Met Office Integrated Data Archive System (MIDAS)

Status: 
Escalated to data holder
Data request description: 
Surface weather observations over land area of UK
Reason: 
The data is available but the licensing terms are too restrictive
The UK surface weather observations in the Met Office's MIDAS database is freely available for on-line access to UK academics (defined as persons with a .AC.UK email address) through the British Academic Data Centre (BADC), but is not directly available to the public or UK industry. Met Office charges for commercial use are prohibitively expensive and ultimately self-defeating as the hourly synoptic reports (SYNOP and METAR) are shared worldwide for aviation use and the US National Climatic Data Centre (NCDC) makes these data available at a nominal cost, but without quality control. The current Met Office policy for access to quality-controlled MIDAS datasets is contrary to EC Directive 2003/4/EC on public access to environmental information and EC Directive 203/98/EC on re-use of public sector information which direct that these data should be made available to the public for a charge that compensates only for the cost of access. As the framework for on-line access to MIDAS is already in place, there is no additional cost for providing public access, except (possibly) an administration charge for registration.
Suggested use: 
Research
Surface weather data: wind, temperature, rainfall, etc. are important inputs to engineering design, particularly of the built environment, e.g. the structural design of buildings to resist wind storms. Research in this area is not part of the Met Office mandate. Increasingly sophisticated structural design methods require increasingly detailed data for proper implementation. For example, a comprehensive wind climate model for each of the major UK cities is long overdue and is impractical to achieve under current MetO data restrictions.
Benefits overview: 
The economic case that the benefit to the national economy of making geographical information freely available to industry has already been made by the EC and resulted in Directives 2003/4/EC and 2003/98/EC. Direct access to the MIDAS data will permit development of better analysis and design methodologies, climate models for engineering design and for wind power generation.

Comments

I support this request

Prof Cook's request seems to complement the ODUG's existing benefit case for release of the Met Office's historical observation data.

As background there is more information about MIDAS, including a user guide that describes the meteorological surface data, on the BADC website:

     Met Office Integrated Data Archive System (MIDAS)

-- Owen Boswarva, 10/06/2013

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Restricted Data Access from OS, CEDA and Met Office

 I am a retired electronics engineer and  I have volunteered to collect all the relevant data sources to together to feed a flow model that when interfaced with rainfall and river level gauges will provide early warning alarm to residents for signifiant flood events.
I am afraid I am totally frustrated by Ordinance Survey, they want large amounts of money for 5m DEM data.  CEDA have turned down a request for DEM data on the basis I am not linked to an academic institution. I am now anticipating that CEDA will turn down request for temperature and rainfall data form the MIDAS network.
The specific data I need is fairly limited and specific. I need DTM5 Terrain data for grids SO48, SO47,SO58,SO57. The temperature data I need is a daily series of Max and Min for SY7 9LG radius 10km going back for as far as possible and the rainfall data I need is daily data either from the postcode or from Westhope Garden Cottage  src-id 10073 and from Much Wenlock. If there was a series from Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Ludlow and Clunbury also  that would allow me to start to look for earlier warnings by correlating the data sets.
I am using Opensource software. QGIS, Tuflow, Octave and of course loads of spreadsheets and will be applying some machine learning techniques to the data sets.  

This is purely voluntary activity for the Parish, I don't wish to commercialise the solution  but I am sure the principles could be readily applied to other areas and a solution open sourced for other communities.  Given tax receipts have funded acqustion and development of this data and open access is in the public interest this issue should be escalted.

Please let me know anything I can do please.
 

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Access to the MIDAS Data

I would like to support Prof Cook's request for the data to be become available.

I also agree that the original request seems to satisfy the ODUG's existing benefit case for release of the Met Office's historical observation data. 

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