graphical representation of weather feeds being published from a laptop on a digital signage screen
6

Apr

How to add live weather to digital signage?

Sharing local weather updates and forecasts on digital screens is common among worldwide organizations. It works great for brands because it enhances audience engagement with useful content.

Weather is a piece of information that should always be available to us. It’s true that today, our mobile home screens are always showing us live weather updates. But adding weather feeds to your digital signage can make it aesthetically appealing alongside providing necessary infotainment.

But many digital signage owners are confused about how they can bring live weather feeds on screen.

This blog will explain two of the easiest ways to add weather to any digital screen:

  1. Adding the live weather to your digital signage using the Pickcel Weather App

  2. Showing RSS weather feeds on digital screens with the Pickcel RSS Feeds App

If you are reading this post, I can safely assume that you must already use digital screens for your business. In that case, I can suggest you get a digital signage software that will make it easier for you to get any content up and running on your screens in a flash of seconds.

For example, Pickcel’s digital signage software has 60+ content apps in the App Store. These apps are available to all Pickcel users for free. One such free app is the Pickcel Weather App.

What is the Pickcel Weather App for digital signage?

The Pickcel Weather App allows you to display real-time weather updates on your digital signage. Keeping your screens up-to-date doesn’t require any manual intervention. The app auto-populates the screen with live weather information and weather forecast.

There is no need to create any software program or connect with any third-party weather apps to send the weather feeds to your screens.

The Pickcel software also houses some ready-to-use compositions with the weather app.

Composition is nothing but how your digital signage contents are presented on screen. You can divide your screen space into multiple zones and play different content in each zone.

You can create a composition from scratch. But, with the templates, the same work gets 2X faster.

Imagine your screen is running blank and you need a quick content to keep the screen from idling away. That’s when you can edit these templates and immediately push the content on your screens.

Here are some composition templates with the Pickcel live weather app that you can use for your digital signage screens:

Composition Template 1: A two-zone composition shows the weather app in landscape mode with live BBC news feeds on the footer. The visuals show a clear blue sky with weather details like time, date, and weather forecast.

The representation of the two-zone layout with weather app and BBC news together on a digital screen Pickcel template for easy composition with two zones - weather app in landscape mode and BBC news in the footer section
Created with the Pickcel digital signage software
Use this template

Composition Template 2: Live weather feeds are shown in a vertical layout along with a company brand logo.

The brand logo image and weather app (in vertical layout) shown together on digital screen The Pickcel template for using 2 different contents in a two-zone layout for better visibility Use this template

Composition 3: A three-zone composition shows the Pickcel Weather app along with brand information in vertical zone & scrolling text on the footer.

A three-zone layout presented on digital screen that consists of Weather app and brand information The Pickcel app showing snowy weather condition with 4-day forecast, together with brand information divided in 2 zones (vertical and footer) Use this template

Composition Template 4: The live weather app is presented in a full-screen landscape mode. The composition has a single-zone layout with no other content display.

Full screen display of Pickcel Weather app on digital signage The Pickcel weather app displayed on a full-screen layout Use this template

How to add live weather to your digital signage using the Pickcel Weather app?

Setting up the Pickcel Weather app is a cakewalk, even for a layman. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Register & Login

Register with Pickcel by going to https://console.pickcel.com/#/register. Use your Google profile or your email address and get access to the dashboard.

Pickcel offers a free trial for 14 days offering all its features to the users.

Pickcel Dashboard registration page where one can log in using Google Id/Apple profile/any email address

Step 2: Find the weather app

Once you are logged in, you can find a long list of content applications under the App module (yes, all these apps are free!)

Find the Weather app (type ‘weather’ in the search bar for easy discovery) and click on the Create App button (appears on hover). You will reach the app creation window.

Pickcel Weather App search in the Apps module to start with its creation

Step 3: Customize the weather app

To create free weather feeds for your digital signage, first give your app a name in the ‘App Name’ field. The app name will help you identify your weather app from the media after it gets saved there.

Next, set the location for which you want to fetch the weather data. Simply start typing your city or area name in the ‘Location’ field and auto-suggestions will appear from Google maps. Select your desired location.

weather app configuration window with the option to type custom app name, choose a location, and the language.

After that, there are a set of parameters that you will need to define before adding the weather to your digital signage.

Temperature unit
Celsius is the temperature unit that’s mostly used across the globe. But a few nations, like the United States, use the Fahrenheit scale. The Pickcel app can display the weather on your screen in both °C and °F. So, when you are showing the weather info on your screens, choose the temperature unit depending on your region.

Weather forecast
You can Show or Hide the weather forecast on your digital screens. The app fetches a four-day forecast.

Animation
The Pickcel app makes the weather feeds on your digital signage look appealing with interesting and dynamic animation effects.

For instance, if the current weather in your location is rainy, you’ll see it drizzling in your screens as well. On a bright sunny day, your screens will show you a cheerful view of flying birds and a bright orange sun. Isn’t it amazing?

