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?
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 ]