Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:41 am
johnpolasek offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

What about CWOP? I hadn't been posting my data there because WU was easier to set up, but I'll probably start now.

Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:44 am
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

jay (support) wrote:
Perry did it already, though I admit I've never used it.

I've used that for some things over the years. It isn't as full featured as WU was but few things really have been. I still have it installed and still tie into some of the data from it for some of my automation.

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Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:48 am
DaveL17 offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Colorado4Wheeler wrote:
I came across this site that lists some good free API's. While it is still a massive rewrite of your plugin, there seems to be a handful of good alternatives for you to launch a new and fresh version. Maybe it'll inspire you to improve on things you have been wanting to improve without the headache of breaking your existing plugin.

Continue to be "Our Weather Guy" Dave :).

As soon as I finish a refactoring of the GhostXML plugin, I'm going to look at alternatives--including other currently available plugins.

I'm not going anywhere. 8)

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Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:14 am
RogueProeliator offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Perry did it already, though I admit I've never used it.

Oh cool, thanks for pointing that out, I'll take a look. But imma need Dave to go ahead and make it easy to plot the forecasts on purdy graph. Because, well, he makes it easy. :-)

Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:56 pm
mat offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Dave,

Frustrating news, but just a word of thanks from me and the family. You have been providing weather every morning to us for a good few years.

Cheers

Mat

mini 10.11.6

Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:41 pm
DaveL17 offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

RogueProeliator wrote:
But imma need Dave to go ahead and make it easy to plot the forecasts on purdy graph. Because, well, he makes it easy. :-)

Already cipherin' this one. I think the answer may be a slightly different version of the weather chart devices which allow the data to be pulled from any device state or variable value.

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Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:42 pm
DaveL17 offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

mat wrote:
Dave,

Frustrating news, but just a word of thanks from me and the family. You have been providing weather every morning to us for a good few years.

Cheers

Mat

Thanks Mat. Glad to hear that you got good value out of the plugin.

Cheers!
Dave

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Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:14 pm
lanbrown offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

DaveL17 wrote:
Indeed.

That's the general sentiment on the user forums as well. WU say that they believe that a CSV download is adequate replacement for the API for PWS owners. I suspect that few would agree.


So my prediction seems to be correct:
https://forums.indigodomo.com/viewtopic.php?f=149&t=20827#p161756

I wonder how they will feel when they have a lot less detailed data to work with? What does the owner of a PWS get out of it? IMO, they get nothing but yet when you want to use data (some or all of it that you supplied) they want you to pay through the nose for it.

Hopefully someone on their forums will stage a protest for a day where users disable their PWS sending to Wunderground before they kill the current API keys. That might make it clear to Wunderground what they could be losing and the day they kill the current API keys that people just disable the sending of their data to Wunderground.

I get that people can use the data and the backend infrastructure is not cheap. When you use their API it is not like they can show you ads or anything; so they have no way to make any revenue off of the data they provide. But when the majority of the data they get is from home users, they are not going to pay $850 a month.

Let's see how much Wunderground alienates their user base.

Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:22 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

The unfortunate reality is that probably 99% of the PWS contributors don't know this is happening and don't care because they have their data. They probably don't go to the forums enough to be "in the know" about a protest so in the end you might get 5-10% of PWS owners who might protest, a mighty number to be sure but not enough to either disrupt WU or bring attention to the cause. The people this new rule alienates are mostly the people who "leech" the WU data and resell it (plenty of those out there) and the bystanders are those like Dave that never monetized the data and for whom the benefactors of the data get genuine use without abuse of the information.

This calculated risk is probably that they will reduce the leech load by 95%, alienate maybe 2-5% of the people who are not leeching and monetize those that require the service in order to stay in business. Consider that WeatherSnoop has the ability to tie into WU data, but when you consider that WeatherSnoop is a paid software then they are sort of monetizing free-to-them data, now they will have to pay for that data. Now WeatherSnoop is mostly about your own PWS but the mere fact that they open the ability to use WU as a source instead means they essentially monetize WU. I don't have a PWS and use WeatherSnoop exclusively as a gateway to WU and I paid them for that service.

Don't get me wrong, I think this sucks and that they should have the ability to grant certain use cases free access (like this plugin for instance) because it's such a low user base and doesn't tax their servers nor make money off of its data, however in the long haul we have to remember that nothing good is really free - it might start that way but it cannot stay that way and remain a viable business option. I can cite dozens of companies that started free and monetized. Remember when VMWare was free and open source? Now look at them.

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Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:33 pm
lanbrown offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

I agree completely but the free developer account you were limited to the number of calls. So it is not like you could resell the data easily since you would have a very narrow view of the weather.

