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MyObservatory

 

Introduction

“MyObservatory” is a personalized weather service developed in-house by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) in early 2010. Making use of positioning software to estimate the user’s location, “MyObservatory” automatically displays the latest weather information from the weather station(s) closest to the user, including temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, wind direction, wind speed and webcam photo. Moreover, it also provides weather forecast and weather warning related information.

There are a number of versions of “MyObservatory”:
  • iPhone/iPad Version

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  • Android Version

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  • Windows Phone Version

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Visit Figures

The personalized weather service “MyObservatory” has been well received with high popularity.

Awards Received

“MyObservatory” won a Gold and a Silver award in two different categories respectively in the renowned Hong Kong Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Award 2011.
- Best Public Service Application (Small Scale project)
- Best Ubiquitous Networking (Mobile Infotainment)

The judging panel commented that “MyObservatory” really moves the government services from desktop computer to mobile devices for citizens who are on the move and sets up a good role model for other government or commercial services to follow.


Privacy Policy Statement  

The protection of privacy in relation to personal data is the concern of every member of staff in the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). We respect personal data and are committed to fully implementing and complying with the data protection principles and all relevant provisions of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.

iOS version
  1. The HKO will record usage data of the "MyObservatory" ("the app") without collecting any personal identifiable information from users. Such data are collected for the compilation of statistical reports, diagnosis of problems with or concerning computer systems, and carrying out of analysis and research to help improving the app and providing new services.
  2. To provide location-based weather service, the app would get user's location and present data that is most relevant to the user by retrieving information from servers of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). User's locations would not be transmitted out from the app (except for users who turn on Loc-based Rain & Lightning Forecast, Location-specific Heavy Rain service. Please see paragraph 5 below for details.).
  3. To allow user to gain access to HKO's Dial-A-Weather (DAW) service, the app would call the DAW hotline when user presses DAW link in the app. The app would not access any information in the address book of user's smartphone.
  4. To provide notification services, the app will save on HKO's data servers user's preferences on receiving such information through Push Notification. No personal identifiable information from users would, however, be saved.
  5. To provide Loc-based Rain & Lightning Forecast, Location-specific Heavy Rain service, the app will save on HKO's data servers user's location (only when the Loc-based Rain & Lightning Forecast, Location-specific Heavy Rain is turned on) and settings on receiving rain forecast through Push Notification. No personal identifiable information from users would, however, be saved.
  6. The app may use, with users' consent, camera lens and photos in the photo gallery of the smartphone in the "My Weather Report" feature, and save the photos taken by users on user's smartphone.
  7. The app supports sharing of information via third party service providers ("Share" function). If you use the "Share" function, please refer to the privacy policy of corresponding service providers.
  8. To enable better user experience, the app makes use of the YouTube Application Programming Interface (API) to provide direct links to latest video clips on various playlists of the Observatory's YouTube channel. Users should take note of the YouTube Terms of Service and Google Privacy & Terms before viewing weather video clips on YouTube through this app.
Android version
  1. The HKO will record usage data of the "MyObservatory" ("the app") without collecting any personal identifiable information from users. Such data are collected for the compilation of statistical reports, diagnosis of problems with or concerning computer systems, and carrying out of analysis and research to help improving the app and providing new services.
  2. To provide location-based weather service, the app would get user’s location and present data that is most relevant to the user by retrieving information from servers of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). User’s locations would not be transmitted out from the app (except for users who turn on Loc-based Rain & Lightning Forecast, Location-specific Heavy Rain service. Please see paragraph 5 below for details.).
  3. To allow user to gain access to HKO’s Dial-A-Weather (DAW) service, the app would enter the DAW hotline when user presses DAW link in the app. The app would not access to any information in the address book of user’s smartphone.
  4. To provide notification services, the app will save on HKO’s data servers user's preferences on receiving such information through Push Notification. No personal identifiable information from users would, however, be saved.
  5. To provide Loc-based Rain & Lightning Forecast, Location-specific Heavy Rain service, the app will save on HKO’s data servers user's location (only when the Loc-based Rain & Lightning Forecast, Location-specific Heavy Rain is turned on) and settings on receiving rain forecast through Push Notification. No personal identifiable information from users would, however, be saved.
  6. The app may use camera lens of the smartphone in the “My Weather Report” feature, and save the photos taken by users on user’s smartphone. The app would not access any information in photo album of the smartphone.
  7. The app supports sharing of information via third party service providers (“Share” function). If you use the “Share” function, please refer to the privacy policy of corresponding service providers.
  8. By selecting “Share Analytics”, statistical data collected through “Google Analytics” will be used for improving the app. User may have details in browsing this website. If you would like to change this setting, you may go to this App Settings -> “Global Settings” -> “Share Analytics”, and then enable / disable the sharing.
  9. Starting from version 4.12, the app provides a feature of adding WhatsApp Sticker to user's WhatsApp. The app would not access to any information in the address book of user’s WhatsApp.
  10. Starting from version 4.12, the app provides a feature of “Select Notification Sound”. The app may need to read the folders of default incoming ringtone, notification sound and alarm sound in order to provide custom notification sound feature; but, the app will not write nor amend the content of the folders.
  11. To enable better user experience, the app makes use of the YouTube Application Programming Interface (API) to provide direct links to latest video clips on various playlists of the Observatory's YouTube channel. Users should take note of the YouTube Terms of Service and Google Privacy & Terms before viewing weather video clips on YouTube through this app.
Universal Windows Platform version
  1. The HKO will record visits to the“MyObservatory”("the app") without collecting any personal identifiable information from users. Such general statistics are collected to compile statistical reports and diagnose problems with, or concerning, computer systems to help improve the app.
  2. To provide location-based weather service, the app would get user’s location and present data that is most relevant to the user by retrieving information from servers of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). User’s locations would not be transmitted out from the app.
  3. The app supports sharing of information via third party service providers ("Share" function). If you use the "Share" function, please refer to the privacy policy of corresponding service providers.
Windows Phone version
  1. The HKO will record visits to the “MyObservatory” ("the app") without collecting any personal identifiable information from users. Such general statistics are collected to compile statistical reports and diagnose problems with, or concerning, computer systems to help improve the app.
  2. To provide location-based weather service, the app would get user’s location and present data that is most relevant to the user by retrieving information from servers of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). User’s locations would not be transmitted out from the app.
  3. To allow user to gain access to HKO’s Dial-A-Weather (DAW) service, the app would call the DAW hotline when user presses DAW link in the app. The app would not access any information in the address book of user’s smartphone.
  4. To provide weather warnings, the app will save on HKO's data servers phone identity and user's preferences on receiving such information through Push Notification. No personal identifiable information from users would, however, be saved.
  5. The app supports sharing of information via third party service providers (“Share” function). If you use the “Share” function of the app, please refer to the privacy policy of corresponding service providers.
  6. The app may user camera lens of the smartphone in the "My Weather Report" feature, and save the photos taken by users on user's smartphone. The app would no access any information in photo album of the smartphone.

