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6 reasons why you should be paying for weather data

1.8.2024//Opinion, API & Mapping

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Not all weather APIs are created equal. Learn why private weather data sources are your best option when building weather-inclusive applications and solutions.

Holly Dunn

Marketing manager, weather and environmental data

“Why would I pay for weather data when I can get it from free sources?”

You might be surprised just how often we get this question. As a leading provider of weather and environmental data, we're a little biased. Nonetheless, we are here to share why paid weather data often provides the best value over free or commodity weather sources. There are more benefits than you might think!

1. Hyperlocal data

The most common free sources are great source for the general public deciding what activities to plan for the day or how heavy of a coat they need, your most critical business decisions will benefit the most hyperlocal data available.

Paid data sources ingest and interpolate the weather data from those free sources plus a number of others. One such example is the community of weather station owners Xweather has built through PWSweather, in addition to partnerships with both academic communities and businesses. This data is then analyzed in aggregate to provide interpolated weather data for any location on Earth not accessible via free alternatives.

2. Interpolated data from numerous sources

Generally speaking, each free weather data provider has separate feeds and formats for delivering individual parameters like fires, severe weather alerts, and forecasts. 

The amount of work and maintenance conducting ETL for this many sources is vast - insurmountable, even - for a team limited in resources. Private data providers like Xweather have already done this work, standardizing data sources into a consistent, easy-to-read-and-use format across geographies and endpoints, saving your team the headache. Querying private weather APIs also provides the added benefit of enhanced output formats like a REST API, maps, WebGL-based imagery, or webhooks. Flexible delivery formats allow businesses to leverage data in a way that works for their operations, arming teams with the weather confidence they need to make strong decisions and keep assets and personnel safe.

3. Addressing the hyperlocal weather gap

While public data providers do offer the weather data that we as citizens need, your business deserves an additional level of hyperlocal accuracy tailored to your needs. Often, publicly available data relies on sources that may not accurately reflect your specific location. To address this gap, private data providers like Xweather rise to the challenge of providing better data.

In our case, our extensive data source network includes sensors from PWSweather and other proprietary networks to bring hyperlocal data to businesses across the globe through our weather API.

4. Visualization capabilities

This is one area free data providers can't touch: In addition to reliable, accurate weather and environmental data, Xweather also provides advanced raster and vector mapping and visualization capabilities. Numerous options for mapping layers make creating weather imagery and animations fast, easy, useful, and fun to look at. We offer historical, current, and forecast layers, making it simple for businesses to monitor current conditions, and cartographically analyze past and incoming weather patterns.

5. SDKs and toolkits

When it comes to speed of integration, paid weather data providers have a clear advantage. With Xweather, quickly leverage data and mapping with customizable weather widgets, weather API and mapping wizards, and developer toolkits. Our software development kits (SDKs) assist developers in quickly creating engaging and interactive mobile, desktop, and web-based weather applications in a variety of popular languages. See what our toolkits can do in our robust Javascript SDK demo!

6. Dedicated support

With a free weather API provider, you're often on your own to understand and integrate your weather data. At Xweather, you can expect to receive all of the best practices, knowledge, and hands-on guidance you need from our technical support and customer success teams and your dedicated account executive. We're not just here to help you get up and running - we're here to help you succeed in building your weather applications.

Holly Dunn

Marketing manager, weather and environmental data

Try the Xweather API for free

Take our API, maps, and MapsGL offerings for a free 30-day test-drive. Simply sign up or contact our team to learn more.

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