Working alongside The Cabinet Office, New Signature are helping the Met Office release data to the masses.

Following the announcement during the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement of key Met Office weather data being made available openly and freely, data.gov.uk, the UK Government open data portal, needed a quick and flexible solution to deploy a more sophisticated download service for the large and frequent amounts of weather data being made available by the Met Office.

The release of data is intended to introduce competition into the marketplace while allowing for improved accuracy amongst weather reports. This is part of the new Open Data Institute, headed up by Prof Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Prof Nigel Shadbolt, to develop ways in which companies can benefit from government information. Microsoft Azure Marketplace is an online market that allows the buying and selling of finished Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and premium datasets. It allows companies to connect with partners to produce innovative cloud-based solutions that are readily available to use.

New Signature, using its expertise in the area of Azure, provided a solution in a matter of just a few weeks from start to finish. The software, which is now readily available to the masses, is one of the first solutions in which government data will be made publicly available. The data is able to be accessed via your internet browser or in Excel using the free OData plug-in from the Marketplace.

The results are staggering. The system unlocks daily and hourly data for up to the next 5 days and additionally supplies raw observation weather data. Making this data available allows for businesses, developers and others to interpret and create their own weather forecasts.

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