A common question we receive at AerisWeather is “Why would I pay for weather data when I can get it from free sources?” As a leading provider of data-as-a-solution in the weather and environmental data space, we are here to share why “paid” is often your best value option over free or commodity weather sources – there are more benefits than you might think.
The most common free sources of weather data like NOAA, Environment Canada, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and other government entities leverage a finite network of measurement hardware primarily located at Airports. As most people and businesses aren’t immediately next to airports, private data providers like AerisWeather rose to the challenge to alleviate this data gap. To resolve this AerisWeather has grown a community of weather station owners, business partnerships with other proprietary networks, and partnerships with academic communities. This data is then analyzed in aggregate to provide interpolated answers for any location on Earth not accessible via free alternatives.
Additionally, these government entities rely on private weather providers for their own interpretation, analysis, and supplementary data. Beyond resolution, AerisWeather’s innovative meteorological expertise is most evident in our Forecasts. More frequent updates, interpolation, and meteorologists on staff guiding model selection and interpretation all result in a more complete and accurate preview of upcoming weather conditions. If you want your weather data to be backed by the latest science and technology, a paid weather solution may be best for you.
With many of the free global, national, regional, and local weather data sources, each have separate data feeds and formats for delivering environmental parameters (fires, severe weather alerts, current conditions, forecasts). As an aggregator and curator of data sources we can empathize with the amount of work and maintenance conducting ETL of this many disparate sources bring. By leveraging a standardized data sources in an easy-to-use format with consistency across geographies and endpoints like AerisWeather, you’re gaining the benefit of these public data sources but without the integration headaches.
Additionally, AerisWeather clients gain value from the enhanced interpretation and output formats paid data providers offer, such as a REST API (JSON and GeoJSON), Mapping Tiles, Embeddable Dynamic and Interactive Imagery, and Webhook capabilities. These enhanced and consistent formats allow businesses to leverage data in a multitude of interfaces, to ensure their teams and customers are kept up to the minute with the important weather intel that impacts their business and lives.
NOAA, one example of a free public data source, makes frequent changes to their data structures and there are common outages that are not possible to compensate for. With a robust network of privately-owned weather stations, multiple private and redundant data connections to government sources and advanced meteorological expertise, a quality paid weather data provider will have a plan for filling in geospatial and temporal gaps from public data sources to ensure your application never misses a beat.
In a request for public comment and accompanying webinar, NOAA also alluded to bandwidth limitations reducing the reliability of their infrastructure. In response, they have proposed limiting user requests to 60 hits per minute. This simply would not be sufficient to support many larger weather integrations.
AerisWeather provides a robust Mapping Platform (AMP), with various mapping layers to make visualizing weather data, fast, easy, and useful. Mapping is available as historical, current, and forecast layers, making AMP a powerful tool for businesses to monitor current conditions, cartographically analyze the past and upcoming weather patterns in a variety of tools (GIS or custom applications).
With a free weather API provider, you’re often on your own to integrate and understanding your weather data. At AerisWeather, our sales engineers, technical support teams, and full stack engineers are available to provide guidance, knowledge, and best practices. With some partnerships AerisWeather is able to offer marketing and sales support in the form of press releases and customer referrals. In cases where more hands-on development and engineering is required AerisWeather has a suite of development partners we are happy to introduce you to. Looking to become a development partner or learn more about customized support options? Reach out to our team and let’s talk.
Does a robust, full-featured API with advanced uptime, a diverse array of endpoints, and extended support and tools to help you reach production faster sound good to you? You’ll be even more thrilled to hear that you can test these claims of value for free with AerisWeather’s 30-day developer trial. Simply sign up or contact our team to learn more!