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February 1, 2016

Digital Kosovo – A platform which gave a different shape to my passion

Since a young age I was always attracted to the way the clouds moved and the way that weather forecasting was done. It is truly interesting to observe the way the sky looks, the way the cloudiness moves and many other factors that affect the weather atmosphere, and that has always attracted me towards dealing with this issue. After several years of following my hobby, in 2011 I had the idea of creating a page on Facebook that posted updates about the weather of the city of Gjilan, and decided to name it “Moti ne Gjilan” (Translated: Weather in Gjilan”).

Ah.. my name is Valdrin Shala, 22 years old and living in the city of Gjilan. My passion is Meteorology, but since our country does not support such studies, at this time I am studying at the UBT University in the direction of Management, Business and Economy. Even though young and lacking the tools to develop this activity, I use many Websites which specialize in weather forecasting.

What makes my passion even more special, is the fact that now I own my “Personal Weather Station” (PWS), which I have purchased in August of 2014. Using this device, I am now able to predict the weather for the next 24 Hours as well as monitor real time conditions which are updated in real-time. The accuracy of the weather conditions for the city of Gjilan is 100%. The PWS is located on the roof of my home.

With the purchase of another device that allows its connection to a Personal Computer, now the citizens of Gjilan have access to all information and weather conditions that the PWS collects, which they view online on the following page:

I have always given my time towards contributing to different websites about adding Kosovo to their list of countries. Most of the world’s websites have accepted my request, but the latest one, Wunderground, needed more commitment and time towards achieving the same goal. With the help of a friend, I have contacted IPKO Foundation, of which I had not heard before. Among other projects run by IPKO Foundation, Digital Kosovo was one of particular interest towards solving my problem. The trouble with the Wunderground website was that it displayed Gilan in its maps under the name of “Rajincë, Serbia”. After adding Wunderground as an institution to contact through the Digital Kosovo Platform, together with fans of my weather page we were able to send 300 emails towards this institution. They quickly replied, and also their reply was not completely positive, we were happy to have made steps towards fixing of this problem. The Wunderground Institution said the problem persisted not only with Kosovo, but with many other locations outside the United States. The positive side of their message was that they were going to update their mapping system in 2016, but didn’t have a definitive date yet.

I would like to thank IPKO Foundation and the successful community of Digital Kosovo for the opportunity and the help given to me through their platform. I will continue my work towards including Kosovo in the country lists of world known weather institutions together with the community of “Moti ne Gjilan”, while promoting the Digital Kosovo Platform, and discussing the ways in which we can increase the effect and usage of this platform by its community.