From today, the BBC is introducing a change to the perspective of its new 3D weather map after carefully assessing feedback from viewers. The move follows comments from viewers that the map gave too much prominence to the southern part of the country. The change to the ’tilt’ of the map will allow viewers to see more of the North of England and Scotland.
Andrew Lane, BBC Weather Manager, said: “We are proud of the new weather map - it is very flexible, and we believe that it provides the clarity and realism that viewers want. However, we have always made it clear that we listen to our audiences and our complaints system has had a role in helping us to understand our audiences’ concerns.” He added: “The global look of the map naturally makes the bottom of the map appear slightly larger, but we now recognise that the perspective needs changing, and are responding.”
The new weather system will continue to take viewers on ‘tours’ of the nations and regions, and to show in clearer detail than before what the weather is doing - although the speed of these ‘tours’ had already been slowed down. Andrew Lane said: “The new technology has already led to more live forecasts than ever before, such as those on BBC News 24 and more frequent updates to the weather website. We are satisfied that overall, the system is providing more detailed and up-to-date analysis, particularly by zooming into the nations and regions.”
Mr Lane also addressed comments surrounding the colour of the map: “Although there have been some comments about the colour of the map, it is a key part of the new system and helps us to show detailed weather conditions to be shown over it.” The BBC also reiterated that there has been no change to the policy of showing wind speed and direction in its forecasts, when the wind is the main story. Forecasts are continuing to use this information and display isobars where they are helpful to viewers.
The new weather maps are the first major change to the look of BBC weather since 1985. No further changes are planned, but the BBC is continuing to monitor feedback and will later carry out further audience research. Although there have been concerns raised about the new weather map, audience research of 5,000 people showed that seven out of ten viewers either preferred the new weather system or liked it as much as the old forecasts.
Pete Wishart, SNP MP for North Tayside, said: “I’m delighted the BBC has responded so positively to the many representations we have all received on the relative size of Scotland on the new weather map. Scotland requires reliable and accurate weather forecasts and I’m confident this can be secured now we have regained our rightful size.”