A weather API can overhaul the functionality of almost any mobile app or website, giving users more reason to keep coming back time and again. Indeed a diverse ecosystem of standalone apps has emerged, along with rival data sources to populate each with information.
Of course to take full advantage of all that weather APIs have to offer, you need to be able to add one. To get you pointed in the right direction, here are some of the most important steps in this process.
Choose the Right Weather API
Before you rush ahead and integrate the first weather API you encounter, it pays to give some serious thought to which one of the many popular options you should actually harness in the first place.
There are lots of great weather APIs to check out over at Rapid API, each of which has its own positives and negatives to weigh up.
For example, if you are looking for the ultimate in forecasting, you might consider the OpenWeatherMap API, which has the added benefit of being free to use in its most basic form, so long as you are willing to settle for the limit of 1000 calls per day that is put in place on basic accounts.
Alternatively you might have imaging higher up your list of priorities, in which case the AccuWeather API might be a better fit. In fact this all-encompassing platform has several distinct APIs, meaning you can pick and choose the ones that make most sense for your needs, rather than going all-in unnecessarily.
Once you have chosen an API to use, you will need to create an account and make use of the API key provided in order to start the next phase of the process and gain access to data from the service that can be used in your app or website.
Integrate the API with Your Website or App
This is the point at which you will need to fall back on your own technical expertise, or seek out the assistance of an experienced developer in order to make sure that your weather API of choice can be seamlessly integrated with your website or app.
Whilst you are working on this, be sure to adjust key functions to make sure that they are in line with the kind of usage you can expect to actually require from the API itself. For example, in the case of the OpenWeatherMap API mentioned earlier, there is no point in making calls to it more frequently than once every 10 minutes, since this is the frequency with which the data it offers is updated.
Keep Checking Performance
One vital aspect of integrating a weather API with your website or app that you might overlook is the need to test and check up on this implementation on a regular basis. This will help you pinpoint any issues which might arise and remedy them before they cause consternation amongst users.
Key metrics such as the average latency of popular APIs, as well as the typical success rate for calls made by third parties, can give you an indication of how reliable and responsive each will be. In turn, this can assist you in spotting aberrations in performance so that solutions can be pursued, rather than allowing issues to linger unchecked.