Frequently Asked Questions (iOS Version)



Question 1: How to receive weather warning notification in MyObservatory?
Answer 1: Please ensure you have included MyObservatory in the Notification Center under Settings -> Notifications. Then stop MyObservatory from running in the background and reopen MyObservatory again for enabling notification in the app’s setting.



Question 2:How to enable/configure warning notification in MyObservatory?
Answer 2:Go to “Settings” in MyObservatory -> Notification Setting -> enable the switch in “Weather Warnings and Related Notification Settings” -> Configure individual warning notification in “Select Message Type”.



Question 3:How to enable “Location-Specific Heavy Rain” notification in MyObservatory?
Answer 3:Go to “Settings” in MyObservatory -> Notification Setting -> enable the switch in “Location-Specific Heavy Rain”.



Question 4: Why the language used in the notification is different from the language used in MyObservatory?
Answer 4: Starting from this version 5.0, apart from setting your preferred language used in MyObservatory, you may also set preferred language used in the notification under System Settings -> Warning/Tips Notifications -> Notification Language


Question 5: MyObservatory appears operating unresponsively upon first startup.
Answer 5: Since MyObservatory has to download necessary configuration files in the first startup, please ensure your network connection is in good condition. When the configuration files are downloaded, MyObservatory would resume its responsiveness.

Question 6: After installation, MyObservatory would crash upon opening.
Answer 6: Please stop MyObservatory from running in the background first and make sure the network connection is in good condition, then reopen MyObservatory. If the problem persists, reinstall MyObservatory and open MyObservatory under good network condition.

Question 7: How to set automatic positioning in MyObservatory?
Answer 7: Please ensure you have allowed the location access for MyObservatory under Setting -> Privacy -> Location Services. After that, you may reopen MyObservatory for setting automatic positioning in the app’s setting.

Frequently Asked Questions (Android Version)

Notes to Mi and Redmi phone users:

If users cannot receive weather warning notification or update widgets on Xiaomi device, users can try to follow the tutorial on the following link to remove MyObservatory from the list of "Manage apps' battery usage"

Link


Question 1:How to enable/configure warning notification in MyObservatory?
Answer 1:Go to “App Settings” in MyObservatory -> Notification Settings -> enable the switch in “Notification Settings” -> Configure individual warning notification in “Select Message Types”.



Question 2:How to enable “Location-Specific Heavy Rain Information” notification in MyObservatory?
Answer 2:Go to “App Settings” in MyObservatory -> Notification Settings -> “Select Message Types” -> enable the switch in “Location-Specific Heavy Rain Information”.



Question 3:How to solve the issue of the alarm icon appearing on the status bar when using widgets?
Answer 3:Upgrade MyObservatory to version 4.7.2 (Some users may have to remove and reinstall the app).

