release.

    Re:dynamic zones. The Swiss have been doing it for a while now (although they have higher data density than CAIC). Avalanche Canada is introducing the same this year. (AvCan, CAIC, and Park Canada worked together to build the backend forecasting application that makes dynamic zones possible.)

    Feel free to leave any feedback here, PM me, or email CAIC.
    Last edited by doebedoe; 11-04-2022 at 06:44 PM.

  4. #4
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    ^ see, this is why I love this place. I was wondering if other places have done dynamic zones, and now I know. Will be interesting to see how it works this season.

    November 3rd and the San Juans are considerable, imagine that!

  5. #5
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    Chrome on a Google Pixel. Talking about the main map page when you click on the forecast. Mostly the danger rating section (and associated graphics) needs to be re-scaled so that you can actually see it without having to scroll in multiple directions. I'd also prefer if the map disappeared completely once you click for the forecast, it takes up too much screen real estate and is no longer useful once I'm looking at the forecast.

    Not a big deal for me as 99% of the time I prefer to pull the forecast on a PC anyway.

    Also, didn't realize you were helping out CAIC, stoked we have a man on the inside!

  6. #6
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    Good feedback thanks @adrenelated.

    Leaving the map up in mobile view is something there's been a lot of discussions about. The rationale (right or wrong) is that because the zones are dynamic, it is important for users to have the spatial context of that forecast (i.e. is it a huge region, small, are they on the edge of it, etc).
    Last edited by doebedoe; 11-04-2022 at 06:45 PM.

  7. #7
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    Just looked to see what changed. Looks like they broke Wolf creek out from the la platas and the rest of the south San Juan. I preferred the old zone.
    off your knees Louie

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    Just looked to see what changed. Looks like they broke Wolf creek out from the la platas and the rest of the south San Juan. I preferred the old zone.
    https://avalanche.state.co.us/blog/CAICsnewlook

    Forecast zones are now dynamic.

  9. #9
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    It's a lot of information to be displayed on a small screen, I get it!
    That rationale makes sense. I'm probably going to get the terminology incorrect but can the size of the "panel" that displays the map have even more size adjustability by the user? You can already drag it up and down, can you make it drag further to completely hide it? What about making the header at the top (logo, menu, date search) disappear as you scroll down/drag the forecast up? I also have some blank dead space at the bottom (below the scrolling pane with the text forecast, avalanche problems, etc but above the news links) taking up screen space that could go away. Just throwing ideas out.

    The way that the San Juan and Sangre went from a single combined zone yesterday, to four zones with four different forecasts today is dope. Well done.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    https://avalanche.state.co.us/blog/CAICsnewlook

    Forecast zones are now dynamic.
    If you scroll back using the date selector it'll give you a sense of how zones may evolve over time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    It's a lot of information to be displayed on a small screen, I get it!
    That rationale makes sense. I'm probably going to get the terminology incorrect but can the size of the "panel" that displays the map have even more size adjustability by the user? You can already drag it up and down, can you make it drag further to completely hide it? What about making the header at the top (logo, menu, date search) disappear as you scroll down/drag the forecast up? I also have some blank dead space at the bottom (below the scrolling pane with the text forecast, avalanche problems, etc but above the news links) taking up screen space that could go away. Just throwing ideas out.

    The way that the San Juan and Sangre went from a single combined zone yesterday, to four zones with four different forecasts today is dope. Well done.
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    All good ideas/feedback Lots of other stuff CAIC is trying to get in the queue too -- like an observation & accidents version of the avalanche explorer.
    Last edited by doebedoe; 11-04-2022 at 06:45 PM.

  12. #12
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    Glad I started this thread, especially with doebedoe on the inside.

    I'm with adrenelated on the map thing- it takes up too much space. Even on the laptop, I want it smaller, or even gone completely on a phone.

    Really happy that the forecasts are supposed to get out on a better schedule. The forecast discussions often didn't come out until 9am last year, which I thought was pretty useless. I think it works a lot better on a phone now (samsung/chrome), I don't have to scroll back and forth to read.

    I have other thoughts that I'll hold onto for now.

  13. #13
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    Lots to take in on the new website. Spent all morning checking it out with 10" of fresh on my deck and ski plans for tomorrow to consider.

