Launched! Storm Chaser Map When Mike Olbinski asked for some help with a WordPress plugin to display a map with his live GPS position on it, I knew I could do it. I also knew there was an opportunity for something bigger here. Enter! was created and developed by me with a lot of input from Mike on features. As more storm chasers start streaming their chase to YouTube, it’s becoming difficult for viewers to find new chasers to subscribe to. That’s where the idea of TornadoChannel came from. It is not a streaming platform but instead a centralized location for viewers to watch and chat. In the past, people looking on YouTube for live storm streams would have to bookmark individual channels of chasers. Now they can find them all on Tornado Channel.

It’s a great way for storm chasers to maintain their YouTube audience while also gaining new viewers through TornadoChannel’s interactive map.

The backend of the site is comprised of all custom PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, Python and Ruby to run Jekyll. A series of non-web facing scripts run on cron intervals to get data from YouTube API, Spotter Network API and NWS to update JSON files. Every browser that loads the site will get automatic background updates via jQuery and AJAX.

There’s still a lot more features I’m working on implementing, but today we announced it and it’s ready to subscribe to!

Subscribe to chaser notifications, or follow TorChannelTV on Twitter for notifications on when chasers go live!

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