This is a reply to those who posted questions about the V0.32a alpha version on our old BBS system.
Q. Any ideas regarding pricing/policy?
A. No. This won't be established until I have a better idea what will make it into the final release. I believe we will allow a six-month grandfathering window, where the upgrade will definitely be free if a user has purchased Digital Atmosphere within the six-month time period leading up to the final release date.
Q. Any plans for incorporating model data that can be used by European users.
A. Yes. This is why GRIB was added (and exists even in this alpha version). I know NCEP (U.S.) offers GRIB coverage of Europe with its global model (the GFS/AVN). I haven't tested this model specifically, but the GRIB data will cover Europe. Also http://www.globalmarinenet.net/grib.htm
offers worldwide reprocessed coverage. I haven't the faintest idea whether any European agencies offer coverage for Europe... if any European DA users are able to dig up some good non-U.S. sources I will offer the reward of lifetime free Digital Atmosphere upgrade privileges
to the first user who uncovers a particular set of foreign real-time GRIB data.
Q. When can we expect a final release?
A. I can't answer, not because I don't want to, but because I can't. It is completely dependent on how much time I get in a particular week... some weeks I get 14 hours a day to program, others I'm stuck all day doing packaging or running errands. I am trying to get something out by Christmas but it's anybody's guess! Digital Atmosphere is highest priority, in any case... I am not doing any more book writing or other projects until it is done.
Q. Will there be a CD with maps?
A. There are plans for a topographic set (for the U.S. only, derived from NIMA charts) that will be intended primarily as an underlay for NEXRAD radar imagery. This cost me hundreds of dollars to obtain and about 10 hours to reprocess, and it will be part of a premium version only. Coverage for Europe and worldwide is possible, but this will have to come in stages as the data is quite expensive... and it may not complement anything except the SFUK lightning data since Europe doesn't share its radar data.
Q. Is it "normal "I can't download any american data in Europe ? I wanted to test the frontal depiction and model-output , but seem unable to do so.
A. Frontal data is not produced for Europe. If you look at http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/sfc/90fwbg.gif
this is about the extent of the coverage they offer (North America only). If any enterprising amateurs are willing to offer frontal data files for the world, you may be able to make a small amount of money from users on a subscription basis, and I will be more than happy to work with you to promote your data and make suggestions. There is definitely a need for worldwide frontal data!
Q. Is there any possibility at all to implement a map-export in DA for use with GEOSATSIGNAL ??
A. What I am planning to do is allow a "Import background map" function for Digital Atmosphere that will allow you to underlay an image. This of course will require that your map settings (lat/long/zoom/image size) has been predetermined ahead of time, as Digital Atmosphere cannot do the horrendously complex task of georeferencing (figuring projection types and establishing parameters for map transformations). If you believe you have a very strong trigonometry and calculus background I will be more than happy to implement a georeferencing algorithm of your design, but this appears to be beyond my expertise. So my plan is to make it easier to "slide" background maps in and out. I would love any suggestions on how to implement this best -- let me know what you envision as being the ideal way to do this.
Q. I agree with Rik that a bit more co-orporation between this two programs has advantage to users and programmers/sellers as well.
A. That is true, and I have not yet collaborated with the GeoSatSignal folks yet because there is too much to do right now with the other 125 upgrade issues which I am trying to get resolved.
We really cannot "blend" our code, and also I do respect David Taylor's hard work and don't want to start biting into his market (or developing any kind of replacement for his software). However I do see the need to blend different types of imagery into Digital Atmosphere (NEXRAD and satellite all included) but the focus will be on blending a variety of data rather than designing DA to be more of a satellite viewer.
Q. I've been promoting DA all the time at the forum ( pro-weather ) so you should see some new customers when DA is finished .
A. Shannon and myself appreciate this greatly!
Q. I'm getting a "range error" when clicking on "frontal depiction", However, front data is still displayed.
A. I believe we had gotten rid of this in V0.32a... are you sure this patch is installed? If anyone sees such data that causes this error please let me know the source URL (exact) or please ZIP the file and post it to this board so I can install it and test it. The data MUST be zipped to preserve any linefeeds, carriage returns, and control characters that could adversely affect the data.
Q. I see there is a Nesdis site Goes 9 HiRes Vis product on the download but I have not been able to get that to work.
A. I was on that site recently and I believe the NESDIS server was offline or broken. Always check the URL before reporting a download problem to make sure the data is actually there. I will take a look at this as I weed through the download list.
Q. (Questions about radar problems, derived contours).
A. This is being worked on.... I appreciate comments on what you see, but these modules aren't complete yet and may have problems. Advanced functions such as derived contours, 3-D analysis, etc can be assumed to be broken and they do need work.
Q. With plotting Nexrad bref and storm relative velocity data from COD? COD downloads are much faster than downloads from NOAA. I just wish they would plot.
A. Seems that this did plot not too long ago. I will check it out and see what's wrong. Either DA is not handling the decompression correctly or they may simply not be offering radar data anymore (again, a suggestion to always go to the root URL to see if the data is actually there).
Q. I also get the globalmarinenet GRIB to plot ok, but am having problems with most GRIB files downloaded from Wesley's site athttp://wesley.wwb.noaa.gov/ncep_data/index.html.
A. Thanks -- I have not tested with this site. I will check and see if they are doing anything weird with packaging the files.
Q. DA locks up (I/O error 103 and/or basically a solid freeze with the hourglass and no closing ability) when trying to plot wind-degrees contours with the data.
A. Streamlines? Gridded winds? I need to know which contour option you picked specifically. This is likely to be some kind of problem with the contouring module -- I know some of the module is still in need of repairs.
Q. Using fronts / enable drawing / text gives a box with the question “enter the valid time”. Nothing happens after entering something.
A. Thanks, I will check into this.
Q. Is anyone else able to view RCM and/or RAREP radar echo plots? My regular DA 2000 install can display it on occasion but not all that much all that recent.
A. RCM and RAREP (SD) has never worked very well in Digital Atmosphere, mainly because few people have complained about it and it has been set aside in favor of other issues. Because NEXRAD Level III data is easily available, RCM and RAREP will definitely take a back seat, but re-instating them is on the books as a low-priority issue. I do see the need to plot all echoes across the U.S. in one swoop, which is not practical with Level III data, so I do plan to address this.
Q. Is there a reason to use external files to log the downloads for finding the latest file for nexrad and front data?
A. Yes, as I don't want to dynamically allocate memory for what could be an extremely long directory listing. With the compilers that I use I find it safer to do it this way.
Q. All of the WMO file sites have file listings that can have filenames that contain date-code info pointing to a future time and dates. What if DAW could some how limit its search to filenames with product time codes that are no later than the date-code the software keeps track of as current. This would solve the issue of pulling the wrong data.
A. I don't think I've seen phantom files for future, nonexistent front data. I've seen this with METAR data, but it's usually the result of an incorrectly coded header. As far as basing it off the current time, what if the user's clock is set wrong? If I use another server's timestamp, what if it goes offline or is inaccessible. I still think the current scheme is best. Better yet is to stick with static URL's.... HPC offers the latest bulletin at http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/discussions/codsus
and most likely I will default to that as the frontal bulletin of choice.
I do appreciate everyone's patience (especially with the discussion board move) and I hope to get another test upgrade out shortly. Also, if you wish to discuss a particular aspect of the Digital Atmosphere test version, please start a new topic rather than reply to this thread (that way people can look at the topic subject to read more about an issue that interests them). Thanks!