Weather Software => What Weather Software should I use/buy? => Topic started by: sferic on August 08, 2020, 11:50:43 PM

Title: Opinions Please – Where Does Our Data Do the Most Good?
Post by: sferic on August 08, 2020, 11:50:43 PM
Opinions and experiences please on which web interface entity (PWS, Weather Underground, MADIS, CWOP,  Weatherlink, Ambient, et al.) does the most “good” with data from our personal stations.   It seems like there are a lot of potential users and beneficiaries from our data (the public, forecasters, researchers, agriculture, corporate entities, etc.) 

Where are these users going to get the data we are generating?

Thank you.   I’m a lifelong weather enthusiast who has just recently fulfilled the dream of having my own station (a VP2 + Weatherlink installed in a rural area).   I am struggling along a learning curve with regard to making my data public in the best possible way.
Title: Re: Opinions Please – Where Does Our Data Do the Most Good?
Post by: ocala on August 09, 2020, 07:26:15 AM
Good question.
According to the CWOP site their data is distributed for mostly research.
WU is fed into IBM's weather computer.
The others I believe are mostly for their users to see there data.
These other sites may also contribute their data to research also.
Title: Re: Opinions Please – Where Does Our Data Do the Most Good?
Post by: Storm017 on August 09, 2020, 09:13:11 AM
In my option, MADIS and CWOP.



Title: Re: Opinions Please – Where Does Our Data Do the Most Good?
Post by: galfert on August 09, 2020, 09:18:33 AM
Welcome to the forum.

You mentioned having a VP2 with a WeatherLink logger. But which one? WeatherLink Live or USB or Serial?

I would say there are Five Six categories of online weather websites. Each type serves a good purpose and has a different ways of sustaining itself. Maybe I've missed a type though. EDIT: yes thank you PaulMy as I forgot GLOBE for education. Most benefit as you can see depends on many factors.

Free public online services
These usually sustain themselves by allowing station owners to upload data for free but they sell the data to companies. These online services then allow the public to view the station data just on their website. But in order to pull data that is where payment is required by companies using the data in their own software. The most popular online service in this category is Weather Underground. Probably because they have been around the longest and it becam the defacto online service for station manufacturers to send the data to. Therefore in this regard Weather Underground is the most useful to the general public because of several reasons; it is in many ways the online supported online service with some hardware (unless they invest in expansion), and it is the most visible from a viral word of mouth, therefore people without a station are likely to use it. Weather Underground is likely to have a station near just about anyone even if you are out in the middle of nowhere. Others that are less popular in this category could be popular by country. For example MetOffice WOW is very popular in the UK. Then there is AWEKAS that is popular in Austria and Germany. But these also enjoy worldwide use, just not as prevalent. Then some are just decent but not as popular probably because many manufacturers do not include the ability to upload to them like PWSweather. Therefore to answer which is most useful is difficult even in this category because you need to define most useful to whom and where are you located and what type of user are you?
- Weather Underground
- PWSweather
- WeatherCloud
- Windy
- WindGuru
- OpenWeatherMap
- MeteoMap.cloud
- and more

Station Manufacturers
These are online services that are reserved for use by the customers of each brand. There is no monetization of the data. The service is an extention of the product purchased. You can look at this as software online rather than the need to install software locally. These days people expect to see their data remotely and on mobile devices. Manufacturers have moved from offering traditional computer software to view weather data to just putting it all online. If you aren't a customer then you can't upload to these services. But often in some cases they allow the public to view a station if the owner makes their station public with these services.
- Davis: Weatherlink.com
- Ambient Weather: Ambientweather.net
- Ecowitt and other Fine Offset clone manufactures (except Ambient): Ecowitt.net
- Acurite: myAcurite.com

Personal Websites
These are websites the individual station owner set up. They bare the expense themselves. This is often done as a way to customize and in many ways augment the quality of the information beyond what the typical free online services offer. The website could be designed from scratch, or often they use templates and then modify and personalize those. Some of these templates are:
- Saratoga
- Meteotemplate
- Leuven
- Belchertown
- Weather34
- and more

Uploading to CWOP is free. Once you upload to CWOP your data is picked up by a ton of places. Your data is processed by MADIS and then further available to many places. Including NWS NOAA and universities and even corporations. This helps in forecasting. The public can have the data via many access methods. I've put together a resource of places discovered where you can see your CWOP station data. I'm sure this list is not complete. But if I or someone else discovers another use then they are free to add it.

Agricultural Use
I wasn't sure if to place this in a category by itself or not. It loosely fits somewhat like the free online services. But these sites tend to not be for the general public but rather they have been designed for use in agriculture. You are often free to upload to these sites and see your data and even the data of other stations. But these websites have displays geared to agriculture companies for their crops because of how the data is presented and the tools provided assisting in the decision making process of the companies that use these services. These are often restricted in use to only offer basic level data unless you pay to unlock more features.
- MeteoagroNet
- Caubre
- and more

Thank you PaulMy in post below for reminding me of The GLOBE Program. This is an educational project with many participating countries. More info at link below.
Title: Re: Opinions Please – Where Does Our Data Do the Most Good?
Post by: PaulMy on August 09, 2020, 09:43:28 AM
Where Does Our Data Do the Most Good? (https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=40156.msg412003#msg412003)

To yourself!  You tell your family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances and they look, and you feel good.

GLOBE is a destination that uses the pws data in an educational setting so that is also good https://www.globe.gov/ (https://www.globe.gov/)With your Davis and Weatherlink you can easily upload to GLOBE after you are registered there.https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?board=24.0 (https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?board=24.0)

Title: Re: Opinions Please – Where Does Our Data Do the Most Good?
Post by: galfert on August 09, 2020, 02:28:23 PM
By the way just about any weather station could likely be expanded to support all or most of all of these services listed. All you need is the right additional hardware and software and there are many possibilities in how to accomplish this. Often many people already have sufficient hardware and all they need is to add some software, and other times it is just a matter of configuring the services that are already compatible with what you have.
Title: Re: Opinions Please – Where Does Our Data Do the Most Good?
Post by: floodcaster on August 09, 2020, 02:29:48 PM
NWS offices do use observational wx data operationally that is obtained from the CWOP->MADIS data feed.
Title: Re: Opinions Please – Where Does Our Data Do the Most Good?
Post by: sferic on August 09, 2020, 08:25:59 PM
Thank you all!   I truly appreciate your insight and thoroughness in explaining things.   

My path forward now will be to prioritize getting data to CWOP from my Weatherlink Live interface.  Looking forward to learning a lot more from all the expertise on WXforum.

UPDATE 2/19/21 -- Relevant article in Davis newsletter

Title: Re: Opinions Please – Where Does Our Data Do the Most Good?
Post by: galfert on August 09, 2020, 08:33:46 PM
With just the WeatherLink Live you will only be able to upload to the following:

- WU
- Weatherlink.com

But the good news is that the WLL device is able to send data over your local network to other software that can then expand your stations capabilities and send data to just about anywhere. Different software options will have different capabilities. For the most part they all support the same major services. But there are some minor differences between them. What I'm saying is that it is possible to send to all the mentioned places and more with additional software. You can also run more than one of these applications if you want simultaneously. No best one....just different in not just where they support upload but also in how they work and what additional functionalities each software offers. These are; Cumulus MX, Meteobridge, Weahter-Display, and WeeWX.