Weather animation is an optional feature (you can enable or disable it anytime.)

Language
The Pickcel app allows you to display the weather feeds in four different languages― English, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Pickcel can also customize the weather app in any language. Contact us if you need to show your weather feeds in regional languages.

The image shows how to alter the look of your Weather app by enabling or disabling the highlighted features

Step 4: Save the weather app

Once you are done with selecting the above visual features, choose a screen layout based on your display size & orientation.

The app is responsive; you can display the weather app in landscape mode, or in portrait layout, or as a footer.

Choose any layout option from the top options and click Preview to check if your selections so far are in sync with your brand aesthetics. Change if needed and hit the Create App button.

The custom weather app will be saved in the Media module of your Pickcel dashboard.

Click on the 'create app' button to save your app in 'media'

Step 5: Create & save the composition

The app is created finally. But what about displaying it on the screens? How does that work?

Well, go to the Composition module on the dashboard, and then:

Add Composition > Select a Layout > Add Media (Weather app and any other app[s] as per your composition layout) > Preview & Save Composition

To understand composition creation better, watch this video:


Step 6 - Publish the weather app on your digital signage

Finally, to add the weather to your digital signage screen, choose Publish on the dashboard.

You will get 3 options:

  • Quickplay: Publish immediately on selected screens.

  • Schedule: Set a timeline and publish for a defined duration

  • Default: Play default content when there is no content scheduled

Select how and when you’d like to play your composition (Schedule, Quick play, or Default). Then select the registered screen(s) where you would like to play the weather, and hit Publish.

The Pickcel Weather app showing information on digital screen with animated effects after being published

Make the best use of your screens with Pickcel

Book Demo
app

RSS weather feeds – an alternative to the Weather app

Another way of showing live weather on digital signage is to use RSS weather feeds. This is similar to using the weather app, but the on-screen presentation of weather feeds will not be as sophisticated and attractive.

Nevertheless, RSS weather feeds are worth exploring.

What are RSS weather feeds?

The term ‘RSS’ stands for Really Simple Syndication.

In a nutshell, the RSS feeds are nothing but a standardized method of content distribution that helps people to stay clued-up with information of various kinds on various industries and matters.

So, it’s an RSS weather feed when that content feed is about the weather.

It renders two kinds of weather updates. One is about the latest weather news, including alerts and the likes. Another type of RSS weather feeds gives live moment-by-moment updates on atmospheric details like temperature, humidity, and wind speed.

How to get RSS weather feeds for your digital signage?

There are many RSS weather feeds that you can subscribe to. Gather the weather update links from the feed website and add the same to your RSS weather feed app to display it on your digital signage.

Find out some of the popular RSS weather feeds from these two sources:

Source 1

Source 2

An RSS weather feeds URL generally appears something like this: https://weather-broker-cdn.api.bbci.co.uk/en/forecast/rss/3day/2643123

Since weather data will vary across locations, a location code will be added at the end of your RSS feeds URL. For example, in the above RSS URL, 2643123 is the location code for Manchester, GB.

RSS weather feeds URL screenshot highlighting the location code

Steps of customizing the RSS weather feeds URL for any location
Let’s say you want to show the weather RSS feeds from BBC weather. The feed here is available in 2 forms – a three-day forecast and the latest observations.

To get the feed on your signage screens, follow this.

Go to the BBC weather website
Search for the location whose weather you want to display
Get the location code (the numeric id) at the end of the page link
Copy it now; you will need it shortly
Go to the 3day forecast link or latest observation link as per your preference
Replace the location code at the URL tail with the specific code you just copied
Now copy this URL with the new location code from the address bar
Go to your RSS feed app for digital signage
Enter the URL in the dedicated box
Create the app to instantly display the BBC weather feed on selected digital screens

How to add RSS weather feeds on your digital signage with the Pickcel RSS Feeds app?

Like the Weather app, Pickcel also offers a free RSS Feeds app for digital signage. You can use this app to fetch any RSS feed from any website and show it on your screens.

Here is how it works:

  1. Login to the Pickcel console

  2. Go to the Apps module > search for RSS Feeds app > click on Create App

  3. Add the app name, RSS feeds URL (how to get that, you already know)

  4. Select the slide duration

  5. Choose a background theme to make it look attractive

  6. Finalize the layout and preview to see if it requires any changes

  7. Once you are happy, create the app

  8. Create a composition with your RSS feeds app (same as Weather app)

  9. Select screens & publish the RSS weather feeds on your displays (same as the Weather app)

Now that you have all the answers to ‘how to’ and ‘what to get & from where’, configure the weather app and display it on your digital screens.

Never run out of content for your digital signage.

Try Pickcel Free!

Start 14-day Free Trial
app
user
About Pramita Banerjee

Pramita’s journey as a writer began in 2012. Almost for a decade now, she has been writing pieces on technology, marketing & business. Her belief is, "Creativity never goes out of style".

Recent Blogs