A Better Cyclone Center

Cyclone Center has recorded over 210,000 classifications from citizen scientists around the world since its launch in September 2012.  But we’re not resting on our laurels; the site has undergone significant changes that we think will make your experience classifying storms even  more rewarding. Highlights of the new site include:

1. Targeted storm choices.  Choose your favorite storm to classify from a list of four storms that we’d like you to focus on.  These storms will change frequently as you help us complete each one.  Featured in the early sets of storms will be at least one storm from the historic 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, including Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.  Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, click the “Classify a random storm” button and get a mystery storm!

New selection menu for Cyclone Center

New selection menu for Cyclone Center

2. Inline classification guidance.  Gone are the days of clicking on question marks to get help.  For each step in the process, you will be shown information on how to best answer the question.  Even though you have been doing great, we think this will give you more confidence in what you are doing and hopefully inspire you to do more!

3. Improved tutorial.  Haven’t classified in a few weeks?  Now you can access our improved tutorial at any time for a refresher.

4. More questions to answer.  For each storm, go beyond the “choose the closest picture” to answer a couple of more questions like where the center of the storm is or how cold the clouds are around the eye.  This used to be called “Detailed Classification”; your responses help us to better pinpoint how strong the storms are.

5. Real time feedback on your classification.  Now instead of waiting for 6 images to see the “Storm Stats” page, you will immediately go there after your first image.  Now available on this much improved page is the storm track, the location of the storm you just classified, and our estimate of the wind speed of the storm based on your answers.  

Real time feedback

Real time feedback on your work is now given after each image

6. Upgraded Talk forum.  “Talk” is how you can discuss interesting storms with others or us.  The upgraded version allows for better searching and highlights more of the interesting discussions going on between other citizen scientists.

7. Better connections to social media.  Direct links to Facebook and Twitter are now available on every storm on the home page.  Click and discuss storms with your social communities or invite others to participate!

Log in to Cyclone Center today and give the new version a try – we think you’ll like the changes.  As always, please let us know what you think by commenting on this blog entry or through Talk!

– Chris Hennon is part of the Cyclone Center Science Team and Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Asheville


6 responses to “A Better Cyclone Center”

  1. pleabargain says :

    You guys keep getting better! Are you in discussion with any universities to help THEM improve their online courses? Finally, how about a more generic log in like OP ID or google mail to post comments? I’m not as keen on using FB to log in as I used to be…

  2. Jocelyn says :

    I can’t even get past the tutorial. I get stuck on the final tutorial image – clicking ‘Next’ doesn’t do anything. I’ve tried using various routes to classify storms but I always land on the final tutorial image.

    • cch001 says :

      Sorry you are having this problem. I will forward your messages to the development team and see if they can help you. -Chris

    • Tofof says :

      I had the same problem yesterday, though retrying a couple times eventually got it working. Today, classifying won’t even start on firefox22 – no matter for a random storm or picking one. In IE10, loading the classify page first crashes the browser, and then it automatically reloads and works.

      In the future, guys, please don’t email the community pushing for participation on something that’s still half-baked. It’s really discouraging.

  3. Jocelyn says :

    To elaborate on my previous comment, the following error is generated when I click the Next button:

    Uncaught TypeError: Cannot call method ‘get’ of null application.396d50d86512a79b33ed46730098d908.js:1
    t.getNextStep application.396d50d86512a79b33ed46730098d908.js:1
    t.onClickContinue application.396d50d86512a79b33ed46730098d908.js:1
    (anonymous function) application.396d50d86512a79b33ed46730098d908.js:4
    b.event.dispatch jquery.js:9593

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