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    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

    Weather Station

     

    This project is very much out of date.  The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) have changed their web site layout and this program will not work without modification.  I have left it here for reference only.

     

    Weather Station will display a current weather report on your Windows computer.

    It gets the information over the Internet from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) who in turn collect the data from robotic weather stations. The data is refreshed approx every 10 minutes so you are seeing up to date data.

    This can be thought of as a replacement for the mechanical weather gauge on your roof - except that you do not have the hassle of maintaining it, the Weather Bureau does that for you.

    This software only works for Perth or Melbourne (Australia).

    How It Works

    Weather Station works by looking up a web page provided by BOM that lists the raw data from their robotic weather stations. It just takes that data and presents it in a nice, easy to read format.

    In the IT industry it is an old technique called "screen scraping".

    The screens on the right give you an idea of the data that is available behind each tab. Note that the graph showing the temperature is broken in two places. This is because the computer lost connection with the Internet over that period (it was turned off).

    Menu options allow you to show rain radar maps provided by BOM, detailed forecasts, etc and save the data in an Excel compatible format.

    Configuration

    Weather Station is built on an "engine" that searches through the data on the BOM website and extracts the essential data (ie, current temperature, humidity, etc).

    The search criteria are held in a configuration file which is part of Weather Station. This file can be edited by a normal text editor so that you can change the search script to accommodate most changes made by BOM to their website. As it is certain that there will be changes to the web page layouts in the future this gives you a certain degree of "future proofing" without having to change the program itself.

    The Bad

    OK, you have read all the good things about Weather Station, now for the bad. Firstly, it is written in Visual Basic 5, which is quite old. So modifying the source code and recompiling it will be a challenge.

    It also uses the functions exposed by Microsoft's Internet Explorer to get web pages. Because Microsoft keep messing with this software you cannot be sure that it will work with future versions.

    In addition, there are only versions for Perth and Melbourne. Sorry Sydney, Adelaide, et al - you are out of luck here. You could modify the configuration file to suit these cities. but the image used in the wind direction icon will be wrong.

    When this was first written (over 5 years ago) it was hard to get current weather data over the Internet. Now there are many of applets that sit on your desktop, iPod, or whatever and do a similar job. For that reason Weather Station will not be updated any more.


    Downloads

    Weather Station v1.8 for Melbourne DOWNLOAD
    Weather Station v1.8 for Perth DOWNLOAD
    Source code DOWNLOAD