    The dynamic zone just make way to much sense for complicated places like the San Juans and Gunnison Valley. Conditions on the north side of RMP rarely matched those on Coal Bank. I did not envy the forecasters trying to write the discussion on complicated days like today. It is going to take some time to get used too but playing around with it today makes it seem easy enough.

    I do miss the direct link to the weather stations on the main page and the mobile website is not as intuitive as I would hope. There is just so much information to put on a 6 inch screen. I agreee with others that the map takes up a lot of room on the screen. I don't mind it on my laptop, but on mobile it is a bit intrusive.

  14. #14
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    Just spent some more time playing around on the site and reading the blog post I linked above.

    I'll jump into the pile of comments on the mobile site, it's hard to read/navigate on an iphone, the map just takes up too much space when trying to read the forecast, a view where you can totally hide the map would be an improvement IMO.

    I almost exclusively look at the forecast on my phone, FWIW.

    The more I think about the dynamic zones, the more it makes sense to me for complicated zones as ASmileyFace noted. Big fan of the afternoon timing for a planning standpoint too. I'm usually an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy, and I almost always make a plan the night before. Changing my plan based on the morning obs is my normal MO, but this should help a lot.

  15. #15
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    I opened this in my laptop. So you click on a spot in a forecast area. Each time I click on another spot in that zone I get the same forecast. I get that right now that maybe true .Is that going to change as conditions change or are more zones just being added. Is this supposed to be the Windy of avalanche forecasts?
    off your knees Louie

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    I opened this in my laptop. So you click on a spot in a forecast area. Each time I click on another spot in that zone I get the same forecast. I get that right now that maybe true .Is that going to change as conditions change or are more zones just being added. Is this supposed to be the Windy of avalanche forecasts?
    The forecasts are still regional in nature -- CAIC is not generating point forecasts. Anywhere you click in the zone you'll get the same forecast. The only thing that will change is where the pin is dropped in the map and the lat/long in the URL.

    If you ski that spot a lot, you can bookmark it. Every time you come back it'll give you the current forecast for that zone -- even if that is part of a zone that looks very different due to changing conditions.
    Last edited by doebedoe; 11-04-2022 at 06:45 PM.

  17. #17
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    I want an email subscription option! Forecasts to my inbox please!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cravenmorhead View Post
    I want an email subscription option! Forecasts to my inbox please!
    Customizable point forecast emails would be pretty legit.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the clarification. So the zone boundaries will change to reflect the dynamic conditions. Will be interesting to see how acurately this can be done.
    off your knees Louie

  20. #20
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    Avalanche Canada is doing the same thing with it's forecast regions. You can get a preview here: https://sneakpeek.avalanche.ca/en/map

    Compare that to the old map: https://avalanche.ca/en/map

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    Customizable point forecast emails would be pretty legit.
    Quote Originally Posted by cravenmorhead View Post
    I want an email subscription option! Forecasts to my inbox please!

    That's the rub. It's not as simple as managing 10 email lists (one per zone) anymore. CAIC has to build the ability for users to subscribe to a point and get an email product for that point including a map of the forecast zone updated daily.

    It's a feature CAIC is thinking on but it is a can of worms to do well.

  22. #22
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    Yeah, I imagine that would be a complex system to build. I'm just saying it would be really cool.

  23. #23
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    Yeah, I mean, I'm not a tech guy, so I don't know what it would take on the backend. But if I click through to the bookmark that I have for a (new) point avalanche forecast, the website pulls together that data for me to see. If something could automate that pull at, say, 5pm and email it to me, that'd be rad.

  24. #24
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    I was just looking at the weather stations on my phone. I can not get it to scroll down past Gunnison. Maybe I am doing something wrong or is this a glitch? Anyway Wolf Creek closing in on 2 inches of water. Not a bad start
    off your knees Louie

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    That's the rub. It's not as simple as managing 10 email lists (one per zone) anymore. CAIC has to build the ability for users to subscribe to a point and get an email product for that point including a map of the forecast zone updated daily.

    It's a feature CAIC is thinking on but it is a can of worms to do well.
    I don't see the point of email subscriptions. If you're heading out, you should spend some time on your laptop to look at the situation more closely.

    Maybe I'm just an old fart, who likes big screens with easy navigation.

    Email seems like a regression to the old days (in terms of detail) when you dialed up for a recorded announcement.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

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