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There has been some debate on the Village Pump related to WeatherBot which uploads a lot of weather pictures on Commons. Should this bot be allowed to continue like this or should it be moved, deleted, or anything else ?


Why this vote ?[edit]

The main problem with WeatherBot is that it is a waste of ressources, the pictures could be generated on the fly (only storing the data and writing a module for Mediawiki), the maps are all the same except for the places where the temperatures are written. Most users find WeatherBot annoying and wish to change this situation as the bot tends to "spam" the latest files. Moreover, they are in English and will not fit on most Wiki's. As the weather maps are daily based, they are not really useful outside Wikinews. It would be more flexible to store the data and generate the correct map when needed (ie. localized, different types of maps, etc.).

A dedicated weather project could also provide interesting values such as wind speed, humidity, etc.. These parameters are not provided by WeatherBot.


nb. A note about the bot has been left on Wikinews:Talk:Weather#WeatherBot might be blocked.

  1. Stop uploading on Commons and move the bot to another dedicated project ("weather" wiki). Dake 10:12, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. Stop uploading on Commons and move the bot to another dedicated project ("weather" wiki). --Herrick 18:23, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. Keep until a better, server-side solution is implemented. -- IlyaHaykinson 05:33, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. Stop the nosenses and delete the old images from the Server. There are around 30 temperatures in the picture, so the data-volume is around 60 bytes, but the picture needs 120000 bytes (Europe). Perhaps you use the imagename "weather-today.jpg" and overwrite the old weather from yesterday.Kolossos 19:57, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  5. Stop and delete, see User:Dake. -- aka 20:22, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  6. stop and move to another project... it's annoying to see weather images each time one accesses "latest files" - Blueshade 10:07, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  7. Keep until a better, server-side solution is implemented. -- Get_It 16:14, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  8. Keep We need it.-- [Café] [Album] 00:09, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
  9. Keep - Find a better solution first. -- iGEL (talk) 18:51, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
  10. Keep, it provides a vital service to a large number of projects. If you want to scrap it, come up with something better first. Dan100 15:00, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  11. Keep, This is a useful project, used by many. --Cspurrier 15:14, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  12. Keep, but remove old files (older than a week) Sblive 15:16, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  13. Keep, and what Ilya said. Datrio 15:20, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  14. Keep until a better, server-side solution is implemented. --RossKoepke 15:55, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  15. Keep RossKoepke said. --Aphaia 18:05, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  16. KeepWhat IlyaHaykinson and RossKoepke said-- SoLando 20:51, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  17. Stop uploading on Commons --Parerga 08:39, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
  18. Keep Syohei Arai(talk) 12:39, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
  19. Keep this is the reason wikicommons exists - it is the most efficent way to use weather images on the multiple language wikinews sites since it avoids duplication. It also provides a copyright-free archive for folks researching meteorology in years to come. Davodd 00:27, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  20. Stop, or del. all the pictures older than 2 weeks, see also [1]. Filtering it from "Newimages" would be nice. Darkone (¿!) 09:07, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  21. delete old images after a few weeks or another defined period if the only use is this and comparable local pages. I can´t imagine that these hip but fairly useless pictures are good enough to store for a longer period. If I really want to research meteorology these maps are too stupid (scientifically) and I can get much better and precise information elsewhere (there´re many well known sources for really good climate and weather data). Filtering would be nice anyway. --:Bdk: 18:52, July 25, 2005 (UTC)
    Comment: I assume no one dissents to delete older images. I don't think Wikinews needs to keep one week ago weather maps. Even yesterday ones. But it is a different topic from my view. Perhaps more regulated names (e.g. Weathermap0100-World.png) and periodical replacement could be compromise. We would like however still WeatherBot to update the images (weather maps) and if you worry RC flooding, I need to ask you to stand for those images for a while (sorry). --Aphaia 17:44, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
    Keep the archived images. We have no idea if they are or are not currently being used by another wikimedia project. Also, we should keep the old images for archival purposes. They may be of use to students to illustrate seasonal or day-to-day changes in temperature - or to future scholars for some reason or another. They aren't hurting anything just sitting there. Davodd 21:57, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  22. Per Ilya, WeatherBot should not be disabled, and this vote should not be held, until a better implementation is found. All Wikinews editions currently depend on it; local uploads are not an option as only 2 editions support them, and such redundant storage would be undesirable anyway. However, one main issue is filtering bots from Special:Newimages. I do believe we should address that problem with increased priority.--Eloquence 10:59, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
    This vote is to determine if a better implementation should be found. --Tysto 05:50, August 15, 2005 (UTC)
  23. Stop it from spamming Commons by confining it to Wikinews. Besides, the North America map is in Centrigrade, which is valueless to Americans. --Tysto 05:50, August 15, 2005 (UTC)
  24. Once server-side image generation is added to MediaWiki, I'm all for getting rid of WeatherBot. But this functionality does not currently exist; WeatherBot should not be blocked until MediaWiki is expanded to give us the power to create images from datasets. --RossKoepke 15:55, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  25. Stop and delete We don't need it! --CrazyD 13:44, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
  26. Stop or at least delete or overwrite old images -- this is just an insane waste of resources --Quasipalm 15:43, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
  27. Stop Very irritating and not what I expected to find in Commons. My vote is for quality over quantity. That a better implementation does not yet exist is no excuse for weather geeks to bombard Commons with this spam.--Conce 20:50, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
  28. Delete after 24 hours or overwrite them. Aurora 10:06, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
  29. Stop and delete the existing images. --Ikiwaner 14:10, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
  30. Stop and delete the existing images. -- gildemax 18:42, 20 December 2005 (UTC) --
  31. Stop and delete the existing images. Images of this kind should be created on demand by dedicated servers. There is no need to keep such images when you can simply keep the data and generate them any time. -- Afrank99 13:24, 11 February 2006 (UTC)


