OpenWeatherMap 2017: Results of the Year

OpenWeatherMap 2017: Results of the Year

So the, new year, 2018, has come, and it’s time to sum up the results of the past year for our company, OpenWeatherMap (UK, US and Latvia), developers of one of the best weather APIs in the world. A lot has happened and much has changed.

During the year, our number of users grew from 600,000 to 1 million. We participated in the Startup Grind Global Conference in Silicon Valley, where the team from OpenWeatherMap was named in the top 50 Startup Exhibitions of 2017. Our mature team was filled up with excellent professionals and wonderful people.

We did a lot of new things and qualitatively improved our current developments. In 2017, we were pleased to present to you:

Weather data: API and Weather Maps

  • The Open Dashboard for Agricultural Monitoring can help give you an idea of the possible use for meteorological and satellite data in your agricultural applications.
  • Specially for the agriculture sector, we launched an API for accumulated temperature data and another for accumulated precipitation data.
  • The Weather Historical Bulk service. Now you can simply choose a city/town (or several cities/towns) and download an archive, which contains a bulk file with the weather history for up to 5 years – any day or week, or even several years.
  • A new and improved version of an API for UV-index.
  • Throughout the entire year, we worked constantly on our history weather API. During the year, the amount of data supplied and the speed of processing that data increased significantly. Also, we made it possible to quickly upload data in a format that doesn’t require additional processing and can be understood by any user.
  • Our Weather Maps app changed qualitatively in 2017. We added the ability to switch the layers of weather and satellite maps, create various combinations with them, and connect them to mobile and web apps.

Satellite data: VANE platform

In 2017, we significantly improved our satellite platform. Our team undertook a huge amount of work and in June were able to present a new version of the satellite image processing platform VANE.

Based on the VANE platform, we developed a new product called Global Satellite Base Map, which uses visual tools and query language to generate a map from satellite images. The uniqueness of the product is that all data processing is done on the fly, and there are no presets or pre-made calculations. The user defines the parameters for a calculation and image processing and immediately receives a result for any territory. This capability was only possible thanks to VANE, our super-powerful data processing platform.

We recently presented you with Query Builder, our new interface for the VANE platform. Now you can use this simple tool to create your own map in just a few seconds, and with just one click receive a completed link for display on your site or app using a web map library like Leaflet, Open Layer, Mapbox and Google Maps.

We are grateful to everyone that worked with us for all this time. We thank you for all your feedback and for not getting bored by our tech support.

We have a ton of plans for the coming year. Stay tuned, and you will see a lot of the new and interesting things to come. Subscribe to our Telegram Channel https://t.me/openweathermap and get news first about our updates and new products!

Cloudless: global cloudless composite coverage based on the VANE platform

Cloudless: global cloudless composite coverage based on the VANE platform

The drawings show global coverage obtained between 1 June 2017 and 1 September 2017 using data from the MODIS spectroradiometer aboard KA Terra and Aqua.

The current cloudless coverage of the Earth by medium and low-resolution satellite images is an important element in the regional and global systems that monitor the territorial changes caused by natural and man-made factors. For example, assessing the damage inflicted by forest fires caused by deforestation, volcanic eruptions, flooding and so on. Also, such types of coverage are popular as the base layer for cartographic web services.

The main stages of creating such coverage are: the selection of images, the masking of clouded areas, tonal adjustment of images taken at different times of the year, and pasting them into single coverage using so-called “cutlines”, which enable, to a certain extent, the joins between the pasted images to be hidden. Such operations, as a rule, are carried out in semi-automatic mode and require specialised software and highly qualified experts, which substantially increases both the time taken to create such a product and its cost.

Weather widget’s new geolocation and weather map functionality

Weather widget’s new geolocation and weather map functionality

We invite anyone wishing to do so to try out our weather widget’s new geolocation and weather map functionality – https://openweathermap.org (please note that ‘https://’ is required in the URL), which can be targeted to your specific location.

You are invited to test the new Query Builder web interface for our VANE platform

You are invited to test the new Query Builder web interface for our VANE platform

You are invited to test the new web interface Query Builder for our Vane platform.
You can use this simple tool to create your own map in just a few minutes, and with just one click receive a completed link for display on your site or app using a web map library like Leaflet, Open Layer, Mapbox and Google Map.

This version is an improvement over the previous one in terms of simplicity of use and layout. The user can select either one of the available data sources and the required combination of spectral bands or one of the derivative index products such as NDVI, EVI, etc. You can also set up display parameters, including clarity, contrast and gamma correction, or use one of the available schemes provided. After that, all you need is to get an API key and insert it in the prepared link, and you can use it in your programming product.
We are ready to answer your questions and will be glad to hear any proposals you might have.

The influence of temperature on plant productivity in agriculture: Accumulated temperature

The influence of temperature on plant productivity in agriculture: Accumulated temperature

Accumulated temperature is a weather parameter that directly influences the productivity of agricultural plants. All biological and chemical processes taking place in the soil are connected with air temperature. The heat supply of crops is characterised by a sum of average daily air temperatures that are higher than a biological minimum during a vegetation period. Both too-high and too-low temperatures spoil the course of biochemical processes in cells, and irreversible changes can be caused that lead to a stoppage of growth and the death of plants.

