Poll

Please choose your personal stance on publishing someone else's WU data over to another service.

WU Station Owner - I would not want someone else publishing my WU data on a different service.
24 (68.6%)
WU Station Owner - I would be OK if someone else published my WU data on a different service.
9 (25.7%)
WU Station Owner - I'm undecided if it would be okay for a station that I didn't control to show up over my house.
1 (2.9%)
I don't have my own Weather Station - I'm OK taking someone's WU data and publishing it on another service that benefits my needs.
1 (2.9%)
I don't have my own Weather Station - I don't think it is okay to republish someone's WU data on another service that they couldn't control over their own house.
0 (0%)
I don't have my own Weather Station -  I'm undecided if it would be OK to republish someone's WU data on another service that they couldn't control over their own house. .
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 35

Author Topic: Is it morally OK for someone else to publish your WU data to another service?  (Read 601 times)

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Online galfert

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Please fully read below before voting above

It has recently come to my attention that there are certain smart devices that use weather data. But some of these smart devices only talk to certain weather services. Weather Underground is probably the most popular personal weather network with the most amount of stations. Some of these devices won't talk to Weather Underground.

What some pepople are doing is getting frustrated that their personal smart device does not get data from Weather Underground, but instead only gets data from less popular weather networks like PWSweather (WeatherForYou) for example. So some of these frustrated people are taking matters into their own hands and scraping the data from someone else's WU data and creating their own PWSweather station over that other person's house. This now becomes a newly published station on another weather network service that the owner of the real station can't control. Data is not timely often. It requires that the other person that took the data to maintain their system up and running... And the person that took the WU data and republished can call the new station on the other network anything they want that my be offensive or misspelled. And the WU Station Owner has no recourse to find out who did this nor how to contact them. It also affects the quality of the other weather networks.

This is happening very frequently. If you are a WU Station Owner and you don't publish to PWSweather.com I implore you to go over to their weather map and see if you show up. They aren't just publishing you over there they are also publishing you to a lesser extent over to CWOP.
https://www.pwsweather.com/tools.php (look for station at or near your location, click station icon, then Detailed observations)
and
https://aprs.fi (look for blue WX icon at or near your location, click Info, then click Show weather charts)

When looking at locations at or near you compare the data to see if it matches your data. You can even unplug for an hour and create a gap and see if the gap shows up in these other networks to confirm the data is coming from your WU station.

For what I'll call fake or ghost stations to show up on CWOP is bound to upset a lot of people. CWOP station owners take much pride in making sure their quality reporting is the best that it can be and they are affected by neighbor stations. No offense but lots of WU stations don't measure up to the level of quality that CWOP stations have. Just by nature of anyone easily publishing to WU with cheaper hardware versus what is required for CWOP. And because most WU stations are just regular people that just want their weather on an app and they aren't taking the time to necessarily calibrate or maintain their stations. What a nightmare for CWOP this could present. Luckily I think most of these frustrated people don't go the CWOP route but go instead to putting up fake or ghost PWSweather stations. The people doing don't care about other metrics being correct other than rainfall numbers. They don't care if they junk up an important weather network like CWOP (MADIS). I'm sure it is not their intention but that is what they are doing.

I don't want to mention by name exactly who is doing this because I don't want those people to Google search and end up here and learning from yet another place that this is a possible solution to their frustration.

So in this message thread if you follow up do not spell out the word R*A*C*H*I*O.  I spelled it that way so that it wouldn't be picked up on a search. That is the brand name of the irrigation controller that will not connect to Weather Underground. That company has stated in their blog that it would cost them 6x more to license from WU what they now get from Aeris which only gives them access to PWSweather and CWOP (MADIS).

My question for discussion is if you think it is okay for these people that have these devices to publish their own fake station ID and data over your house just because you don't publish to this other network. Just because it benefits them and with no care that they are polluting other weather networks with possibly less than optimal data that could affect other people's quality controls.

I suppose if you don't want that to happen to you then you should consider publishing to these other networks (but if you publish to CWOP please uphold the quality of data that that network expects). But that is easier said than done as it requires more investment and effort to be able to publish to other places than WU.

I personally think it is wrong for these people to do this. They should pluck down and get their own station hardware and publish it where they need. Or don't buy that brand device as I think Hydrawise is better anyway and does access WU data. The R brand device company has admitted that they are too cheap to bear the added expense. Yet Hydrawise (now owned by Hunter) manages to pay WU what it cost to give their customers access for free to airport METAR data and $5 /month to use your own WU Station.

I you agree or disagree that is cool. Everyone is entitled to their opinion without being lambasted. Please share your thoughts. I'll respect your opinion but please don't use the R brand name in this thread. That is how you show respect for my opinion. I don't want to drive those people here via search and give them this solution.

Thank you for fully reading. Now don't forget to vote in the poll above... Just scroll up.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 05:34:56 PM by galfert »
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
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Online galfert

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I suppose it is possible that the newly created station is not over your own house but they take your data and publish it over their house. Does this make it better? There is still a newly created station by one of your neighbors that is using your data. And if you happen to be a regular user of PWSweather or CWOP now there are bogus stations showing up on the wrong place and those people can't maintain the station data they are publishing. Still wrong I think.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 11:22:59 AM by galfert »
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
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Offline WxFox

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I publish to PWS, CWOP and I guess all of them that I know of so I hope that means it can't happen to me. I would notify the people they are publishing to if known and see what can be done about it. I doubt that they want duplicate data or data from a location that is not the one it purports to be from.
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Offline Bushman

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If you publish to these services you are basically giving them control.  Read the T&C

Online galfert

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I think some of you may be missing the point. It isn't WU that is publishing the data elsewhere or sharing it with another service. It is your neighbor that is publishing your WU data as his but posting it over your house on a different public weather network service that you can't control.....or worse they are taking someone's crappy WU data and publishing it to CWOP (MADIS) near your CWOP station and then messing up the quality of your neighbor stations that you are being quality control rated against.

