Met Office looks to enhance weather services by publishing more open data

The Met Office has become the first UK trading fund to join the Open Data Institute’s (ODI) membership programme as a partner.

It joins fellow ODI partners Arup, Telefonica, Thomson Reuters and the University of Southampton – each of which is aspiring for more open-data usage and delivery in their respective industries.

The Met Office already publishes significant amounts of open data via its DataPoint API service, including five-day forecasts, real-time observations and regularly updated forecasts for mountain weather, national parks and UK regions.

As part of this process, it will be working with the ODI to both improve this data and expand its range of open data.

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While the Met Office needs to charge for some of its data in order to cover its running costs as a trading fund, it is also keen to share as much information as it can as open data in order to boost the creation of new services that use weather data.

The Met Office has a responsibility under the Public Records Act to record the history of the UK’s weather and it has paper records archived that date back to 1854 – the year the Met Office was founded.

By working with the ODI, it will be making more of this information available electronically as open data.

“The Met Office takes open data very seriously and we’re excited to be working with the ODI to make open data more useful and widely used by existing and potential re-users,” said Charles Ewen, CIO at the Met Office.

“Data services play an important part in our aim to make weather and climate information as available as possible for UK citizens and our relationship with the ODI will help us do that even more effectively.”

ODI’s CEO Gavin Starks added: “The Met Office is a world-class British institution actively seeking to innovate in tackling national and global challenges. Climate and weather data are a core part of our national information infrastructure, and critical to our future.

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“Opening up more of their data, and evolving to sustainable open business models, will provide exemplars of the power of open: helping to address social, economic and environmental impacts for everyone.”

The ODI is an international, collaborative network of businesses, startups and organisations. Each member is accessing, using, benefiting from, and/or publishing open data. 

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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