Question 4:Why does a symbol of alarm clock appear on the status bar after I installed/upgraded MyObservatory to v4.7.1 ?
Answer 4:When MyObservatory widgets are used on devices with Android 6.0 or above, an alarm clock may appear in the status bar. This is because widgets of the MyObservatory make use of new scheduler tool on 6.0 to update weather information on a regular basis. The MyObservatory widgets will not change the settings in alarm clock or affect the operation of the alarm clock.



Question 5:Why I can’t drag the Widget to the desktop after updating "MyObservatory" ?
Answer 5:After you have updated/reinstalled "MyObservatory", you must open "MyObservatory" at least once in order to drag out the Widget to the desktop.

Question 6:Why the message "Problem Loading Widget" appears after updating "MyObservatory"?
Answer 6:It is possible that the launcher have cached the old version Widget. You may reinstall "MyObservatory" to solve this issue.

Question 7:How to ensure the Widget functioning properly?
Answer 7:
  1. To ensure the normal operation of the widget, please do not install "MyObservatory" on the SD card.
  2. If you have installed a task manager, please make sure "MyObservatory" has been excluded and will not be terminated.
  3. Change of launcher grid sizes, resolution and firmware may affect the performance of widgets.

Question 8:How to change the update frequency of the widget?
Answer 8:You may select the update frequency in Settings -> Widget Settings -> Update Frequency. After selected the suitable frequency, press "OK" to confirm.



Question 9:How to change the language used in the Widget?
Answer 9:You may change the used language in Settings -> Language. After selected the suitable language, please refresh the Widget to active the language setting. (Please note: the language used in date format follows the OS language setting)



Question 10:How to change the forecast relative humidity to temperature in the Widget (or forecast temperature to relative humidity)?
Answer 10:To toggle between forecast relative humidity and temperature, just tap the area inside the red square as shown below.



Question 11:How to activate/remove "Instant Weather"?
Answer 11:If you want to activate "Instant Weather", you may go to Settings -> "Instant Weather" -> select "Temperature" or "Weather icon". If you want to remove "Instant Weather", you may go to Settings -> "Instant Weather" -> select "Disable".



Question 12:How to configure Shortcuts on the homepage?
Answer 12:Please refer to the following guide:
http://pda.weather.gov.hk/locspc/android_data/android_user_guide.htm

Question 13:Why my location shows "Hong Kong Observatory" even if I activate location service in "MyObservatory"?
Answer 13:If any of the below happens, "MyObservatory" will set your location to be "Hong Kong Observatory":
  1. you are located outside Hong Kong;
  2. system failed to locate your position;
  3. when the nearest weather station cannot provide data due to maintenance

Question 14:How can I change the terrain setting in “Radar Images”?
Answer 14:You may go to App Settings -> “Radar Images” -> On/Off.
Please note: You may turn off showing terrain to reduce data usage if in need.

Question 15:Why the background weather photo has been changed to a building?
Answer 15:Under normal circumstance, "MyObservatory" will use the latest weather photo based on your location as the background photo; however, if the weather photo station cannot provide weather photo due to maintenance, "MyObservatory" will use a designated photo (day-time: "Hong Kong Observatory Headquarters", night-time: Victoria Harbour) as the background photo instead.

Question 16:How to add weather stations to the homepage?
Answer 16:You may press the "+" button located on the right-top corner on the homepage. After selected your favourite station, press back button ("<-").



Question 17:How to remove or sort the weather stations on the homepage?
Answer 17:You may first enter the edit mode by pressing the "+" button on the right-top corner of the homepage and then "". In the edit mode, press "x" to remove the station or sort the ordering of the stations by long pressing the button to the right of the station name.



Question 18:How to display the "Automatic Forecast" only on the homepage?
Answer 18:You may check the box of "Display Automatic Forecast" only in Homepage Settings.



Question 19:Why does “MyObservatory” need users to grant different permissions?
Answer 19:“MyObservatory” needs users to grant the following different permissions:
  • Location service permission (to provide location specific weather service)
  • Storage permission


Frequently Asked Questions (Windows Phone Version)

Notes to Windows Phone 10 users:
Currently, not all functions of the “MyObservatory” (Version 1.4) is supported by the Windows 10 platform. Users cannot receive weather warning notifications on Windows Phone 10.


Question 1: Why I cannot turn on the "Notification" in the Settings to receive weather warning notification?
Answer 1: You must first turn on the notifications services in the telephone Settings, For details, please refer to "How to Enable?" section under Settings.

Question 2: How to customize the weather warnings notification that I received?
Answer 2: Select "Select Warnings" under Settings and you can then customize the weather warnings notification received.



Question 3: How to add/remove "Weather Video" icon in the main screen?
Answer 3: You can add/remove the icon in the "Weather Video" menu under Settings.

Contact Us 

If you have any suggestions about “MyObservatory” weather services, please feel free to contact us.

Android Users: hkoappandroid@hko.gov.hk

iOS Users: hkoappios@hko.gov.hk

Windows Users: hkoappwindows@hko.gov.hk