Author Topic: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues  (Read 3179 times)

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Offline pgeremia

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VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« on: February 18, 2017, 10:43:23 AM »
All,

I have been using VWS and Wunderground for YEARS.  I use it to update a custom weather website as well as a daily weather email I send to friends and family.

I have been relying on things like the 5 day forecast, weather images as well as the list of other weather stations in the local area.

All of this seems to have disappeared recently and now my web site and daily email is missing info.

1.  I just recently talked to Ed and he did not seem too hopeful at all for Weather Underground to bring anything back.

2.  I read somewhere else that they moved everything to AWS.  I think this could put the nail in the coffin for them.  I bet they did not do a cost analysis of AWS and IT IS FREAKING EXPENSIVE if you do not size it correctly and understand costs.

3.  Is anyone else out there in the same dilemma as me and if so have you found any alternatives to create custom web pages with items like radar images, 5 day forecasts  etc. 

https://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=pws:KNHPORTS3

This has almost everything I need from them and is actually a similar format to what I originally did.  So clearly the information is available.

Wish we could take VWS and fix it with the new API calls.  I know there are some cost issues with KEYs, but maybe there is a way to cut a deal with wunderground or something.

Sorry for so many questions.  I just love how I have been using this for years and they just shut it off w/o any emails or warnings.  That is just wrong.

Anyway.. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank You,

Pete


Offline droiddk

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2017, 03:27:01 PM »
Hi

I was in the same dilemma as you, I "took over" (at job) a weather station that had been using VWS for ages and slowly I felt that VWS was getting too old, fx the graphs compared to modern javascript graphs, and I was also afraid that support (ED) would end at some time - No help if system crashed. What I did was migrating my system to a Meteobridge and now stores all data in a database and a textfile for rapid updates on my website. It took some time building the systems but now I can do what ever I want. Meteobridge can upload to WU.

So what should you do? I would advise you to look into the Meteobridge and have look at some of the templates that Meteobridge can work with. You will need to start over but maybe its worth it.

Regards

Offline pgeremia

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 11:07:24 AM »
Thanks so much.  I will take a look.  I was trying to find a version that works on a VM.  I have an ESXi server that I run various VMs and it would work nicely there.

Are there any weather related website building tools out there that could ease the burden of rebuilding the site from scratch?  Since this is just personal I did not want to invest a ton of time with the website and email.  But, if there were some good shortcuts that would be great.

Thanks again!

-Pete

Offline droiddk

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 11:09:47 AM »
Are there any weather related website building tools out there that could ease the burden of rebuilding the site from scratch?
Thanks again!

Yes, use template  :grin:

Regards

Offline pgeremia

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 11:12:31 AM »
:-)  I will start to dig into it and read the documentation.  Thanks again!!!

-Pete

Online PaulMy

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2017, 12:09:43 PM »
Quote
Are there any weather related website building tools out there that could ease the burden of rebuilding the site from scratch?
I have installed some of the most common - see links below


Enjoy,
Paul

Offline pgeremia

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2017, 01:06:15 PM »
Holy Cow!!!  That is EXACTLY what I am looking for!!!

http://meteotemplate.com/web/index.php

Love it!!!  Thanks so much!!!

-Pete

Offline waiukuweather

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2017, 01:46:46 PM »
the weather display software fully supports meteotemplate, even with a built in cron function for it :)

Offline Jáchym

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2017, 05:10:02 PM »
:-)  I will start to dig into it and read the documentation.  Thanks again!!!

-Pete

Feel free to contact me if you want to give it a try and need help with installing it.

Offline ohlone

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 10:27:25 PM »
Workarounds I have applied:

Forecast:  Weatherforyou 7 day sticker, easy Modification.

Mesonet:  redirects to WU mesonet and also joined Southwestern Weather Network, in the Scotts Valley CA station)

Alerts:  use RSS feed from feed wind and added php script for details From Saratoga Weather (Ken True has helped me-  needs PHP5.4+)

Mesonet table is not solved yet

Ken is more helpful and supportive than either WU or Ambient.

See my progress at http://ohlonetrail.net

Good luck , hope this helps. 

Bill


Offline 92merc

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 09:35:28 AM »
Can you explain how you got your record/normals back?  If I have to, I can live without my meso-map.  I'll turn that off and change those pages.  But records would be nice to have back.
http://www.BismarckWeather.net
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Offline ohlone

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2017, 12:52:51 PM »
Records and normal is not fixed yet.  Stale data.  Anyone have ideas?

Offline pgeremia

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2017, 07:51:38 PM »
Below is a response from wunderground....  Not good.  I have to say that I have started to move my site over to Meteotemplate.  I send data from VWS directly to it.  Meteotemplate stores it in an SQL database for historical lookups.  You can also import all old data from wunderground etc.

http://www.meteotemplate.com

Here is my old broken weather web site generated from VWS:

http://www.nhgeremia.com/weather/

Here is the new site.  I am getting there.  I still need to create the mobile site.

http://www.nhgeremia.com/nhweather/



Sad Email From Wunderground:

Hello,

It's unlikely that we'll restore them, as it relies on a very different system from the one we recently migrated to.

Every product has a lifespan and VWS has reached its end. Ambient no longer develops it.

Thank you,
William
Wunderground Support

Offline Impala88

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2017, 10:15:27 PM »
Quote
Every product has a lifespan and VWS has reached its end. Ambient no longer develops it.

What annoys me is that Ambient is still actively selling a product costing nearly one hundred dollars that has half of the features no longer working.  :roll:

Offline pgeremia

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2017, 12:04:39 AM »
Yeah I don't get that.  Seems quite unethical. 

