The Hong Kong Observatory received several Hong Kong Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Awards at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on February 9. The Hong Kong ICT Awards 2008 were co-ordinated and administered by an organising committee chaired by the Government Chief Information Officer with members from the ICT industry, academia and the Government. The awards comprised eight categories. The Observatory won four awards in two categories:
1. The Location-Specific Lightning Alert Service - Silver Award in the "Best Lifestyle Award (Home Life and Healthy Living) Award" category;
2. The Airport Thunderstorm and Lightning Alerting System - Silver Award in the "Best Public Service Application (Small Scale Project) Award" category;
3. The Weather Wizard - Bronze Award in the "Best Public Service Application (Most Favoured) Award" category;
4. Weather Service for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian Events - Bronze Award in the "Best Public Service Application (Small Scale Project) Award" category.
The Location-Specific Lightning Alert Service provides lightning information according to individual needs in an interactive way. People can choose the location of interest through a PC or mobile phone, either from the popular places listed on the webpage or by entering the name of a building, estate or street. The user can also click directly on the lightning map to specify the place of concern. An alert will be provided automatically when there is lightning within a 15km range of the specified location, so as to help the user assess the risk of lightning during outdoor activities.
The Airport Thunderstorm and Lightning Alerting System is one of the most sophisticated automatic lightning alerting systems in the world. It detects and issues alerts for thunderstorms and lightning at Hong Kong International Airport. By improving the lightning detection efficiency and shortening the lead time for issuing lightning warnings, it helps the Hong Kong Airport Authority provide a safe and pleasant environment to both passengers and airport staff.
The Weather Wizard is a simple-to-use PC-based gadget developed and operated by the Observatory. At regular intervals, the Weather Wizard retrieves the latest weather information and warnings from the Observatory's web servers, and displays them on the "Toolbar" at the bottom of the screen. A dialog box will pop up with an audio alarm to alert users when there is a change in the warning status. Users can remain focused on their work while being kept constantly informed of the latest warning. Since its launch in May 2008, more than 100 million counts of warning messages have been disseminated to users.
The Observatory provided a range of meteorological services to the organisers of the 2008 Olympic Equestrian Events. These included the provision of real-time meteorological information and data from the Heat Stress Monitoring System developed by the Observatory, venue specific weather warnings and forecasts as well as professional consultation service round the clock. The services contributed positively to the successful completion of all events and were highly commended by organisers.
While proud to receive the awards, Observatory staff are encouraged to remain diligent and continue to contribute towards a better society through innovation.
Observatory staff involved in the four ICT award-winning projects at the awards presentation ceremony.