Friday, July 3rd, 2020 23:01 Z

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

NOTE: We are slowly changing all existing maps in Google Maps to ArcGIS (Esri). Please contact them to determine if you need a license to broadcast their imagery.

We have no restrictions on the use of the data our site creates, however certain data on our site does require an attribution. (See the model and recon system sections on this page for more information.) You are never required to credit our site. You also do not need to inform us before you begin using any of 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® 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 our site when you using 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.

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)". This might mean that the data can be used without attribution, but you may want to check to be sure.

Using our recon system

Most the recon data we use is downloaded directly from the National Weather Service Telecommunication Gateway's (NWSTG) FTP server, which is located here (or over HTTP here), 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.

Radar imagery from NOAA's P-3 aircraft is downloaded from a NOAA server that was not designed for a heavy load and therefore the location of that site is not listed on our site. This radar imagery must contain an attribution to the "NOAA-AOC" (NOAA Aircraft Operations Center) or "NOAA" when used. Additionally, data from Raytheon's Coyote® unmanned aircraft system (UAS) also comes from this same site. I am unsure of what specific attribution should be used if using this data.

West Pacific dropsonde data from Taiwan should be attributed to "DOTSTAR". (Dropwindsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region) We download this data from the same NWSTG FTP server as most of the other text products our site downloads, but the data comes from from this project.

Other Questions

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