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Should I integrate NOAA buoy data with Scuba Earth?
Greg - 5/03/2013 9:40 AM
Category: Web Site Help
Replies: 9

I’m trying to determine if it’s worth the development effort to integrate the NOAA buoy data (ie: wind speed/direction, wave conditions, temp, etc.) with our Scuba Earth map.

Here is the data on a map on NOAA’s website:

Here is the raw data that shows every buoy, it’s ID# and coordinates:

Here is an RSS feed that shows current data for a single buoy:

What are your thoughts? Would this be helpful when researching dive sites? Besides showing it on Scuba Earth, should I show it on other maps on DiveBuddy (ie: event calendar)?
Rich-D-Fish - 5/03/2013 10:19 AM
My opinion would be no. The NOAA buoys are typically too far away from a specific dive site, and they generally don’t reflect the true diving conditions because we are usually on a protected side of an island or on the mainland shore. The buoy date is really only good for water temp and if you happen to be doing an open ocean dive. I use at home more of the sites that the surfers use because it gets you a much closer representation. Save yourself the effort Greg.
hcdiveteambrian - 5/03/2013 12:49 PM
I would go there from DB if you did Greg. The reason is clear, the long and short range surf reports are based on program calculations, they’re great for use in general, and sometimes very wrong. It goes with the whole forecasting dilemma of predicting what’s gonna be from storms thousands of miles away, they get updated of course.

To get what’s happening right now in terms of temps, swells, periods, winds at any buoy and one can find accurate data. In California it’s imperative to know accurate info at times. Some dive sites are far away 10, 20, 30 miles. Some private boaters don’t leave without knowing buoy data. I guarantee that Commercial Dive Boat Captains use them also. Even shore diving I can know where it is and when opposed to a website that only updates every few days.
LatitudeAdjustment - 5/04/2013 4:10 AM
I sometimes use the NOAA wave and wind info before heading off to a beach dive or NC but for the most part those buoys are so far offshore that they are useless for diving conditions. For the beach dives I’ve found webcams at surf clubs and inlets to be more usefull :)
Green_Achers - 5/04/2013 7:26 AM
Maybe a link or being able to toggle them on/off on Scuba Earth.

Surf Web Cams are a great idea - Seeing is believing. I think we can already put Web Cam links onto Dive Site location sheets so that’s just something we need to add as we create/update the sites.
Eric_R - 5/04/2013 4:11 PM
Yes if users have the ability to toggle.
RichKeller - 5/05/2013 4:32 AM
I have always found it to be useful so I would add it.
John_giu - 5/06/2013 3:39 AM
When adding new options to the site the most important to consider is ease of use and limiting web site clutter.

If you can make it easy to find and easy to use it seems like a nice one-stop options for people who would make use of it.

It may even drive new users to the site through web searches.

If you have the time I would say add it in.
Oahu_Dive_Medic - 5/27/2013 3:57 PM
Here in Hawaii I often use the buoy data to plan dives, both from boat and from shore. If there is a way to toggle the info off for people who do not use it, I would say it would be a winner.