The Global Bureau Service is a centrally managed data service, hosted and supported by the Vaisala Road & Rail Weather service team. Although data is normally owned by the customer, Vaisala collects, quality checks, archives and provides sensor data whilst acting as the distribution agent for forecasts from all providers. The service is monitored and maintained 24 hours a day ensuring the continuous provison of sensor and forecast data.
The Global Bureau Service was started in 1988 to satisfy customers who wanted to have the latest sensor and forecast data, but didn't want the responsibility for the resources, or infrastructure required to host the data collection themselves. The service was built upon Unix servers, which polled weather stations and received forecast information from the forecast providers. Customers using locally installed software, dialled in to the service to collect sensor and forecast information.
In the year 2000, the system evolved onto an Oracle database and Vaisala now, hosts one of the World's largest meteorological databases. 1 million rows of sensor and forecast data are ingested into the database every day, averaging at 12 rows a second. By Spring 2005, there were over a thousand million rows of roadside weather station sensor data from across the world.
There are two main methods of data access for customers. Using a modem, clients can download forecast and sensor records onto their local machines and view this data via the IceCast IceView Workstation. Since the implementation of Oracle there has been a shift toward Internet driven communication protocols and Web solutions. Data can be downloaded over the internet with SSH technology providing secure data transfer. Forecast and sensor data can also be hosted on one of the Vaisala web servers, allowing password protected web page access to the data. This use of internet technology has allowed Vaisala Road & Rail Weather to provide a service to customers around the world. Vaisala now actively hosts, manages and maintains Ice Prediction services in the UK, Mainland Europe, New Zealand, Scandinavia and across the USA and Canada.
The advantage of the centrally managed Global Bureau Service is that Vaisala is responsible for the collection and provision of reliable data. As the data is hosted and centrally managed by Vaisala several add-on services can be provided such as:
- Data Quality Management – All data, as it is ingested into the Oracle database is quality checked to ensure no erroneous data is passed onto clients or forecast providers. For more information see Sensor Monitoring.
- Archive Data – As all sensor and forecast data is archived within the Oracle database it can be extracted and supplied to the customer in a range of formats.
- Forecast Skill Reports – Site-specific, forecasts accuracy reports using industry approved statistical measurements can be e-mailed monthly to clients.
For more information on the Global Bureau Service please contact Vaisala Sales.