Re: GWeather suckage

On Mon, 2003-07-21 at 17:23, Ian McKellar wrote:
> On Mon, 2003-07-21 at 02:10, Mark McLoughlin wrote:
> > Hey,
> > 	I think setting up would be the trivial part, to be
> > honest. Resolving the questions around whether we actually *should* do
> > this is more tricky e.g.:
> > 	* We would need to ensure we were rock solid legally before opening it
> > up - we couldn't just write a script to parse and hope they
> > don't notice.
> I think just about all of this sort of content out there is copyright
> and restricted. Perhaps we could get sponsored by by a site that has the
> rights to this information - get a feed from them in a software-friendly
> format in exchange for having an about-box link to them or something?

In the United States, the commercial vendors (Weather Channel, Weather
Underground et. al.) get their data directly from the National Weather
Service, which makes it all available freely in near real time via
anonymous ftp:

If the switch to was driven by problems with
changing html at the sites gweather was screen-scraping to get the
data[1], perhaps going directly to the source in standard METAR format
would solve this part of our dilemma. The federal government's already
paying for the bandwidth and isn't going away, and apparently the METAR
format was originally used by Noah, so is unlikely to change. Perhaps we
could cut out the middleman? I'm pretty sure they offer their forecasts
via ftp as well.

(NOAA claims to have worldwide coverage in its METAR reports - we would
have to investigate how accurate that is.)



John Fleck
jfleck inkstain net (h)

"If we can survive Michael Jackson's nose, we can survive anything."
 - Zippy the Pinhead

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