How can I get bulk weather data?

For projects that don’t want to use a weather API and just need access to bulk weather history or forecast data, Visual Crossing now offers exactly the functionality that you need.

You don’t need to be able to code or script in order to be able to use this functionality. Nor do you need to worry about sending hundreds or thousands of locations with every request. Visual Crossing Weather’s new bulk weather data features make the entire process more simple than ever for users who needs access to high-quality, low-cost weather data.

How does it work?

  • First start by uploading the list of locations for which you need weather data. This list is typically a CSV file containing either the addresses or the latitude/longitude values for each location. In addition, each location needs a unique ID. Each weather record returned in the results will be tagged with the matching location ID from your input data. You can then use this ID to join back to your original dataset. This allows you to keep your sensitive business data safely stored using your own security envelope.
  • Visual Crossing Weather will provide you with a single query URL that can be used to access your results. If your query is for weather forecast data, we will also provide a daily schedule when you can access this URL to obtain the latest data. If your query is for historical weather data, we’ll send you an email when your request has been processed. After that, you will have up to 30 days to fetch your results. Of course, if you need more time, you can request an extension.
  • The URL will return your weather results as a single CSV or JSON file (your choice). You can then use this data directly for analysis in Excel, load it into a business intelligence tool, or even use it to train a machine learning algorithm. There are unlimited possibilities. The URL itself can be accessed in any browser, from a command-line tool such as curl, or from any script or code.
  • Note that your custom URL includes a unique key that is specific to your request. Unless you share this unique key with others, no one will be able access your data results.

What are some ideal use cases for bulk weather data?

There are many reasons why you would want to use the simplicity and robustness of our bulk weather data functionality. Here are just a few.

  • If you manage retail or other locations, you need to easily load weather forecast data for all of the locations daily or more often to plan staffing levels and merchandise.
  • When you are you are launching a weather analysis project, you often need to load years of historical weather data to “prime” your enterprise data warehouse. Our bulk functionality allows to you do so quickly, easily, and at low cost.
  • If you manage job sites such as construction sites or landscaping contracts, accurate bulk weather forecasts for all of your locations is key to planning efficient use of your resources. Which of my sites are warm enough to pour concrete next week? Which of my scheduled mowing sites are too wet to mow tomorrow? Bulk weather forecasts allow you instant access to the weather reports that you need to run your business effectively.
  • Machine learning and other data science initiatives require large amounts of weather data for training and analysis. Our bulk weather provides a cost-effective way to get huge volumes of weather data quickly and easily.

Is my data safe?

Our bulk data service is designed to avoid requiring Visual Crossing to store your sensitive business data. We implement data security in the following standard and innovative ways.

  • The data that you upload contains only locations and a unique IDs for you to use when matching the results. This ensures that we never have any business metrics or other sensitive data details.
  • Your uploaded is protected by SSL encryption to ensure that all communications between you and Visual Crossing are secure.
  • If your uploaded locations contain addresses, we will immediately convert these to latitude and longitude values so that the addresses themselves are not stored on our system. Furthermore, these latitude and longitude values are rounded to two decimal places. This generalizes the coordinates so that they no longer point to a specific house or storefront but instead point to an area larger than a mile (about 2 km). This is still precise enough to do accurate weather analysis but is not precise enough for someone nefarious to pinpoint your customers or sites.
  • If you upload latitude and longitude values, you can round them to 2 decimal places before sending them. In that case, we won’t ever have your specific locations. If you provide more precise latitude and longitude values, we will generalize them before we store them ourselves as described above.
  • The unique location ID that you provide in your submission data can be whatever you want. This ensures that Visual Crossing, as well as any hacker who may gain access to your query data, never knows what a location means to your business. Of course, you could use the ID “Top secret research facility #8.” But if that location really is top secret, you would want to use an obscured ID for that location, instead. Using an ID such as a simple number, ensures that no one knows anything about the identity of that location. Only you can use this ID to match the weather results to your confidential data within the safety of your own security envelope. Add in the latitude and longitude rounding described above, and no one except for you will be able to find your locations on a map closer than a mile.
  • Since your custom query URL contains your own unique key, no one besides the people with whom you choose to share that key can access your weather results.

How do I get started?

Simply reach out to us to get started. We’ll send you all of the information that you need to set up bulk weather queries and even walk you through the process. We’ll be glad to help you understand and maximize the value of our new bulk weather data functionality.

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