Whither Met Office openness

I’m currently in the process of putting together a unit test for an open source project. I wanted to use real met office temperature data, ideally from around York or Leeds.

I emailed the met office to enquire where I could find the data I require. The met office, being a publicly funded body, I naturally assumed the data would be publicly available.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Here’s the reply I received:

All free information regarding data can be found at the following webpages http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/index.html

If you wish to purchase data please be aware that it would be a chargable service with data quotations starting from £250+VAT

The free information is a set of monthly averages for temperature, sunlight and rainfall going back to 1998. Why is data collected by a publicly funded body not freely available? Think of the innovation that could be unleashed in data visualisation if the raw data were set free.

Author: Jack Hughes

An experienced software engineer with 20+ years experience writing products for Microsoft Windows based operating systems as well as 12+ years experience hosting websites on Linux and Windows including e-commerce and CMS systems.