This week sees the launch of the CloudSpotter app, a virtual guide to the wonders of the sky, created by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, cloud expert, bestselling author (The Cloudspotter's Guide, The Cloud Collector's Handbook), winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books and founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society.
From the fluffy Cumulus that form on a sunny day, to the rare Noctilucent clouds that shine from the fringes of space, the fleeting beauty and endless variety of clouds have had always fascinated scientists and daydreamers alike. Introducing 40 uniquely different cloud species and light phenomena with hundreds of spectacular photographs and extensive descriptions, CloudSpotter enables you to discover the amazing and unexpected world of clouds and to easily identify and spot them in the sky.
Previously featured on The Guardian and Channel 4 News, CloudSpotter turns cloud spotting into a unique, reality-based virtual game by challenging you to earn Stars, obtain Achievement Badges and compete against other CloudSpotters around the world as you spot and collect the featured cloud varieties and optical effects.
Breaking News: CloudSpotter and NASA collaborate on scientific research on climate change (more info and below).
* The Cloud Library features 40 unique cloud formations and optical effects, from the common Rainbow to the rare and beautiful Asperatus cloud, with hundreds of stunning photographs and Gavin Pretor-Pinney's extensive and entertaining explanatory notes from the bestselling Cloud Collector's Handbook.
* Learn how to spot them and become a cloud expert. Use CloudSpotter to identify and photograph the clouds and light effects you spot in the sky, and our special team of cloud experts will confirm whether you have got them right. Not sure about the kind of cloud or optical effect? The unique Cloud Identifier makes figuring out what exactly you are spotting a breeze! Just answer a few simple questions, and CloudSpotter will tell you what cloud type or light effect you are most likely looking at.
* Start your Cloud Collection and unlock Stars and Achievements. You collect Stars for each cloud type you spot. The rarer the cloud, the more Stars you earn. Complete special challenges to earn 20 beautiful, hand-drawn CloudSpotter Achievement Badges. Collect all 40 cloud formations and complete your CloudSpotter collection with 114 Stars to clear the legendary "Triumph in the Skies" Achievement. Who will be the first person in the world to perform this extraordinary feat? An amazing prize awaits.
* Compete against friends and CloudSpotters around the globe. See how well you fare against the growing worldwide community of cloud lovers on the app's CloudSpotter Rankings.
* View weird and wonderful clouds from around the world. Browse the CloudStream, a live feed of photographs by other CloudSpotters worldwide.
* About Gavin Pretor-Pinney:
As co-founder of The Idler magazine, Gavin Pretor-Pinney is a longtime advocate of the joys of time ill-spent. In The Cloudspotter's Guide and The Cloud Collector's Handbook (both published by Sceptre), he tackles the idlest pursuit of all: cloudwatching. Pretor-Pinney's blend of tranquil appreciation and hard science have floated his cloud books to the top of bestseller lists. For Pretor-Pinney, clouds illustrate how mundane phenomena reveal the complex vectors that connect the natural wonders around us. Pretor-Pinney is also the editor of A Pig With Six Legs, Clouds That Look Like Things (also published by Sceptre), and author of The Wavewatcher's Companion. Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books and founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society, Gavin has just given a talk on clouds at TED June 2013.
* Stop Press - NASA comes on board to use the CloudSpotter app:
CloudSpotter users will help scientists better understand and model climate change. We are excited that NASA will use the data gathered by CloudSpotters around the globe to calibrate their CERES cloud-observing satellite instruments. Clouds are the wild card in attempts to forecast climate and climate change. CERES instrumentation gathers information in NASA's quest to better understand the major role that clouds play in regulating temperatures on Earth. But where CERES looks down, we look up, and thanks to the geo-tagging and verification of the clouds made possible by the CloudSpotter app, NASA will be able to calibrate their instruments with reliable cloud observations from earth. By working together, CloudSpotter will help NASA calibrate CERES and help us understand the crucial role that clouds play in our changing climate.
* iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, iPod touch (3/4/5 Gen) and iPad
* Requires iOS 6.0 or later
* Optimized for iPhone 5
* 113 MB
Pricing and Availability:
CloudSpotter 1.0.1 is $2.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category. We are happy to offer you a review copy of CloudSpotter. Please visit CloudSpotter online and we will send you an App Store promotional code soon.
Hodder & Stoughton is a major publisher within Hachette UK, one of the UK's biggest publishing groups. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2013 Hodder & Stoughton. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.