Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Posted on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:14 pm
DaveL17 offline
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Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

To all users of the WUnderground plugin (and potentially the WUnderstation plugin), the Weather Underground team has posted the following information on the Weather Underground API site at https://www.wunderground.com/api/:

Weather Underground as part of The Weather Company, an IBM business, now offers a series of Data Packages that tap into the breadth and depth of weather data to provide current and forecast conditions, seasonal and sub-seasonal forecasts, lifestyle indices, severe weather and historical weather data.

With The Weather Company, you can take advantage of these packages quickly and easily, accessing weather data APIs via the Cloud. The packages are curated to give you only what you need in the format you need it. You can Incorporate weather data into your applications or combine business data with weather data such as alerts and notifications, forecast data, and weather imagery, then apply advanced analytics to build the foundation for informed enterprise decision-making.

To improve our services and enhance our relationship with our users, we will no longer provide free weather API keys as part of our program. If you have been directed to download our Weather Underground free API key by a third party provider, please contact your vendor for resolution.


Unfortunately, I don't yet know what this means for the WUnderground and WUnderstation plugins. It may be that WU allows those of us with existing keys to continue to use the service, but I don't know much yet. I will pass along information as I get it.

I came here to drink milk and kick ass....and I've just finished my milk.

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Posted on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:19 pm
durosity offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

That's ok.. you can just buy a API key for us all... and provide it for free. Forever. :twisted:

Computer says no.

Posted on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:21 pm
DaveL17 offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

durosity wrote:
That's ok.. you can just buy a API key for us all... and provide it for free. Forever. :twisted:

Unfortunately, the Chief Financial Officer may have something to say about that.

I came here to drink milk and kick ass....and I've just finished my milk.

[My Plugins] - [My Forums]

Posted on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:23 pm
durosity offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

I know that feeling!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Computer says no.

Posted on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:38 pm
lanbrown offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

I read over on the RainMachine forums that people have been asking the same thing. I know my SkyDrop also taps into Wunderground. Whatever plan Wunderground has, they are not communicating it very efficiently.

If you click learn more they want you to fill out a form, that just screams you'll be contacted by a salesperson. Just my $0.02, if Wunderground isn't careful, they could see a max exodus for PWS's. Then their service becomes a lot less useful to people willing to pay for it. How many people with a PWS will be willing to keep it on Wunderground when they are making money off of your PWS and yet want to charge you to use the data.

I guess we will just need to wait until Wunderground decides to clarify what their plan is.

Posted on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:48 pm
jay (support) offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

I was turned off years ago when Weather Underground refused to allow us to create an "official" plugin because we couldn't meet their terms of use (it required displaying logos and licensing language in a way that a plugin just couldn't do).

Maybe someone should check WeatherBug again - they had much more favorable terms when we looked years ago.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:01 pm
lanbrown offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

If the pricing of Wunderground is affordable for what they provide, then it might be a non-issue. It is obvious that offering it for free is not a sustainable business model unless they have large customers willing to pay for the small users. If they are expecting the average home user to pay through the nose for it, I think they will see a huge drop in usage and a lot of PWS's moved off of it.

So far no one knows what they are up to. I have a request into SkyDrop regarding this, no one knows over at RainMachine either.

If they require a premium account for $10 a year, that I don't have a problem paying for as long as the service gets better.

Posted on
Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:45 am
DaveL17 offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

I don't think WU ever envisioned the API being used by individuals to the extent that it has been, and I think the former pricing model bears that out--the difference between the free developer level and the paid first tier level was huge. I don't think too many individual users could justify paying for even the first tier.

My guess is that the marginal cost of supporting the API itself is probably fairly nominal, and clearly they're going to do that anyway. The cost of supporting the individual user base on the other hand (email support, forums, etc.) is probably non-trivial and a drain on the bottom line. I expect they've been fairly well overwhelmed by the sheer volume of support inquiries because the response from WU to email and forum posts has been glacial to nonexistent.

I don't expect that they'll drop support for PWS and it's probably only the API that's changing, but I have no evidence as yet to back that assertion up.

I came here to drink milk and kick ass....and I've just finished my milk.

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Posted on
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:04 am
Professor Falken offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Yeah, I wish I could find somewhere on my property to put a PWS that 1) had good unfettered wind, rain, temp exposure, 2) met aesthetic concerns, 3) was fairly accessible for cleaning/service, etc.

Then I think I'd just go super-local on the collection and use my own data, and I guess the Weathersnoop plugin.

I have loved your plugin Dave, but for some reason WU has been serving up some seriously screwy data lately, and it's been playing havoc with any of my HA functions that I have tied to that data. Switching WU stations hasn't helped. I've tried to script around it with some limited success (trying to teach my system when to ignore bad data and hold on to what it had before that) but that's easier said than done.

