WeatheredOak

a GovHack 2012 project by Darren Reid and Adam Baxter

What is it?

WeatheredOak is an API (advanced programming interface) for the ACORNSat historical weather data – a data set provided by the Bureau of Meteorology containing temperatures from many Australian weather stations from approximately 1900 to December last year.

What does it achieve?

  • Parsing of the legacy ACORNSat data into a modern database
  • Access for developers and applications to a large data set in a way that’s easy to use – a RESTful API.
  • Very fast data access – five years of temperature data can be retrieved in a second!
  • An example of how governments could make their data sets more accessible to developers

 

Who is it intended for?

Developers interested in using historical temperature data in their web, mobile or desktop applications

 

Why have we done it?

We are interested in data as a service, providing simple tools for developers to effectively use public data.

 

Does it solve a problem?

The original data was split across 112 weather stations and 224 temperature files. We’ve consolidated this into a database and a service to interact with it. Instead of working across text files and spreadsheets, a developer can make a single call to our service and receive a wide range of temperature data.

Sample of the original data

One of the 244 original files we worked with

 

Developers will get parts of the data they need, instead of dealing with it all at once

 

How will it be used?

An application developer can use their programming language of choice to access our service and get weather station and temperature data in a variety of formats.

Developer documentation is available at https://bitbucket.org/voltagex/weatheredoak/wiki/API

 

Even if you are using spreadsheets, you can use our data. Shown above is Google Docs. Create the above picture by entering

=ImportData(“http://govhack.typ0.co/api/temps/station/id/070351/daterange/2002/2004?format=csv”)

in a cell, then hitting the chart button!

This is an example of the way the service can transform data. Google Docs needs CSV to work with, so that’s what we gave it.

See http://govhack.typ0.co/default.htm for an example of data crunching with our service – calculating averages for a weather station over time

 

Why will people use it?

  • Using a service is easier than hosting, storing and accessing a database.
  • When partial data sets are needed (e.g. in a mobile application where loading 500 megabytes of data would be a bad idea

What makes it unique?

  • We have focused on function over form – we give you the data, you make it pretty!

 

The Code

We used

  • ServiceStack (http://servicestack.net)
  • Entity Framework (www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8363
  • JQuery (http://jquery.com)

Our code is at

API docs are at

A complete copy of the database (!) is at

  • http://ge.tt/3nOAeZI/v/0 – MSSQL backup format only, sorry.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Peter Dallimore

    June 4, 2012

    Hey guys,

    Fantastic work over the weekend. Just to let you know access to the Ninefold services provisioned for you during Govhack will be yours to continue working on your project for the next 6 months. Please keep us up to date with your projects so we can keep the buzz going.

    Regards,

    Pete
    Ninefold

    • Darren Reid

      June 8, 2012

      The wiki should be accessible now. It’s currently set to public access. Let us know if you have any other issues accessing the bitbucket site. Cheers

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