New API for accumulated temperature and precipitation data!

New API for accumulated temperature and precipitation data!

We are happy to announce our new APIs based on historical data and focused primarily on users from the agricultural sector – API for accumulated temperature data and API for accumulated precipitation data.

Accumulated temperature data is an index that denotes an amount of warmth. It is determined as a sum of average daily air and soil temperatures that exceeds a defined threshold of 0°C, 5°C or 10°C, or a biological minimum temperature level that is crucial for some specific plant.

Accumulated precipitation data is calculated as a sum of all parameters for a particular period.

Accumulated precipitation data for agriculture

Accumulated precipitation data for agriculture

Precipitation, mostly rains, has a huge impact on agriculture. For plants to grow, they need at least a small amount of water, and rain is still one of the most effective ways of watering despite the development of modern technologies.

Too much or too little precipitation is bad and even harmful for agricultural plants. Drought can destroy the harvest and increase erosion, and overly humid weather can trigger the growth of unfavourable fungi. Also, different kinds of plants demand different amounts of precipitation. For example, some succulent species require little water, while tropical plants need hundreds of inches of rain a year just to continue living.

The fluctuation in precipitation amounts is quite substantial in continental climates. They fluctuate more in a month than during a year. A considerable variation in precipitation leads to situations where drought takes place during the years with low amounts, thus forming areas of unstable hydration. With a long absence of rains and at high temperatures, the reserves of moisture in the soil dry out due to evaporation.

A previous arid season brings a shortage of crop yield even in a humid season, as the harvest lacks enough time for ripening. Thus disadvantageous conditions for ordinary plant development are established, and the crop yield of agricultural plants decreases or perishes.

Along with precipitation amounts, the number of days with precipitation in a month or a year is also a significant climatic index. Plants are sensitive to whether a given precipitation amount falls all at once during just a few days, or it rains often and the amount is distributed comparatively evenly throughout a month. For instance, even one great downpour in a prairie area in summer has little ability to improve an arid situation.

By employing a data set of precipitation amounts and a number of days, one can calculate an accumulated precipitation amount for any region during a specific period of time.

Accumulated temperature data for agriculture

Accumulated temperature data for agriculture

Temperature, and especially accumulated temperature, is an important factor and plays a fundamental role in agricultural productivity. Plants and insects develop in accordance with the temperature. The warmer the weather, the faster they grow and reproduce; the colder it is, the more slowly these processes go.

All species have a biological minimum temperature level, below which development does not take place at all. When the temperature of the environment begins to exceed this minimum level, it gives a start to growth and reproduction. The value of this basic temperature (or a development threshold) has a crucial significance, and it differs between species of plants and insects.

Accumulated temperature (AT) represents an integrated excess or lack of temperature in relation to a fixed starting point. This index is calculated as the sum of the average daily temperatures of air and soil, above a chosen threshold of 0°C, 5°C or 10°C, or a biological minimum temperature level.

Basically, this is a way of including temperature and time into one dimension for quantitative evaluation of the speed of growth of plants and insects. Usually the index of accumulated temperature data is used to create models of crop growth.

In the near future, we will introduce our new API for accumulated temperature data. It will be based on historical data, and will be focused primarily on users in the agricultural sector.

We are happy to announce significant improvements in one of our products – API for UV-index

We are happy to announce significant improvements in one of our products – API for UV-index

We are happy to announce that one of our products – API for UV-index – has been significantly improved.

  • Now, as well as current and historical data, you can also get UVI forecasts for periods of 8 days.
  • The syntax has been made considerably easier: it has become clearer and more unified, like other API versions.
  • There is a new feature to request data for any geographic coordinates without limits on accuracy.
  • The accuracy level of the UVI modelled data has been doubled (the interpolation grid step has been reduced from 0.5 to 0.25 degrees).  
  • Soon, searching by city/town name, city/town ID and postal/ZIP code will be available.

You can find the instructions for the updated version at http://openweathermap.org/api/uvi.

Access to the UV-index data will be available for all our plans. For more information on our plans, please visit http://openweathermap.org/price.

The previous version of the API (http://openweathermap.org/api/old-uvi) will soon be announced as deprecated, and no further support will then be provided for this version.

We have extended the list of supported languages for weather conditions

We have extended the list of supported languages for weather conditions

Do you want to receive weather data in your language? We have extended the list of supported languages for weather conditions.

Now the following languages are available in our API:

Arabic (ar); Czech (cz); Greek (el); Persian (Farsi) (fa); Galician (gl); Hungarian (hu); Japanese (ja); Korean (kr); Latvian (la); Lithuanian (lt); Macedonian (mk); Slovak (sk); Slovenian (sl); Vietnamese (vi).

We invite our users to test translations for weather conditions in different languages. We will be happy to extend our language support according to your wishes. If you have any questions or suggestions, please send them to https://openweathermap.desk.com/. The specification for all weather conditions is available here: http://openweathermap.org/weather-conditions.