Author Topic: Earth Networks Updates for 2018  (Read 321 times)

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Offline parkernathan

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Earth Networks Updates for 2018
« on: January 19, 2018, 10:17:50 PM »
Hi everyone!

Sorry I've been a little MIA here. I've been working behind-the-scenes and communicating with various people concerning Earth Networks, and I finally have some time to post some updates for 2018.

2017 mainly involved some major personnel changes at Earth Networks, as well as completing the sale of the WeatherBug brand to GroundTruth. For those of you who enjoy home automation and smart home services, many of the Earth Networks executives have transitioned over to a new company in 2017 which was a subsidiary of Earth Networks and has now been spun off into a separate company. It's called Whisker Labs, and their website is http://whiskerlabs.com. Those team members are developing a home energy monitoring program (I will be testing one of their sensors coming up). WeatherBug Home has been re-branded Connected Savings and is now part of Whisker Labs. The new website for Connected Savings for those still interested in the program is http://connectedsavings.com.

On the Earth Networks front, Earth Networks received a new CEO in 2017, as well as a new CTO and some other new members of the executive team. There have also been personnel changes with the technical teams, and the Earth Networks sale of WeatherBug to GroundTruth (for the most part) successfully wrapped up during 2017 (we have a few more things to do in 2018). I am still working for Earth Networks as an IT consultant for PWS. I have had a chance to be introduced to some of the new members of our tech teams, as well as the new members of our executive team and the new General Manager over at WeatherBug. I have had some excellent discussions across the board, and I recently submitted a document to our departments fully briefing everyone on the state of PWS and Earth Networks and what needs to be done to successfully get everything going in 2018.

Here is the latest concerning PWS and Earth Networks:

1. The current PWS system is still running, although the registration pages are still branded as "WeatherBug Backyard" and tied to the WeatherBug domains. The Earth Networks tech teams have made a few short-term adjustments to ensure the PWS system is tied to Earth Networks (without breaking data publishing) and remain online. The current way to access your PWS from Earth Networks is to go to http://pws.ensb.us. It allows you to view (and graph) your PWS (and it also works with mobile). The PWS Graph was having issues loading stations, and our internal tech teams have short-term resolved those so PWS stations are appearing successfully on the graph.
2. WeatherBug.com seems to be displaying CWOP stations which are in the Earth Networks universal data feed (I'm not seeing CWOP on WeatherBug's apps yet). For those who send data to CWOP, it is another workaround to view your station on WeatherBug.com for the time being.
3. WeatherBug has expressed interest in accessing the Earth Networks PWS feed in order to offer an advantage with Wunderground, plus some other services have expressed in Earth Networks PWS data as well.
4. From a technical standpoint, we have a new PWS Management Portal developed that is tied to EarthNetworks.com. I have a briefing submitted to our technical teams to look over everything and get an ETA on when we can get PWS users transitioned to the new system, which will get PWS data flowing into our universal data feed that WeatherBug and other services interested to our PWS data. It will involve some changes to our PWS Publishing API as well, so I'm working with our tech teams to get my hands on it and get it out to our PWS publishing app partners.
5. From a marketing standpoint, we'll be re-branding WeatherBug Backyard to Earth Networks PWS. We'll likely add a PWS page to our Networks page at EarthNetworks.com (that seems to be the most logical place to add it) explaining the network and giving you a place to register and manage your PWS, as well as contact me for PWS support. I'm also chatting with our teams to see about adding an Online Weather Center link to the PWS Management Portal so you can easily view your station data with us from the portal, as well as provide access to a PWS map that would allow you to view your and other PWS stations on a map. This way you'd have a place to manage your PWS and view your PWS data directly from Earth Networks in the portal in additon to WeatherBug and other sources. For PWS news, I'm continuing to use the Twitter feed @EarthNetPWS at the moment for PWS news, but we'll likely fold it into regular Earth Networks social media feeds and use the Earth Networks Corporate Blog for major PWS announcements moving forwrd (I'm still communicating with our teams about that).
6. From a support standpoint, I'll now be reporting directly to the VP of Support at Earth Networks moving forward, and I'll be working with him to re-write the PWS support documentation for the new PWS system, producing screencasts on PWS support, and of course continuing my day-to-day PWS support duties. We'll host all of the PWS support documentation on some form of support portal that you'll be able to use.
7. I've had the opportunity to communicate with various individuals and teams across departments and streamline support and technical questions that come in, so the overall turnaround time has increased, plus I expect we'll be making a smooth transition to the new PWS Management Portal in 2018 with us all working together. From what I've seen of the new portal, it's certainly an improvement over the old system, and support for non-US stations is dramatically better. I'm also very pleased with the discussions I've had with our teams across the board, with WeatherBug's new leadership, and with our new team members brought aboard. It's been extremely productive and I'll even use the term exciting.
8. In terms of Webcams, now that WUnderground has shut down webcams, I've brought up the concept at Earth Networks again. We have a new camera partner which is helping us expand our camera base (EarthTV). I've suggested we bring them into the conversation concerning webcams and allow them to offer insight on how we'd want to integrate additional camera functionalities with PWS, and I've been able to meet with some of our partners at EarthTV and look forward to productive discussions with them.

