Thursday, April 17, 2014 0:49 GMT

Media Usage

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

Jump to an area on this page using the following menu...

Using model data processed by our site
Using reconnaissance data processed by our site
Other Questions

Using model data processed by our site

The model data we use is downloaded directly from the "aid_public" directory which is located on NOAA's public FTP server. We currently generate our own model data for use in Google Earth, Google Maps and Adobe Flash diagrams.

We have no restrictions on the use of the model data that we create. However, you will probably need a commercial license from Google in order to display the Google Earth data if you intend to broadcast the data on television. If you already have a commercial license to use Google Earth, you can already broadcast our model data. You do not need to inform us before you begin using our model data. I am unsure about the rules for broadcasting Google Maps data on television. You are however free to display the Adobe Flash based diagram.

We require no credit of any kind when you use our model 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 hobbyists. Another reason is due to bandwidth. This site is non 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 model data should be interpreted by professionals. The 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. For this reason, it is better that ordinary people only be shown the data when a qualified person is there to explain it.

We use a CGI script to download and process model data. If you would like a free copy of the script that automatically creates the Google Earth model plots, please contact us and we will consider your request. It is more robust, easier to use, and is less demanding than our older system. We only give out the script to weather professionals, media organizations, educational institutions, and very popular websites (so that less popular websites do not put a high demand on NOAA servers).

We now offer a free lite version of our CGI script that creates Google Earth models on demand. (It does not create data for Google Maps, Flash diagrams, or anything else that our more in depth script does.) The script does not automatically generate data. You must manually download the best track and model file from the ATCF server and then run the CGI script on a server to create the Google Earth data. The reason we now offer this script freely is so that people cannot use it as is to put a load on NOAA's server. It does however offer the ability for people to create historic data on their own and for media organizations to ensure they have the Google Earth data for current storms even when our site is down by having the ability to run the script themselves. If you would like a free copy of this free to use script, click here for this lite version. (Please note that this script is a lite alpha version of our system that is not as good as the current version because the lite version will be rarely, if ever, updated.)

Using reconnaissance data processed by our site

The recon data we use is downloaded directly from raw data directories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). (ftp | http) The raw data is processed by our site's reconnaissance decoder for display in Google Earth.

We have no restrictions on the use of the recon data that we create. However, you will probably need a commercial license from Google in order to display the model data if you intend to broadcast the data. If you already have a commercial license to use Google Earth, you can already use our recon data. You do not need to inform us before you begin using it.

We require no credit of any kind when you use our recon data. In fact, we ask that you not credit our site. This site is non 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.

We use a series of CGI scripts to download and process recon data. Due to the complexity and extremely demanding nature of this system we usually do not give out this collection of scripts unless a weather professional, media organization, or educational institution requests it. We are currently in the process of rewriting this system. Until it is rewritten, the current version of the recon system will not be further disseminated since the code of the new version will be drastically different. It will likely be late 2013 before the first draft of the new version is finished and perhaps early to mid 2014 before the final new version, with the addition of new features, is complete. You can monitor the progress of the project here.

Other Questions

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