Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Weather XML, the new frontier?

Today my quest has been to find some standards for disseminating weather data over the web. My initial reaction is, of course, that RSS would be a perfect fit! Technically we'd need to extend RSS to handle the weather data in XML format, but the basis is there. We just need to receive the weather anytime a sensor changes and display it to the user.

The National Weather Service along with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) have put up an "Experimental" XML site. From here I can grab an RSS 2.0 feed or a CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feed. Now CAP is interesting because it was very recently approved by OASIS as a standard.

To my point... CAP seems to be a great standard for Weather Alerts, but what about normal weather data? If I just want to know the wind speed / temp / humidity / etc, then where's the Weather XML standard? I found a couple posts about WeatherML but that was from 2000 and looked abandoned. I'd like our sensors to output a standard markup, but only if we can find one. We just might have to right our own schema for this. Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

Heh, actually, I've been involved in defining weather data for US Department of Defense for a while now. A good place to start would be the Joint Meteorology and Oceanography Conceptual Data Model (JMCDM) - https://www.cnmoc.navy.mil/da/jmcdm.htm A segment of JMCDM, Joint METOC Brokering Language, is attempting to define web service standards for retrieving and representing METOC data. The DoD XML registry, http://diides.ncr.disa.mil/xmlreg/user/index.cfm, also has various weather XML schemas. The one difficulty is many of the data models are based off numerical weather prediction models and therefore aren't as useful for sensible weather situations. Bottom line, this is still a big problem that will probably always be in the process of being solved.

Jeff Sheets said...

Thanks for the xml website reference, I'll have to check it out. I'm also working with JMETOC, what a coincidence. Just looking for something that would be standards compliant for RSS.