If I'd now have to pay WU for their recently unreliable data, then it's time to look for another solution.

Posted on
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:07 am
jalves offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

At the risk of taking this discussion on a detour to a different plugin....well, that's never stopped me before. ;)

Anyway, Perry's Cynical Weather plugin has some hooks into Dark Sky. I'm using it for cloud cover and current hour info in some of my triggers/scripts. I wonder how much more info DarkSky exposes and if that could replace WU if need be.

Running Indigo 7.1.1 on a 27" iMac (mid-2017), 8G memory, 1T Fusion Drive, OS X 10.13.6
Jeff

Posted on
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:41 am
johnpolasek offline
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Location: Aggieland, Texas

Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Professor Falken wrote:
Yeah, I wish I could find somewhere on my property to put a PWS that 1) had good unfettered wind, rain, temp exposure, 2) met aesthetic concerns, 3) was fairly accessible for cleaning/service, etc..


It's the wind that is usually the problem; with OSI sensors tied to an RFX, Temp is a cigarette pack sized bpx slapped on the north side of any tree where it's inconspicuous (with half a dozen more stuck in various rooms to give a better sense of when to run the AC at my house) and the rain gage is a large tin can stuck up on the roof. Admittedly their solar sensor is pretty sorry, but Z-wave lux readings off a multisensor are pretty good indicators there. So do you REALLY need the wind readings?

Posted on
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:10 am
Professor Falken offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

johnpolasek wrote:

It's the wind that is usually the problem; with OSI sensors tied to an RFX, Temp is a cigarette pack sized bpx slapped on the north side of any tree where it's inconspicuous (with half a dozen more stuck in various rooms to give a better sense of when to run the AC at my house) and the rain gage is a large tin can stuck up on the roof. Admittedly their solar sensor is pretty sorry, but Z-wave lux readings off a multisensor are pretty good indicators there. So do you REALLY need the wind readings?



No not really. Though as a former kite aerial photographer in remission, I do have a certain affinity for real-time wind readings. But you are right, temp and rain would go a long way towards fixing this.

I guess it's time to add another interface and jump onto the RFX bandwagon.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Posted on
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:21 am
DaveL17 offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

I really do appreciate that the WUnderground plugin has become such a staple for folks' setups and without knowing what the future holds, obviously can't commit to anything. I don't have any plans to add functionality to the plugin, but I'll continue to provide support should any bugs pop up. For now, it appears that existing API keys are being honored and I'm personally grateful for that.

I came here to drink milk and kick ass....and I've just finished my milk.

[My Plugins] - [My Forums]

Posted on
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:49 pm
johnpolasek offline
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Location: Aggieland, Texas

Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Yes, I'm still waiting for some clarification from the other side; the weather OSIs are actually backups for a Davis personal weather station that uploads to WU, (KTXCOLLE34 if it matters) and I keep getting notices that they are going to update their privacy guidelines... so I don't know what that means for them continuing to publish the data through their WUNDERMAP web service, which I'm happy to provide ; I really don't care that people know that the house at my address has a weather station in the back yard... it's not like there's anything hinky about it and a number of folks who use the park across the street have thanked me for posting super localized up to date rain and heat index info they can check before coming out to jog or bike. If WU is planning on taking that away from them and using it strictly to finesse their internal predictions or make folks pay THEM for the data they are getting free from ME, they can kiss my data goodbye. Hopefully, they'll eventually figure out that an opt out for publishing the data to cover the paranoids and leave the website and API open for the rest of us is the most logical path to follow.

Posted on
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:24 pm
lanbrown offline
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Joined: Sep 26, 2017

Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

DaveL17 wrote:
I don't think WU ever envisioned the API being used by individuals to the extent that it has been, and I think the former pricing model bears that out--the difference between the free developer level and the paid first tier level was huge. I don't think too many individual users could justify paying for even the first tier.

My guess is that the marginal cost of supporting the API itself is probably fairly nominal, and clearly they're going to do that anyway. The cost of supporting the individual user base on the other hand (email support, forums, etc.) is probably non-trivial and a drain on the bottom line. I expect they've been fairly well overwhelmed by the sheer volume of support inquiries because the response from WU to email and forum posts has been glacial to nonexistent.

I don't expect that they'll drop support for PWS and it's probably only the API that's changing, but I have no evidence as yet to back that assertion up.


Another option, what they state is their true intention:

To improve our services and enhance our relationship with our users, we will no longer provide free weather API keys as part of our program.


They very well could keep it going as it currently is, just that no new API keys will be provided. If you have one, you're grandfathered in. If you don't, you are left in the cold.

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