See also the related story on the new Google Earth historical imagery tool here.
I’m pleased to announce that due to the help of many volunteer surveyors, the surfacestations.org project has now reached the 70% mark for stations that have been surveyed. 854 out of 1221 USHCN stations have been surveyed. In addition, Thanks to the splendid work of volunteers Gary Boden and Barry Wise, a new Google Earth KML file has been released that not only shows what stations have been surveyed and their ratings, but now includes numbered icons, and embedded links to the surfacestations.org online gallery for that USHCN station.
This is what the USHCN looks like as of this writing:
Stations marked with a (?) remain to be surveyed. The site ratings system is borrowed from NOAA’s Climate Reference network which you can read about here in section 2.2.1
Alternately, the simplest measure of quality is NOAA’s older 100 foot rule, which is essentially equal to a CRN rating of 2 above
You can download the updated Google Earth (used to make the map above) KML file here.
[UPDATE: I’m having a number of problems with the gallery server this week, and the KML file downloads are no exception. WordPress.com free hosting service for WUWT won’t allow me to upload the KML or even zip files, I can’t put it here. So to reduce loading on the surfacestations gallery server I’ve taken the file off that server tonight. I can make it available on request via email.]
A freeware download of Google Earth 5.0 is available from http://earth.google.com/
The new Google Earth KML file now makes it easier to:
- Determine USHCN station locations
- Decide if they have been surveyed or not
- See what USHCN stations that have been surveyed look like with the embedded image link
- Read a brief description of the station location
- Get the Lights=X value used by NASA GISS to determine the “urbanization” level of the station
There a a couple of caveats. First the lat/lon coordinates used are mostly from NOAA, so some may not be exact. Some that are not precise could be as much as a kilometer off. Also bear in mind that while we do have the stations in hand, and they are used to create the map above, there are a few (about a dozen) that are not yet uploaded to the surfacestations gallery server yet, so you may encounter those few that have a rating but no pictures. This is due to me falling behind because of problems with the server maintenance in the last two weeks, mostly due to rotating IP bot attacks from Beijing, China for some odd reason that cause the server to slowdown and throw a lot of errors during upload attempts. I’m working on it, and these stations will be added in the next few days.
Here is what the survey coverage looks like so far:
Note that stations that have been surveyed but are closed often don’t get a rating if we cannot determine exactly where the thermometer was placed, which is why the pie chart reflects “841 stations rated as of 02/05/09”.
For those of you that wish to help, there are still several hundred stations that remain to be surveyed. Especially in South Texas, Missouri, and Illinois. All you have to do to help is to visit www.surfacestations.org and go through the simple signup and follow the instructions.
I hope to have this project wrapped up by the end of summer, so if your vacation or travel plans include driving, why not help get a station or two?