Author Topic: Weather Underground  (Read 141 times)

Blicj11

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Weather Underground
« on: March 21, 2017, 03:04:35 PM »
The latest news from WU is that on April 3, 2017, they are dropping:
  • Member blogs
  • WUMail
  • SMS alerts
Whilst I do not use any of those features, I observe they are dropping services at a good clip. For example, they recently dropped two features that I did use occasionally:
  • NOAA weather radio
  • Aviation features
I also note that for the last week, they have dropped posting my webcam images to my WU dashboard. I know they are receiving the uploads because I can view them when I go to the Webcam section.

In my opinion, the best feature they have is the extrapolation of the weather forecast localised for my latitude and longitude based on the weather data uploaded from my weather station. In my case, it has been, by far, the most accurate forecast I can get for snow at my house. It is somewhat less accurate for rain forecasting, but still better than the forecast I can get from several places for the closest airport. When they drop this service, it will be time for me to drop them.

As a side note, in the area of the mountain where I live, I used to be the only PWS uploading to WU. In the last year, several Netatmo stations have popped up. I note that their weather data is not even remotely close to mine for temperature, humidity and rainfall and none of them report wind. So far, they have not impacted the quality of the extrapolated forecasts. Perhaps more weight is given to the personal weather stations that earn the coveted WU Gold Star of Quality award.

It will be interesting to see if WU retains anything valuable when they are finished pruning.
Blick


elagache

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Puzzling (Re: Weather Underground )
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2017, 09:24:43 PM »
Dear Blick and WeatherCat data submission junkies,

The latest news from WU is that on April 3, 2017, they are dropping:

. . . .

Thanks for pointing that out.  I'm just too busy these days to keep up with this sort of thing, but I am also puzzled.  Dropping the blogs could seriously disturb users who were trying to make Weather Underground there "home weather page," thereby avoiding the need to have web hosting of their own.  It is possible that it is so easy to create a weather website with all the available templates that the blog feature was going mostly unused.  Still without an explanation, it is strange.

I just checked the Wikipedia article on WeatherBug:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WeatherBug

It still says WeatherBug beat out Weather Underground in 2012.  However, according to a current Amazon ranking:

http://www.alexa.com/topsites/category/News/Weather

Weather Underground is now the top weather website that has data submitted from personal weather stations.  So IBM does have a golden goose that they might be killing.  Certainly with social media and personal weather stations gaining in popularity, Weather Underground has to be facing stiffening competition from rival sites like WeatherBug.  Cutting features is one way to get users to jump ship.


It will be interesting to see if WU retains anything valuable when they are finished pruning.

Indeed, we'll just have to see if there actually is some method in the madness or if it is simply madness.

Cheers, Edouard