I don't think right off the bat much will happen in terms of people leaving. What I do see happening is that the manufacturers, resellers, etc. will not mention Wunderground at all though. So there will be less promoting and ease of Wunderground integration. Time will tell.

Maybe what really needs to happen to get Wunderground to alter their path, go right to IBM. What Wunderground is doing goes directly against IBM goals:
https://www.ibm.com/blogs/research/2018/03/ibm-climate-change/

“Connecting to this stance, IBM issued a call for proposals last summer for climate research that can leverage our IBM World Community Grid for crowdsourced computing power, cloud-based storage, and data from The Weather Company. The response to this call was overwhelming. We heard from over 70 research groups interested in these resources to support their work to understand climate change.


Less data from The Weather Company (Wunderground falls under them) then the less detailed data you have for research purposes.

That is why if people stopped sending data to Wunderground for a day, it might make the voice of the little guy heard loud and clear.

Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:40 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Excellent point that from a research prospective they limit their data.

Of course we don't know what we don't know. Maybe there are so many free developer API's that it is sacrificing the stability or accuracy of the information. It could be a simple cash grab but I cannot imagine it's that much cash to get at.

With all of Google's bandwidth you have to ask why did they limit access to the maps API? I have to imagine that they got what they wanted, so many people used and shared information on that service that Google got to where they figured "we have enough info now, why waste resources supporting free users and leeches?". Who knows.

Just remember that when there is a vacuum that something will fill it. I was reading that Craigslist recently closed their entire personals section because of government rulings that might make them liable for anything that happened to someone who answered one and got hurt and they were the biggest personals ad company in the world. This created a massive vacuum and from what I've read there have been two or three "little guys" that stepped up to the plate and are now overwhelmed with users wanting to utilize their site. I believe the same will happen here. This will shake out and we'll find that Dark Sky or someone else becomes prolific and the de-facto standard for free weather reporting, at least in the short term.

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Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:12 pm
lanbrown offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Google and their Maps was a simple reason. They (Google) spent a lot of money making it and eventually a product needs to be monetized. Expect more changes to Google Maps coming. There will be ads based upon where you are and all of the information that Google has on you...plus who is willing to pay the most for the ad.

The Google Maps and now Wunderground should be a clear indicator that if you're developing a service, plugin, etc. that you should look long and hard about the API you decide to use. Something free today may not be free tomorrow. Google, Wunderground, etc. let you sample for free but down the road they will charge you. I guess that is where services like OpenStreetMap, OpenWeatherMap, etc. come into play. Even using them, you should expect the worst in that the free level might be more restrictive than it currently is. But 60 calls a minute is pretty generous for many people and the first paid tier bumps that to 600 per minute at $40 a month.

Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:29 pm
jay (support) offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

Colorado4Wheeler wrote:
in the long haul we have to remember that nothing good is really free


I have to point out that the open source model, where lots of people contribute often times for the benefit of their business but also for other's benefit as well, is free and a lot of it is quite good. Data may be different (thought there are also open source data licenses and sources), but as a blanket statement it's not really true.

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Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:31 pm
lanbrown offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

jay (support) wrote:
Colorado4Wheeler wrote:
in the long haul we have to remember that nothing good is really free


I have to point out that the open source model, where lots of people contribute often times for the benefit of their business but also for other's benefit as well, is free and a lot of it is quite good. Data may be different (thought there are also open source data licenses and sources), but as a blanket statement it's not really true.


The plugins are free and some of them are really good.

Posted on
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:25 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Re: Changes Coming to Weather Underground API

With all of Google's bandwidth you have to ask why did they limit access to the maps API? I have to imagine that they got what they wanted, so many people used and shared information on that service that Google got to where they figured "we have enough info now, why waste resources supporting free users and leeches?". Who knows.

To be fair, at least Google is allowing you to use $200/month free still -- WUnderground is flat out pulling the rug out from under everyone. I'll probably create a billing account on Google using one of those stupid pre-paid Visa cards that I get from "mail-in" rebates. That way I really just can't be charged even if I have a billing account. I wish I could do the same with WUnderground...

I have to point out that the open source model, where lots of people contribute often times for the benefit of their business but also for other's benefit as well, is free and a lot of it is quite good. Data may be different (thought there are also open source data licenses and sources), but as a blanket statement it's not really true.

I love Open Source and often you are indeed correct, but I generally find the commercial alternatives are better -- at least for the tools I use. I sometimes still see the Open Source option as a better value in that I don't care about the extra features/stability/whatever, but in my (admittedly small) area of use, the commercial apps usually win. (And before anyone jumps at me, I DO know there are times and options out there where OS is better. I'm just speaking of my particular generality/experience...)

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