Sarantaporo is a small village of approximately 700 inhabitants situated opposite the Olympus mountain, in Elassona municipality, central Greece. Apart from being located in a legendary area, home to the twelve ancient Greek gods, Sarantaporo village is also known for its Community Broadband Network (CBN),, developed since 2010 by a group of local people. The CBN provides inhabitants and visitors with Internet connectivity in Sarantaporo and 14 more neighboring villages and offers an open infrastructure for local (mostly family) businesses to use as a development tool*.

Sarantaporo Weather ex Machina Weather station

Due to the mountainous and hilly relief of the region the area displays intense microclimatic behavior, rendering weather forecasting a big challenge for providers. The relative experience of the locals is outlined by the following testimony:

No single provider can ensure a consistently accurate weather forecast for our region
–Local inhabitants of Sarantaporo village

People in these villages are mostly farmers and herders. Weather for them is not about taking an umbrella or a raincoat when outside. It is rather a condition that affects their way of living and working. There is no point in irrigating the crops or plowing the field when it is raining. Extreme cold requires extra heating in the stables for the protection of the animals. Foggy weather is risky for pasturing around the mountains.

Ex Machina tackled this challenge by donating and deploying an Ambient Weather WS-1001-WiFi (Wireless) local weather station in Sarantaporo village. This station reports current weather conditions via WeatherUnderground and enables our Weather ex Machina service to evaluate 3rd party weather forecasts and locate the most accurate one for the region. This solution offers multiple benefits for the local farmers: they can make informed decisions concerning their daily farming activity, depending on the current weather conditions, and they can plan their future activities according to the most accurate available weather forecast.

A stormy summer day for Sarantaporo, according to the most accurate weather forecast for the region.
July 4th 2016, from the Weather ex Machina Android app.

Weather station photos

* This documentary trailer provides an overview of the history and work in progress of the team.