If WU wanted to privately share my WU data with a company that sells weather hardware I would be okay with that. That would be a totally different scenario...and yes that would be covered by the T&C.


« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 04:23:07 PM by galfert »
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline Aardvark

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I think some of you may be missing the point. It isn't WU that is publishing the data elsewhere or sharing it with another service. It is your neighbor that is publishing your WU data as his but posting it over your house on a different weather network service that you can't control.....or worse they are taking someone's crappy WU data and publishing it to CWOP (MADIS) near your and then messing up the quality of your neighbor stations that you are being quality control rated against.

If WU wanted to privately share my WU data with a company that sells weather hardware I would be okay with that. That would be a totally different scenario...and yes that would be covered by the T&C.
   How is the neighbor getting your data?  I think once we put it out there , anyone  can latch on to it.  Is it wrong, yup but nothing can be done about it,unless WU, for example puts something out there to only show the current conditions.    And if you are sure it is your data, then do you have a responsiblity to notify the offender that you are wise to their deception and to stop doing it.  Then when they give you the finger, publicize that their data is wrong.    ps  I will remove my former post.
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Online galfert

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   How is the neighbor getting your data?  I think once we put it out there , anyone  can latch on to it.  Is it wrong, yup but nothing can be done about it,unless WU, for example puts something out there to only show the current conditions.    And if you are sure it is your data, then do you have a responsiblity to notify the offender that you are wise to their deception and to stop doing it.  Then when they give you the finger, publicize that their data is wrong.    ps  I will remove my former post.

The neighbor is getting the data by running a computer script software on their computer that reads your WU data and then publishes it to a different public network where their Internet smart device can use the data. Because their device can't make use of it from WU because the company that make the device doesn't pay the licensing for the WU API.

I would totally be okay if a neighbor wanted my data and used it privately. But they aren't doing that. They are publicly republishing my data and infecting other sacred weather networks that could affect yet other people that have strong feeling for the quality controls of neighbor stations on weather networks like CWOP (MADIS).
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 02:20:37 PM by galfert »
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline chief-david

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It is wrong to take someone else's data and claim it is yours.
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Offline redlynr

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A little off topic, but I've had a R*A*C*H*I*O controller for about a year.  I just assumed that when I got my PWS up (about a month ago) that Rachio would get the weather from WU.  Anyway, you're correct that it goes to PWS, but fortunately, I purchased WIFILogger to go with my Davis Vantage Pro2 and this does publish to PWS.

I understand the ethical question being posed here, but I believe that once data is sent to WU, it's in the public domain.  WU doesn't "own" the data, and I personally don't have a problem if someone scrapes it for the "greater good".    I think it's comparable to sports scores and statistics.

The bigger issue in my mind is if they don't scrape the data in a reliable fashion.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 05:57:21 AM by redlynr »

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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here's my 2 bytes:
...from http://frankfortweather.us/wxabout.php
Get your WUFree Icons
and quit sending to such folks,
 ... at least make 'em work to use your data.... BECAUSE
once you're VOLUNTARILY  participating in CWOP / APRS and hence to MESOnet, etc, that data can be scraped by anyone... it's public, and we agreed when we signed up...

WunderWeenies, for instance, doesn't really give a Graupel Ball whether you're a contributor directly... regardless of what they claim... the altruism for that 'website' ceased when they were first sold out commercially years ago... They can scrape and present it as your CWOP/APRS (e.g.) uploaded data... cheaper than maintaining your' WU website' for you.
Note they dropped all the NOAA All HAZARDS Weather Radio Streams without notice, and a few in this community, and some 'friends' have tried to fill the void at NWROrg
You can participate too... Submit your weather radio stream.
The recent 'dust up' over them dropping webcams resulting in their ' restoration' will also prove short lived.. If they really gave a busted snowflake about us, there wouldn't be in excess of 10,000 posts in the WunderWeenie Board on this forum, alone..  they'd be taking care of business.  (not to mention the countless WU and 3rd party 'services' spread out through WxForum alone... )

Another possible example of 'Contributors don't count'... might be the recent influx of folks from a certain website, who no longer wishes to support and maintain a forum for their 'supporters'... bottom-line thinking, not 'altruism'...

Depending on how your 'neighbor' is "stealing" your data... block his IP address... change the ISS channel randomly... whatever... but if they're getting it from a 'voluntarily' submitted source, not much you can do except take him to court... and prove your claims... even then you might have 'no case' since you're 'voluntarily' submitting such data...
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 06:04:16 AM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 

Offline Billbo

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I agree with redlynr. When we publish to any (repeat ANY) online location, we lose control of it. That is the nature of the internet and the nature of those who aggregate information for reuse and redisplay. We may not like it, but that is the way it is. As to whether it is "moral?" Well that is a really long discussion. People pose that kind of question all the time without specifying what standard of morality they are measuring by. I hang pictures around the house using a level. My level says it is level. But my wife's eye says it is not.

 

anything