The bottom line is that the Earth Networks/WeatherBug/GroundTruth/Whisker Labs/Connected Savings transition has begun to wrap up successfully. I have had some excellent discussions both internally with our teams and some of our partners such as WeatherBug's new leadership and EarthTV, and it's been a journey to get here, but 2018 should be an exciting year for all of us, and I believe with Earth Networks, WeatherBug, Whisker Labs, and other partners working together under their respected companies, we'll be in a great position to delivering for everyone.

In terms of weather communities, WeatherTogether.net has been excellent, and I've fully wrapped up the integration of WeatherQuack.com under WeatherTogether.net just before Christmas. It's been fun blogging over there, and I've enjoyed the WeatherTogether teams and the WeatherBug Community/WeatherQuack blogging teams pooling together under one roof which has dramatically improved the overall experience. I wouldn't be surprised if WeatherTogether also doesn't have some exciting opportunities in 2018 (so stay tuned), and for those who seriously miss the WeatherBug Community, WeatherTogether is quickly becoming a solid replacement for it as both a fun weather community and blog, plus it is expanding into weather model maps, etc.

I'll send out some additional updates on some PWS publishing app forums when I get the moment as well (I still need to change my email on some of them).
Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://weathertogether.net

Online waiukuweather

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Re: Earth Networks Updates for 2018
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 10:36:25 PM »
you must have missed that WU decided to not drop the webcams
did you ever make it so that someone sending date to weatherbug could find and view their data easier?



Offline parkernathan

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Re: Earth Networks Updates for 2018
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 11:20:15 PM »
you must have missed that WU decided to not drop the webcams
did you ever make it so that someone sending date to weatherbug could find and view their data easier?

Good to hear on WU. Last I heard they dropped them, but glad they're back. It wouldn't have been the best of moves for them. :-)

Right now, WeatherBug.com is pulling in CWOP, so if you're sending to CWOP, you should appear on WeatherBug.com (I don't see CWOP in their apps yet). PWS is still only visible at the PWS Graph until we can get everyone moved into the new PWS Management Portal and system (which feeds into the universal data feed WeatherBug will have access to) which I'm hoping we can get it done shortly this year so we can wrap up that transition. WeatherBug has expressed deep interested in the PWS feed (as well as freeing the old system from the WeatherBug domain for the sake of clarity), so I'm hoping it'll help expedite this transition.
Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://weathertogether.net

Online waiukuweather

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Re: Earth Networks Updates for 2018
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 12:22:35 AM »
this has been going on for a long time I must say

Offline parkernathan

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Re: Earth Networks Updates for 2018
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 01:39:56 AM »
this has been going on for a long time I must say

It has, and what complicated matters was we were on the brink of getting the new PWS system launched, then the WeatherBug sale to GroundTruth happened. So that delayed everything even longer, but the good news is we have multiple companies and multiple teams working together to spread the workload.
Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://weathertogether.net