Weird But Fun Windows 8 App: Firefly Watch

On Monday, we started a new daily feature called Weird But Fun Windows 8 App, showcasing an app that looks like it's kind of cool, even if its a little on the odd side. Today, we put our focus on a recently released app called Firefly Watch.

No, not that Firefly (although we would love to have a good Windows 8 app based on Joss Whedon's best TV show ever).

Firefly Watch was actually created by the Museum of Science in Boston, which is leading an effort to track the glowing bugs with help from Tufts University and Fitchburg State College, along with volunteers from all over the world. The app's description adds:

With the Firefly Watch app you will be able to explore firefly sightings across the seasons and learn all about these fascinating insects through quick facts, an interactive sighting map and featured research. You will also be able to meet scientists who are actively researching fireflies.

This is the kind of app that Windows 8 was apparently made for; a highly niche subject that also resonates with pretty much everyone. It's also the kind of app that can actually teach people both young and old as they sit out on their back porch during the summer months and watch the light from the fireflies light up the back yard.

It's also an app that won't likely remain static as the researchers add more information about their findings. Overall, this app looks like its fun and educational and you can't beat that combo.

Source: Firefly Watch page | Images via Museum of Science and 20th Century Fox

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11 Comments

Neat idea. I'm waiting for a crowdsourced illness map, where people can report when they get sick, and a map of reports with date/time, so you can track illnesses spreading, from the common cold to the flu.

siah1214 said,
Neat idea. I'm waiting for a crowdsourced illness map, where people can report when they get sick, and a map of reports with date/time, so you can track illnesses spreading, from the common cold to the flu.

...wtf..this is either really funny...or really disturbing?

jorel009 said,

...wtf..this is either really funny...or really disturbing?


Nah dude totally serious. That way when someone says something is "going around" you can know for sure.

siah1214 said,

Nah dude totally serious. That way when someone says something is "going around" you can know for sure.
You wish. It'll probably be pulled as certain sicknesses are covered by NDA's, and the app would violate them...

siah1214 said,
Neat idea. I'm waiting for a crowdsourced illness map, where people can report when they get sick, and a map of reports with date/time, so you can track illnesses spreading, from the common cold to the flu.

Sadly I don't think that would work. There would be too much need for user interaction for it to be effective. The user would need to know what they were ill with, then report it via the app. It isn't as simple as hitting a "check in" button and being done. On top of that, people move around. As an example, I've come from Switzerland to the UK. If I am ill and report it in Switzerland, it won't update my new location to warn people.
Disaster Alert works well for natural events (earthquake, fire, floods etc.) but is also centralised I think, meaning there is a team that updates the information. Something similar for medical illness would be good, but I'm not sure about it being community based.

siah1214, thats a very good idea to be honest and can work.

You'd just have to rely on people updating it, and after a few days use it'll probably get deleted and forgotten about anyway

NeoTrunks said,
I'm using the Consumer Preview. Is this app available for it? I can't find it in the store.

AFAIK, NO, the stores are different... You need to upgrade.

I miss when the articles didn't have goofy little things in them like that huge Firefly poster. I'm all for a little comedy now and then, but that's too distracting and the editorial ("best series ever") just doesn't seem to work. I've seen a handful of articles do this over the past few weeks and I hope the trend doesn't continue.

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