This week, I worked on the software side of the Lightning Globe. The goal is to find out if the project is feasible and how would I go approaching it.
First, I tracked down the source of the lightning data. Since Lightning Map, does not offer any Application Programming Interface (API), that I could connect to, I had to find a different source. I stumbled upon the WWLLN (World Wide Lightning Location Network), which Lightning Map used data from.
After a bit more digging I came upon the JSON data that the website is using: http://wwlln.net/new/map/data/current.json. The data is a collection of the most recent 5000 lightning strikes, along with latitudes, longitudes, and timestamp. A quick calculation shows that on average this file alone could provide 13 minutes of lightning data!
With everything put together, the code outputs a 17×17 matrix, with “-” for no lightnings, and “X” for lightning strikes.
Next I will try to translate software data into flashing lights!