Author Topic: Earth Networks Transitioning from PWS Program to NWS CWOP  (Read 586 times)

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Offline parkernathan

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Earth Networks Transitioning from PWS Program to NWS CWOP
« on: April 04, 2018, 09:50:54 PM »
We just sent out an email stating that Earth Networks is replacing the PWS Program with instead ingesting in data from NWS CWOP instead.

I'm including a copy of the email communication below in case anyone hasn't had a chance to review it.

We looked into our new PWS system, and we ran into some issues with it during the testing phases. In order to get a new PWS system functioning without issues, it would encounter some major technical efforts on our part, and our tech teams are knee-deep in finishing up the transition of WeatherBug to GroundTruth, involved in spinning off the WeatherBug Home program into a separate company, and transitioning customers from some of our legacy products to some of our new products. We didn't want to continue to kick the PWS can down the road and delay a PWS transition any longer. We've been able to very easily pull in NWS CWOP data into our feed through NOAA MADIS, and we can easily output the data to various organizations who utilize Earth Networks weather data (we're already working with WeatherBug's new owners to get NWS CWOP data into their data feeds they're accessing from us).

If you're sending data to NWS CWOP already (most of you are), then you're pretty much already set. If you're not, it's simple to do so (instructions below). All you'll need to do next is disable "WeatherBug" publishing in your PWS Publishing app, since we're discontinuing the old PWS system around the end of May.

You won't need to register for a new account with Earth Networks since NWS CWOP will be handling all the account registrations. Your old PWS account will go away at the end of May. If you still want a "WeatherBug.com" account for syncing your WeatherBug.com settings between apps, you can still register for one, although WeatherBug's new owners will handle the support for that.

To test to ensure data is reaching us, all you need to do is check your NWS CWOP data page (instructions below). If data is flowing into NWS CWOP, and your station passes the MADIS quality check (since we're pulling in NWS CWOP over NOAA MADIS), then your station data will be flowing into us (and anyone else who utilizes our data).

International stations can still be a part of NWS CWOP, plus we're also partnering with some international networks, so you're welcome to email into me to determine the best path forward to send your PWS data to us.

I'll continue to answer PWS questions as part of the transition, then afterward, we'll be shutting down the PWS email and Twitter feeds and directing PWS operators to CWOP Support. I'll be remaining with Earth Networks post PWS transition taking on additional support and training roles (I'm conducting a webinar for the company tomorrow).

In terms of webcams, at the moment, we're only supporting webcams we sell directly. However, if you own a webcam and have a URL to it, WeatherTogether.net is looking to pull in select webcams from people who join their contributor team and frequently contribute blog posts to them.

Additionally, those who were members of the WeatherBug Community (which was shut down during the sale of the WeatherBug brand) still wanting a place to contribute blog posts should also check out WeatherTogether.net. That's where I and most of the bloggers from the WeatherBug Community blog are contributing to now.

PWS Publishing app partners will want to remove the "WeatherBug" feature from their publishing apps by the end of May and direct PWS owners to send data over NWS CWOP instead.

We can also go ahead and proceed with shutting down the "Earth Networks" sub-forum on here, since I'm not sure there'd be any benefit of keeping it around any longer. I would like the thread I started on there about Earth Networks and Home Automation moved to another section on here since I'd still like some feedback on this front. It's been fun to have a sub-forum on here, but I see no reason to keep it around, and I can just join in on other disucssions instead (I'm sticking around here afterwards).

Lastly, my PWS is horribly malfunctioning now, so it seems it had a heart attack when I had to break the news to it. :-)

Thanks again!

----

Dear personal weather station owner,

Effective at the end of May 2018, Earth Networks will be changing the way we receive data from your personal weather station. We are discontinuing the Earth Networks PWS program but will continue to integrate your data via the NWS CWOP network. This change will make it easier for personal weather station owners to provide their data to Earth Networks, as well as services that utilize Earth Networks weather data.
CWOP stands for Citizens Weather Observer Program. It is a network of personal weather stations managed by the National Weather Service as a method of providing citizens a simple avenue for sharing their personal weather station data with both the National Weather Service and the world. There are over 800 organizations who utilize data from the NWS CWOP network. The NWS CWOP program is also known as the APRS WXNET program.
Earth Networks ingests date from NWS CWOP data through the NOAA MADIS service (data from NWS CWOP stations automatically flows into the NOAA MADIS service), which allows all NWS CWOP stations to automatically undergo a quality-control check to ensure quality weather station data on our network.

More information about the NWS CWOP program can be found by going to http://wxqa.com. Frequently asked questions about the NWS CWOP program are available at http://www.wxqa.com/faq.html. The steps to connect to NWS CWOP are also included below.