A server-side version of WeatherChecker sounds great in theory, but in practice I have not been able to obtain the necessary information that is required to implement such a project. (And the co-implementor, Ilya Haykinson, has been busy with other projects.)

If someone can provide source code for a simple Wiki server-side process that serves up a rendered JPEG, it would provide a huge head start on this project.

The guts of WeatherChecker's graphics rendering build a composite image from a pre-rendered underlay, various smaller PNG graphics, and a simple text drawing primitive. I have no idea what server-side interfaces are available for such services, but that's what it would take for the graphics portion. (Ilya can probably comment more about the internet-based transactions for fetching the weather data.)

One other thing - this may all be a moot point in the near future. It seems that a U.S. government offical named Rick Santorum is pushing legislation that would ban the National Weather Service from sharing its weather data with the public (I won't go into his motivations here). Suffice to say, if his bill passes, WeatherChecker will be dead in the water anyways.

As a happy stop-gap measure, if it is possible to have Wikinews point at images uploaded to a wiki other than Commons, it is only a one or two line change to have WeatherChecker upload images to another wiki. If someone in an administrative capacity could assist with creating a temporary wiki on the Wikimedia server farm until such time that a server-side control is developed, at least we could move the images. However, such a move is something over which someone with a bit more authority around here would have to take ownership.

Also, I noticed that uploading is now allowed on Wikinews - would it be cool to upload all of the images to Wikinews instead?

If a move is not possible, and the vote is overwhelming to shutdown WeatherChecker, please send me an e-mail by clicking the E-Mail this User link, as I don't normally check these pages. Regards, — DV 07:46, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

I've moved this page because it was in the main article namespace, which should be reserved for articles, not community discussions -- Joolz 01:17, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

By the way, I won't be voting in this poll because m:polls are evil! I think there was already a consensus that the WeatherBot is disliked, so I don't see this as neccessary. -- Joolz 16:13, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

There´s no arguement for keeping the weather bot. When I read "We need it!" (see above), my fist question will be "For what?" --Herrick 07:52, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

You folk want to look up a bit. There's a pretty clear consensus to keep it. Dan100 20:37, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

I said there's a consensus that they're disliked, not that people want to stop them! :P I'm not sure that, even if you the result was a consensus to stop that anybody would be able to block the bot nor delete the images, (this isn't deletion requests, after all) -- Joolz 12:36, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
When I'am looking at the present contributions of user RossKoepke it´s no "wonder", if there will be a "pretty clear" consensus for keeping the weather bot (ROFL). We don´t want to delete this pictures, but we also hate Weather Bot-Spam ... --Herrick 14:18, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Just to clarify, Wikinews does not allow for the upload of PD images. English Wikinews only allows the upload of copyrighted "Fair Use" images. PD images intended for WIkinews use are only to be uploaded to Wikicommons, according to the Board of the Foundation. If a PD image is uploaded to Wikinews, it will be deleted immediately as per mandate of the Wikimedia Foundation. Also even if an exception was made by the Board to allow Weather photos on Wikinews - Most non-English versions of Wikinews also use the WeatherBot images on Wikicommons. Moving the images to Wikinews means that the Weatherbot would have to upload the same images on 13 different wikimedia projects resulting in needless duplication - which would be a waste of Wikimedia Foundation disk drive space. This type of efficient image storage for multiple language sites of the same project is one of the primary reasons why Wikicommons was approved by the Board. Davodd 22:07, 28 July 2005 (UTC)