Thursday, December 8th, 2016 11:53 GMT

Media Usage

This page is designed for media organizations who wish to use our products.

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Usage requirements of our model and recon systems

We have no restrictions on the use of the data our site creates. You do not need to inform us before you begin using the data our site generates.

You will need a commercial license from Google in order to display Google Earth and Google Maps data if you intend to broadcast the data on television. As of this information being posted, this license can be acquired here for free from Google.

Cesium mapping in our recon system gives you the option of choosing what mapping source you use. If using Microsoft mapping, please review "Microsoft's Bing Maps Broadcast, Media and Entertainment Use Terms of Use" page for information about what data you can display, and how to display it, which as of this information being posted, is free of charge. A more general terms of use is available here. For other mapping options, please visit the mapping provider's site for usage requirements.

We require no credit of any kind when you use our data. In fact, we ask that you not credit our site. We have a few reasons for that request. Our site is not really designed to be used by the general public. For the most part, our site is designed for use by weather professionals and hobbyists. Another reason is due to bandwidth. This site is not-for-profit, so we want to make sure to keep our costs low. This means that we do not want a lot of traffic coming to our site. The biggest reason is due to the fact that data should be interpreted by professionals. Model data is best used when a meteorologist talks about how the data is only one tool that goes into forecasting. People should not make their own determinations about where a storm will go based on model data. Recon data is raw and often undergoes little to no review before being transmitted. Our systems contain and link to products that can contain errors, can be unavailable at times and can also be misleading. For these reasons, it is better that the general public only be shown the data when a qualified person is there to explain it.

GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) Logo

Tropical Globe's model and recon systems are released under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or at your option any later version. Please see the section below for additional information specific to each system.

Using our model system

The best track data, model data and center fix data on our site comes from the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting System (ATCF). Additional model data comes from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Our site downloads the latest files from here and processes the data to be displayed visually using Google Earth, Google Maps and Adobe Flash diagrams. ECMWF data comes from here. As of this information being posted, publicly accessible (WMO Essential) data from the ECMWF, including the tropical cyclone trajectory data our system uses, is listed as being "available to the public and their use is unrestricted (including commercial use)".

We use Perl scripts to download and process model data. Our best track and model system is currently being rewritten and will not be available for free public distribution until that process is complete. It will likely be 2017 before an early version of the new system is available again. Please check our site updates page for progress on the rewrite.

Using our recon system

The recon data we use is downloaded directly from raw data directories at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (ftp or http) and from the National Hurricane Center's Reconnaissance Data Archive. The raw data is processed by our site's reconnaissance system for display in Google Earth and Cesium.

We use Perl scripts to download and process recon data. Our recon system is currently being rewritten and will not be available for free public distribution until that process is complete. It will likely be late 2016 before an early version of the new system is available again. Please check our site updates page for progress on the rewrite. The near real time radar imagery that our site displays from NOAA's P-3 aircraft will not be available as part of the publicly distributed system.

Other Questions

If you have any other questions, please contact us here.