I paid for this barometer

NOAA issued a new draft of its policy on disseminating information on the Internet in January. The old policy limits the data the National Weather Service can put out there, so that it doesn’t compete with private weather companies. In response to a study by the National Research Council, the new policy would recognize that the agency is a branch of the U.S. Government, and its duty is to provide free access to information, not worry about stepping on Accuweather’s toes.

Guess who doesn’t like it?

Yep. The Commercial Weather Services Organization issued a response to the NRC Fair Weather Report in which it takes issue with the NRC recommendations. They especially don’t like Number 5:

The NWS should make its data and products available in internet-accessible digital form. Information held in digital databases should be based on widely recognized standards, formats, and metadata descriptions to ensure that data from different observing platforms, databases, and models can be integrated and used by all interested parties in weather and climate enterprise.

The position of the private sector guys is laughable–except that it’s not funny. What they want the NWS to do is to turn all the data over to them first. Then, they would make sure that it gets to the public. In other words, no more “free” weather tools. Instead, you get to pay the Government to generate weather data, then pay Accuweather to give it to you.

CWSA endorses the dissemination of all NWS data and information (including experimental) in real time without delay in Internet accessible digital form to the private sector for distribution to the public in formats that are appropriate to carry out a properly-defined NWS mission.

Barry Myers, the president of Accuweather, is asking people to comment against the proposed change before June 30. If you are so inclined, you can use that same comment form to vote in favor of the change. *hint, hint*

[ via Slashdot ]

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2 Responses to I paid for this barometer

  1. Brian says:

    Oops, I did it backwards. I blame the mind-weakening effects of major surgery.

    This is a REALLY stupid idea.

  2. Solonor says:

    Yikes! I guess I messed up that rant, eh?

    No, their OLD policy says that they should run everything by private industry first to make sure they’re not competing. Their NEW policy says, “Screw it! We’re a government agency. We’ll put this data out there for all to freely access.”

    What the commercial interests want the Feds to do is either keep the old policy or modify it so that the data passes through their hands first.

    What I want you to do is to tell the Feds their new policy is peachy keen just the way it is.

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