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Visa fullständig version : UK MetOffice limits free Internet weather forecast service


SM5POR
2007-02-21, 00:47
For a couple of months I have been relying on a Polish website (http://meteo.icm.edu.pl/english/weathfrcst/weatherforecast.html) for weather forecast maps covering most of Scandinavia, providing estimates of temperature, precipitation and cloud cover for the next 48 hours, in 6-hour intervals. When I visited the website tonight, I found to my surprise that the maps only showed the territory of Poland and its immediate surroundings, with only a tiny portion of southern Sweden visible, useless to me as that's not where I live.



Bringing up ICM's English-language front page (http://meteo.icm.edu.pl/index2eng.php), I found a note reading "!! FORECAST AREA REDUCED !!" and linking to a pop-up message:



Dear Users of ICM's numerical weather prediction service:



Since mid 1997, we have been attempting to provide open-access Internet service, as reliable as possible, and continuously expanding its content and range. Over this period, we were supported by the UK MetOffice, reliable and highest-quality partner, supplying us with input data for the numerical model and licensing the Unified Model.



Recently we have been obliged to discontinue the non-Polish part of the service. As sorry as we are, we have no other way but to meet those requests.



Still, it is our intention to resume the service in its full extent within shortest possible time, based on entirely new foundations.



Should our numerical weather prediction service be of use and relevance for you, please let us know and share with us possibly many details. We believe future belongs to open services and so understand our mission in the Twenty First Century - Age of Participation, Age of Open Society. Your reaction and support may prove quite essential for the scale of our joint success in future,



Yours ICM team

The message is followed by a user feedback form. I take it that the UK MetOffice is unhappy about too many potential customers of theirs instead being entirely satisfied with the Polish service, which comes free of charge. As for myself, I would never consider paying for weather forecasts anyway, since my profession does not depend on them; I study them for private use only, comparing them to forecasts on Swedish television to obtain multiple scientific viewpoints. Therefore I don't see how this move by the UK MetOffice will benefit anyone, hardly even themselves.



I'm not familiar with the ways in which meteorological research and forecasting services are being funded, but I suspect I'm already paying for part of it, indirectly. If that's indeed the case, then I feel someone is cheating me here. And if I'm not paying anything today, then I'd be happy to contribute financially via my tax form to a publicly funded weather forecasting service (I bet that has never been tried before) that provides the scientific information it compiles free of charge to the general public, instead of dividing up its clientele into artificial "forecast areas". Do the residents of Luxembourg get their own weather map too, limited to their tiny nation?



Because, with the current trend in intellectual property law enforcement, I don't want to ever risk getting into trouble with the police for telling a non-subscriber friend of mine what I have learned about tomorrow's weather. I'd rather stay indoors.

TheBaldingOne
2007-02-22, 08:03
SM5POR (2007-Feb-21)

Therefore I don't see how this move by the UK MetOffice will benefit anyone, hardly even themselves.



Perhaps the Polish Service Providers didn't negotiate a deal (or re-negotiate a deal) with the Met Office? As far as the Met Office and funding are concerend they are answerable (and a dept of) the UK Ministry of Defence but since 1996 have been operating on a commercial basis...

SM5POR (2007-Feb-21)

I'm not familiar with the ways in which meteorological research and forecasting services are being funded, but I suspect I'm already paying for part of it, indirectly.



I know I am as a UK taxpayer...

SM5POR (2007-Feb-21)

Because, with the current trend in intellectual property law enforcement, I don't want to ever risk getting into trouble with the police for telling a non-subscriber friend of mine what I have learned about tomorrow's weather. I'd rather stay indoors.

I agree totally... I was going to sing along to a cd I was listening to in the car yesterday but it was warm and my window was open and I didn't have a licence to sing that song.. someone may have heard me and reported me for unlicenced singing (either that or for strangling a cat!!!)