If you are already sending data from your personal weather station to NWS CWOP, you are already set in the transition, and data from your personal weather station will automatically flow into the Earth Networks weather station network. You will only need to disable WeatherBug publishing from your personal weather station publishing application to ensure your personal weather station is no longer transmitting data to the Earth Networks PWS system (which will be shut down at the end of May 2018).
Steps to connect your personal weather station to NWS CWOP:

1.   Visit http://wxqa.com/SIGN-UP.html
2.   Register for a NWS CWOP station ID by going to http://www.findu.com/citizenweather/cw_form.html. You will receive a station ID with two capital letters (the second letter will be W) and four numbers (for example CW4206).
3) You will also need to use a PWS publishing app or PWS publishing hardware appliance to send data to NWS CWOP. The PWS publishing app or PWS publishing hardware appliance youíve been using to send data to the Backyard Network likely supports NWS CWOP. Here is a link to other publishing app and appliances: http://wxqa.com/cwop_info.htm.
4) Select the CWOP, Citizens Weather Observer Program, or APRS WXNET option in your PWS publishing app or PWS publishing hardware appliance
5) Enable publishing and enter in your NWS CWOP station ID.
6) Select the upload interval and you will be all set in sending your data to NWS CWOP.
Viewing your weather station on NWS CWOP to ensure your data is flowing into the NWS CWOP network is simple. Simply go to http://wx.findu.com/YOURNWSCWOPID. For illustrative purposes, here is a sample NWS CWOP station page for station ID CW4206: http://wx.findu.com/CW4206 (sample url)

You will easily be able to see your station's raw data, as well as graphs of your weather stationís data, plus a map of your weather station. If you live in the US, you will also see a radar image with your weather station's location on the map.
Thank you for being a part of the Earth Networks PWS program and for ensuring that your data continues to flow to us through NWS CWOP. During the transition, you can continue to email pws@earthnetworks.com if you have any questions. Additional FAQs are also available below for your reference.

Thanks
Earth Networks PWS Support

Additional FAQ on the Earth Networks PWS Transition to NWS CWOP

What is happening to the Earth Networks PWS program?
Earth Networks is transitioning members of the Backyard program and Earth Networks PWS (Personal Weather Stations) program so that their data comes to Earth Networks from the NWS CWOP through the NOAA MADIS program. This will make it easier for PWS owners to submit data to the Earth Networks weather station network, as well as include the benefits of automatic quality-checking of weather station data.

Will I need to register an account with Earth Networks to manage my PWS?
You will not need to register an account with Earth Networks to manage your PWS on NWS CWOP. You will only need to register for a NWS CWOP station ID by going to http://www.findu.com/citizenweather/cw_form.html and insert your NWS CWOP station ID into your PWS publishing app or PWS publishing hardware appliance. Your Earth Networks PWS ID will no longer be available after the transition to NWS CWOP is complete.

Will Earth Networks provide me with a tool to determine if my PWS is successfully transmitting weather station data to the Earth Networks weather station network?
Earth Networks will not be providing a tool to determine if your PWS is successfully transmitting weather station data to the Earth Networks weather station network. Instead, you will want to use the NWS CWOP station data page at http://wx.findu.com/YOURNWSCWOPID (an example for NWS CWOP ID CW4206 is http://wx.findu.com/CW4206). If your weather station is successfully displaying on the NWS CWOP station data page and passes the NOAA MADIS quality check, your weather station data will automatically flow into the Earth Networks weather station network.

Will Earth Networks continue to offer support for personal weather stations?
During the transition, PWS owners who have questions may continue to contact pws@earthnetworks.com for support and questions concerning the transition. After the transition, PWS owners will need to send future support questions to NWS CWOP support at cwop-support@noaa.gov. Earth Networks PWS support is now only answering questions concerning the transition to NWS CWOP and will no longer offer troubleshooting on the old Backyard and Earth Networks PWS program due to the program being phased out after the transition to NWS CWOP is complete.

Will Earth Networks be offering any perks or benefits to PWS owners who send data to Earth Networks using NWS CWOP?
Earth Networks is only integrating in PWS data into the Earth Networks weather station network from NWS CWOP through the NOAA MADIS service. It will not be directly managing the NWS CWOP weather station network. With the exception that the data from your PWS will be available from weather websites and apps that utilize Earth Networks weather station data, Earth Networks will not be offering any perks or benefits to PWS owners who send data to Earth Networks using NWS CWOP.
I own an international (non-US) weather station. Am I able to transition to NWS CWOP?

NWS CWOP does accept international (non-US) weather stations on their network, so if you own an international (non-US) weather station, you are welcome to transition to NWS CWOP to continue sending weather station data to Earth Networks. The process is even easier than it was under the Backyard network.

Earth Networks also partners with other international government agencies and weather programs, so there might be another alternative for providing your weather station data to Earth Networks through one of our international partnerships. Please email us at pws@earthnetworks.com with your Backyard/Earth Networks PWS station ID and your location so we can determine the best transition path forward for you.

I own a webcam. Can I share images from my webcam with the Earth Networks weather network?
At this time, Earth Networks is only utilizing images from weather cameras that we personally sale and support to professional organizations. If you are a professional organization and are interested in purchasing one of our weather cameras, please contact info@earthnetworks.com for more information.

If you own a webcam and your webcam images are accessible from a URL, WeatherTogether.net, a non-profit weather community blog is linking to select webcams on their website for bloggers and contributors who join their website and frequently contribute weather blogs and reports to their website.

I am a PWS publishing partner. How am I affected by this transition?
PWS publishing partners will need to ensure their PWS publishing app or PWS publishing hardware appliance supports NWS CWOP, as well as remove support for WeatherBug publishing from their PWS publishing app or PWS publishing hardware appliance. We will be sending out a separate communication to our PWS publishing partners regarding the transition.
Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://weathertogether.net