Maps and Groups
Meteoplug can draw Maps to show all clients that have given their station a name to be used on the map. So each station can decide, whether to be part of a map or not. I guess most users would like to be on the map, but it is up to you. The default map, you can access as "_map" in your set of pre-defined Meteoplug charts, you will get this information about stations participating:
- Map Marker: On the map you can see the position of a station its status: red=registered Meteoplug, yellow=outdated Meteoplug registration, blue=just feeding data from a Meteohub without Meteoplug registration. Red markers can be clicked and show most important weather data of the last couple of months as an interactive chart.
- Station Name: Name that has been given by the owner of the station. Stations names are not checked for uniqueness.
- Latitude, Longitude, Time Zone, Local Time: Data to explain where your station is.
- Station Type, Logger HW: Some interesting detail about the rig used.
- Data Since, Latest Update: Tells when data logging for Meteoplug has started and when the last data upload was done.
- Actual and Historical Weather Data: This part can be customized by changing map definition. This allows every registered Meteoplug user to select which weather data should be shown on his individualized map.
Beside selecting weather data to show on an individualized map, also the size, center position, zoom factor can be adapted to your preferences in your individual map definition. You might have a look at [this] and [this] section to get more details how to do that.
<websiteFrame> website=http://www.meteoplug.com/cgi-bin/meteochart.cgi?draw=79757a776920306d0e763b272b2426 align=top border=0 height=600 width=750 scroll=no </websiteFrame>
Feel free to embed this map into your web presence, by i-framing this link http://www.meteoplug.com/cgi-bin/meteochart.cgi?draw=79757a776920306d0e763b272b2426. You might also add URL parameters "&latitude=" and "&longitude=" and "&zoom=" to give a new center position and zoom factor (as integers from 1 to 15) that fits your needs.
What are Meteoplug Groups?
As you have learned in the introduction, Meteoplug allows you to collect weather data with a minimal client (typically a Bifferboard or a patched TP-Link or ASUS device) and gives you tons of options to work with this data by the Meteoplug server application. This exactly matches the typical end-user situation where someone has a single weather station and wants to get data out of this and wants to publish that into the Internet.
But there is another very interesting aspect on Meteoplug. Think of the situation that you have lots of weather stations, each at different places and you want to manage these group of weather stations. Of course, you could setup a Meteoplug account for each single weather station. But this will put the burden on you to manage access, licenses, chart definitions, etc for each of these accounts separately. When you think of a hundred stations this will be very impractical.
Features of a Meteoplug Group
Therefore, Meteoplug provides group accounts. A group account bundles a set of Meteoplug clients to this single account which makes administration much more easy and straight forward. Group accounts provide these features for you:
- One license: There is no need to do a separate licensing for each Meteoplug client. You get a license for the total group and don't have to bother with keeping licenses for all clients up to date.
- On-demand pricing: Charging of usage fees is done based on number of clients in the group and number of days used. So you can start with very small expenses during prototyping phase of your project and will have to pay more, when you add more and more clients while going into production phase. This is a very flexible on-demand model, you just pay for current size of your group, measured each day. Please contact "info(at)meteoplug.com" for details.
- One account to manage: You just have to setup one single group account. So there is no need to keep track of many user-ids and/or passwords. Having logged-in into your group account, you can simply select the client you want to work with without need of authentification for that individual client.
- One set of charts: All clients of a group do share the same chart definitions. When you define a new chart for one of your group's clients, all other clients of your group can also make use of this new definition. This is extremly helpful to keep chart definitions up-to-date and consistent for all your clients.
- Easy setup of new clients: When you have setup a client (weather station definition, sensor ids, general settings) you can define this as a default template for setting up new clients. This dramatically reduces your effort when installing lots of clients.
- Easy application of chart definition to clients: In normal, non-group operation each chart definition of a client is given a unique draw token you can use to generate this specific chart for this specific client. In group mode, you can call a chart definition of a client by its draw token as usual. When you want that same chart being computed for another client named "beach1" in the group you can add "&client=beach1" to get the same graph for that specific client. This feature frees you from storing draw token for all your clients. Just remember the draw token for one client in the group and apply that to all clients by means of the "client" URL parameter. The client name can also be used for chart variables "title" and "gtitle" by including "[client]" into the chart's title definition. "[client]" will be replaced by the client name inside the chart. When using "[Client]" first letter of client name will be capitalized, when using "[CLIENT]" the whole client name will be in capital letters.
- Data from various clients in one chart: When graphing your clients you can setup charts that make use of data from various clients of the group. This allows an easy comparision of data of different stations, etc.
- Groups are private: Clients attached to a group can only be managed by the group account. Their data is not available to anyone outside, as long as you don't publish the encrypted draw token for your chart definitions. As special feature you can also restrict access to charts to a defined requesting IP, which is a very strong security feature if you want to include Meteoplug as a chart generating engine which acts as a data provider into your own services. Allowing only your sever to request charts from Meteoplug will guarantee, that data of your Meteoplug group can be requested by your service only.
- Map your clients: Clients of a Meteoplug group can be displayed on a Map. You can adapt that map to display the weather data you like. The map is private to your group, Meteoplug users outside your group can't see your clients on maps they might construct for themselves.
Setup Your own Weather Network
Meteoplug group feature provides services that make it very easy for you to setup your own "Weather Network" when you are:
- a water sport club with a couple of locations where you want to monitor weather conditions
- a group of farmers who want to monitor weather conditions of your fields
- any organization that wants to monitor weather conditions at various places in the world and want have that managed centrally
- and thousand situations I can't think of ;-)
All weather network ideas mentioned above will certainly have a server in the Internet that provides their community an entry point where they can register, login, ask for support, get information, etc. Meteoplug is not meant to replace that, but it provides a customizable chart service that can be easily included into your service offering. What makes this very easy is the fact that one of your team can administer the complete Meteoplug group on the Meteoplug server. You can change charts, add new clients, etc. without interaction with the Meteoplug staff. This gives you a great deal of autonomy and flexibility. Your customers don't even have to know, that all this is delivered by Meteoplug, you can include Meteoplug output into your own design and give it your own branding. Meteoplug is just a back-end service taking care of your weather data and making nice charts of it.
Sounds good, but...
If you are not sure, if Meteoplug does fit into your ideas, please drop a mail at "info(at)meteoplug.com" to find out.