Offline droiddk

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2017, 01:45:05 PM »
Quote
Every product has a lifespan and VWS has reached its end. Ambient no longer develops it.

What annoys me is that Ambient is still actively selling a product costing nearly one hundred dollars that has half of the features no longer working.  :roll:

+1

Offline wesleyremmel

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2017, 10:47:55 PM »
Screw VWS and WU....I'm using RSS feeds to do the same.
More attractive and not dependent on their software.

www.myglendalewxs.com

Offline 92merc

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2017, 11:40:53 PM »
Thanks to Ken/Saratoga scripts and Cumulus, I'm ready to pull the plug on my VWS this weekend.  Switching to Cumulus.
http://www.BismarckWeather.net
Davis VP2, Cumulus, Blitzortung, Bloomsky, Saratoga Scripts

Offline mpedroia

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2017, 11:25:06 AM »
Yeah I don't get that.  Seems quite unethical.

Agreed.  Worse, the older I get and the more frequently I see the outcome of bad decisions, I would just love to know who pulled the trigger on these changes? Who decided to do this without notice, without involving the users, without due regard or consideration of the impacts of making these changes?

For me, after near 15 years of using the product to inform my family/friends/community of local weather conditions in a disaster area, i have to express how disappointed it is to be in the position of letting down all those who benefit from the volunteer operation of my weather station.  I won't forget this in the future, you let me down once, you won't get a second chance.

All this was so avoidable and now needs to be solved and reading the e-mail from WU offers no hope so it's on us (me).

My station is 30 minutes (best) from my residence, to think of all the times, over all the years, I drove 60 minutes (round trip) to restore the station for the benefit of the community - and then someone else, without notice, starts slicing off pieces of the data and functions of the page without even the courtesy of notice.  SHAMEFUL.

"Every product has a lifespan" and so did my willingness to give you my data.

If anyone has a recommendation on a replacement, that would be great.  I'm not a web guy, I can do some code, not much, so easier is better.

Thanks!



Offline GregJ

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2017, 10:02:42 PM »
I totally agree with... and commiserate with you....  About WU just pulling the plug.  My understanding is that they just shut down a server without any consideration for those using that server....  A simple DNS configuration would have avoided this mess....  They just don't care....  OK.. done with the whining....

The important things that were taken away from me were the NWS advisories and the 5 day forecast.....  After looking all over, I found an RSS feed tool that allows me to put all of the advisories for multiple areas around me automagically....  It takes a little tweaking to fit on a page and still be "Safari Compliant"....  :(  For the 5-day, the NWS provides a very nice 7-Day forecast.  I have implemented these changes and I have not had a complaint.... and I HAVE had several compliments....  My site is: http://skunkbayweather.com/ 

I am still going to use VWS because it has more features than all the other packages I have evaluated....  It's not perfect, but I have been using it so long, I have too much data and history to walk away from it.  Everything I am using from VWS is self contained and not reliant on outside sources now.... 

So... for now... that is my plan....

Greg
Davis VP2 with VWS

"Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." -- Mark Twain

Offline ohlone

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2017, 11:37:55 PM »
Check out the nice forecast widget I found on meteoblue   Quite customizable

Offline Impala88

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2017, 10:35:10 AM »
Thank you for posting this!  Nice widget they have there.  Here is a direct link:  https://www.meteoblue.com/en/weather/widget/setupday/irvine_united-states-of-america_5359777

I'd like to see a way to customize the title and perhaps shrink the font of the header but I do like the color coded temperatures they use much like our late, lamented VWS/WU forecast had.  I'll tinker with it to see if any unadvertised tweaks are available.

Offline wbond

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2017, 10:49:05 PM »
Lots of us in the same boat.  I've been using VWS since April 2007, but the lack of development has had me concerned for years.  The latest problems with WU finally forced me to make a change.  I'm working on moving to Weather Display after seeing Brian Hamilton's support in the Weather Watch forums.  Along with Ken True's scripts from Saratoga Weather I'm happy to be making the change.  Wish I'd done it years ago.

Unlike some others VWS has still been updating my WU data without issues and with Ken's scripts I've been able to replace the data I'm no longer able to get from WU.  In spite of that I'm still working on moving away from VWS because I don't expect it to be updated.  There's a learning curve moving from VWS to WD to be sure, but it's been well worth the effort.

Bill
Davis VP2+
Weatherlink Serial
VWS v14.00p86
DW3025

Offline pgeremia

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2017, 07:34:13 AM »
Let us know of your progress.  I plan on completely getting rid of VWS as soon as I can purchase the hardware for MeteoBridge.  Right now I am using MeteoTemplate to replace VWS website and VWS is still sending to WU and actually sending data to MeteoTemplate.  But soon VWS will be removed completely.  Thanks for the update!!

http://www.nhgeremia.com/nhweather/


Offline 92merc

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Re: VWS Alternatives or Addition to deal with WUnderground Issues
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2017, 09:09:36 AM »
I just made the move from using VVP that fed Weatherlink (I liked their NOAA reports better), VPLive (Kept console time up to date with PC), and VWS.

I got Cumulus 1.94 up and running with the Saratoga scripts, leaving VVP and VPLive running.  For some reason CulumusMX didn't like my VVP.  So once I had 1.94 up and running, I switched it to direct serial mode.

I then copied the data folder from 1.94 over to MX folder.  Configured the same settings in MX.  Had MX feeding the data to everything within an hour.

Personally, I like to follow the KISS mantra.  WD looks like a good product.  But looked way more involved in setup than I wanted. 
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