Monday, October 15, 2012

New ISTI Temperature database - stations in Google Maps with GHCN

A few days ago, Peter Thorne of NOAA noted in a comment that a new Initiative ISTI, with NOAA involvement, has released a large new database of surface temperatures. It's on a similar scale to BEST, and I'll do comparisons in due course. But as an initial step, I thought it would be useful to gather a Google maps presentation, as I did for GHCN.

The beta release is here. I used the recommended merge (3 Oct version). The data combines TMIN, TMAX and TAVG (and is big!); I extracted the TAVG. There were 39430 stations in the inventory.

This is a big set for the GM application, so I've divided it into 8 regions with about 5000 each. You can look at them all at once if you like, but it will run very slowly. Selecting one or two regions is much better. There is a little map at the right of the display showing where they are. Because the data takes several seconds to download, I've put the map beneath the fold.

The idea of the map is that it shows stations with tags with information that you can pop up by clicking. But the main use is that you can filter by categories. You can choose ranges of start date (of data), end date, duration and altitude. The mechanics are that you make these selections, select regions, and then press one of the colors (for tag). What you've asked for will appear in that color, additional to what was there before. A special (and useful) color is invisible. The range choices combine with "or" logic, so you get "and" by making what you don't want go away. Because it is "or", you need to suppress the "All" button to make other choices. The buttons toggle. The middle columns with gt and lt signs also toggle.

I've included GHCN stations for comparison. There is a checkbox for each database. To compare you'll probably want to display in one color with one box ticked, and in another with the other box ticked (only one at a time). The green pin is useful here, in case of overlaps.

The map starts out blank, waiting for you to choose a region (or two). It's below the jump:


The map initially shows no markers. You need to select regions. I'd recommend starting with just one. If you click one of the marker colors, you'll then see a mass of markers in that region. You can filter some out with the invisible button - remember to toggle the "All" button when making selections. You could filter out, say, all stations starting after 1850. The selections are only operative if the left radio button is on.

You can ask for a different selection and a different color. It is the color request that creates actions. This second request doesn't erase markers already showing, though it will change the colors of those that qualify.

Note that choosing a small number of regions helps with performance, but other choices which reduce tags on screen do not help (the tags are there but invisible).

Worked example

I was curious about whether ISTI had more really old data than GHCN. As I found earlier, BEST v1 has a similar number of stations overall, but little new before 1850. So I did this:
  1. Set Region 6
  2. Unset All, set StartYr, and change the textbox to 1800.
  3. Under Actions, click Yellow.
  4. Unset ISTI, set GHCN
  5. Under Actions, click Pin.
So I see a lot of yellow tags in Europe, some with green pins, and some green pins on their own. Clicking on the pins brings up info including start dates. Some things I notice:
  • In UK, GHCN has Gordon Castle, Greenwich and Manchester. ISTI doesn't, but has a Central England, which may cover the last two.
  • Both have a Trondheim in the right place, with similar dates (ISTI 1761-2012, GHCN 1761-1981). But ISTI has TRONDHEIM_VAERNES, about 2.5° further E, from 1762-2011. Duplicate?
  • GHCN has Lund, 1753-1773. ISTI not.
  • ISTI has two Budapest records, both starting in 1780. GHCN has one.
    ISTI has San Fernando, from 1786, GHCN not.
  • ISTI has two Prague records (PRAHA-KLEMENTINUM,PRAHA-RUZNY), one starting in 1771, the other in 1775. GHCN has Praha-Ruzyne.
  • ISTI has a record for Vienna and one for Wien. Both start in 1775.

So ISTI has a few extras in that period in Europe, some of which may be duplicates.

1 comment:

  1. Well "merged" product contains some very interesting data like monthly temperatures for Zielona Gora 1878-1942 period. I was searching for these data almost 20 years ;)