Joe's GR Placefiles

A collection of placefiles for use with GRLevelX radar software.

Disclaimer: This website and resources therein are provided on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. Use at your own risk! Under no circumstances shall the author(s) or contributor(s) be liable for damages resulting directly or indirectly from the use or non-use of this resource. Any abuse of this resource will not be tolerated. 

mPING Placefiles

Update March 2016: Great news! I have been granted access to the official mPING API and have now begun generating placefiles with the official API. Currently only the "all types" files are working - I'll get a hail-only version working soon. If you already use the "all types" placefiles (eg. ping-60min.txt) there is no action you need to take. Icons have been updated with some minor changes - see key below. This is a work in progress - thanks for your patience!
Update Jan 2016: mPING recently announced some changes which will result in my old script to stop working. They now offer an official API for app developers, researchers, and commercial use! I have been in discussions with the mPING project scientists and hope to soon have access to the official API so I can continue to generate these placefiles. Once I have access to the API I will re-write my code to utilize it so I can continue to generate these placefiles. The URLs may change but I'm going to try and keep them the same.

This is my only offering at the moment. These placefiles are generated utilizing the official mPING API. My Python program runs every five minutes, which takes under a second to generate all placefiles. The icon file is served from a separate subdomain on my website which is powered by the Cloudflare CDN to reduce bandwidth. Please choose one placefile to load at a time - if you want the past half hour, choose the latest 30 minute placefile. For the past hour, the 60 minute version, and if you just want the past 15 minutes, use the 15 minute on. There is no need to load more than one at a time!

Placefile Name Description Update Interval Key to icons
Latest 15min mPING reports Latest 15 minutes of mPING reports, ANY type (includes TEST) 5 minutes
Latest 30min mPING reports Latest 30 minutes of mPING reports, ANY type (includes TEST) 5 minutes
Latest 60min mPING reports Latest 60 minutes of mPING reports, ANY type (includes TEST) 5 minutes
Latest 15min mPING Hail reports Latest 15 minutes of mPING hail reports COMING BACK SOON 5 minutes
Latest 30min mPING Hail reports Latest 30 minutes of mPING hail reports COMING BACK SOON 5 minutes
Latest 60min mPING Hail reports Latest 60 minutes of mPING hail reports COMING BACK SOON 5 minutes

PING report rate (ALL types, including TEST) over the past 24 hours

Data used in these plots: 60min report rate / 15min report rate

NWS SPOT forecast requests placefile

This is to plot SPOT requests on the new NWS [EXPERIMENTAL] SPOT request form. This ONLY plots SPOTs submitted on the new page - this does not plot SPOT requests submitted on the current operational site. Update time is 5 minutes for now, may decide to increase. PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON FOR OPERATIONS! THIS IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH NOAA/NWS. Please let me know if you have any comments/suggestions regarding icons or mouse-over text. Special thanks to the team behind the new SPOT form for working with me to create a UTC time version of the JSON data that powers this placefile!

A brief log of changes to this resource...

2016-08-01: SPOT locations placefile updated to use operational server. Also working on some Canadian road shapefiles - will eventually make a real page.
2016-03-11: Now using the official mPING API! New icons as well.
2013-11-12: Fixed a bug which caused times displayed to be off by one hour (in the F U T U R E!). Reports plotted were always the latest, but the time when hovering over the icons were incorrect. This now removes the previous fix put in on 2013-03-22. Thanks for the report, @WxDan
2013-07-12: I'm still alive! Script finally updated to include all the new types (flood/wind/etc) with new icons to match. Plan to redesign this page and get the new code on github soon, too.
2013-04-08: New hail icons (finally!) but only up to 2" - after that it just says 'big'. Also, added a non-labeled variation of the hail-only placefile since it might get too messy on busy weather days.
2013-03-22: Sometime on Mar 21 the script stopped working. Now, when the official NSSL PING Display page is accessed from a UTC machine, all of the times are off by one hour. So, it looks like there were no reports within the past 60 minutes. I have NO idea how this happens or what they changed, but I implemented a quick fix by just adding 60 minutes to the times that I grab. It's not a sophisticated fix, and if their page changes behavior again my script will produce data that has been unexpectedly time-shifted. I hope to implement a better fix in the future (eg. try to fake HTTP headers to a non-UTC time), but at this time a quick fix is what's running. Github file will be updated to reflect this fix eventually.
2013-03-18: The official display switched the codes for RA/IP and RA/SN, so I had to make the change in my script AND in a revised icon file. Neither have been changed on github just yet.
2013-02-18: Added a screenshot and key to the new icons to this page.
2013-02-16: Made a MAJOR improvement on the icons! Finally! The new icons stand out MUCH better; Compare: new icons / old icons
2013-02-15: Graph looks pretty good - made some small adjustments to the look. May archive the images eventually, but not right now. Added links to hail-only files, but they don't look great - will make better icons eventually.
2013-02-14: Turns out Enthought is incredibly easy to install, even on a platform without root access! Graph is now running experimentally. Hail-only placefiles are running experimentally...need hail to make sure everything looks good, though. Finally, did a minor update to the icons (added black outline to RA icons, put IP label on IP icon).
2013-02-13: Created code for plotting report counts... then realized web server does not have matplotlib... gosh darn...
2013-02-07: Added hail-only placefile support to script (not yet implemented in realtime output)
2013-02-05: Created this web page; Moved icon image to CDN; Moved Python program to wxjoe.com server operationally
2013-02-04: Moved Python program to wxjoe.com server for testing; Added 30 and 60 minute versions; Uploaded initial version to github
2013-02-03: Experienced extended downtime over the weekend due to a Bluehost power issue and home internet issues; Planning to move Python program to web server for increased reliability
2013-02-01: Began logging report count to an external file; may eventually use this to create a realtime plot
2013-01-30: Added hail reports to the placefile; Hail size is displayed below hail icon
2013-01-29: Moved placefile from a temporary area to gr.wxjoe.com
2013-01-28: Announced real-time placefile on Twitter in a temporary location
2013-01-27: Wrote most of the Python script needed to create the placefile