Irish tech start-up Tapastreet teams up with UK Met

Real-time project with UK service will examine how weather impacts people

Irish tech start-up Tapastreet is working on a project that will combine include social media signals and automated weather monitoring

Irish tech start-up Tapastreet is to team up with the UK's Met Office on a project that will combine include social media signals and automated weather monitoring.

The Irish firm is aiming to help the UK’s weather service better understand how weather impacts the lives of people on a daily basis. The project follows on from the Met Office’s Weather Observations Website (Wow) which encouraged people to submit their own weather data and upload photos.

The project is tapping into the millions of photographs that are publicly uploaded every day to services such as Instagram and Twitter, complete with location information.

"It's not just about the photos, but also the data behind them," explained Tapastreet chief operating officer David Johnson. "It will allow them to better understand how weather impacts people. For example, with the Cork floods it was one thing to know there was a lot of water but another to see pictures of people in canoes on the streets."


Monetary details of the deal were not disclosed, but Mr Johnson said it was the start of a “long relationship” with the Met Office, with plans to collaborate on other projects in the future.

Tapastreet was taking part in Enterprise Ireland’s Ones To Watch showcase event at the Irish Embassy, an event timed to coincide with President Michael D Higgins’ state visit to Britain.

The firm also opened its first international office in London in recent weeks as it seeks to expand its business overseas. The launch of its business-focused products in February has seen it attract customer from North America through Europe.

“It’s a sign of the increasing importance of the overseas market to us,” said Mr Johnson.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore welcomed the news. "This is a great new partnership of an innovative Irish start-up meeting the evolving needs of a British organisation that is globally known and respected. Like so many Irish companies, when Tapastreet came to open their first international office, it was here in London. They are one of many. The number of Irish start-ups entering the UK market has doubled over the last four years.

Tapastreet was established in Dublin 2012, and is backed by Kernel Capital through the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund.The firm uses social media to provide real-time information about locations and events.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist