Animated Weather Map on Active Desktop

This is how I was able to get one animated weather map on active desktop in XP. Active Desktop makes the wallpaper act like a web page. It runs behind the icons, the program manager and so on, while you work.

Please Note! This doesn’t involve Weather Watcher at all. It is a function of XP. Nevertheless, any map that can be displayed with Weather Watcher could be used. Any web page for that matter.

The map I chose was … d_anim.gif

To get it defined start by right clicking on the desktop. Click on Properties. The Display Properties control panel will appear.

Click on the Desktop tab. Click on the Customize Desktop button. Click on the Web tab.

Click New… In the dialog that appear place the url for the map you want to show in the text box. Click OK. When the “Add item to Active Desktop” appears press OK.

If you are working with the url I typed above, you should now have a 640x480 map on your desktop. To maximize it move your mouse to the top of the map and a title bar should appear. Click the maximize button and the animated gif map will now be the entire background of your desktop.

You can synchronize the url manually but it would be nice to get it to schedule an update.

Get back to the Web tab described above. Choose the map defined in the Web pages selection box. Click Properties. Click the Schedule tab. Click Add. Just Click OK. Now you have a schedule in the selection box.

Select the schedule just created. Click Edit… You get another set of Tabs. Click on the Schedule tab. Click Advanced. Click Repeat task. I chose to run it every 10 minutes for a duration of 24 hours.

If anyone else sees a better way to schedule an update I would welcome the advice.

Also, I would welcome if you could share what is the coolest weather map or page to display this way.

To anyone who has tried this or uses Active Desktop for other purpouses in XP.

Is there an easy way to reopen an Active Desktop once it has been closed, other than digging through all the tabs as described? Once one has been set up, it should be a lot easier to restore one than MS is making it. Perhaps there has been utility written for this somewhere?