Lightsoft Weather Center (LWC) is a weather graphing, monitoring and analysis application for Mac OS X. LWC is designed to work with the Davis Vantage and WS-2300 series of hardware weather stations as well as using Internet based weather sources to monitor two other locations.
As data is gathered and stored in its database LWC allows you to view weather statistics such as the lowest temperature, or the highest wind speed over any time period stored in the database. In addition LWC contains a journal for weather notes and can generate web pages containing current conditions, graphs, statistics and a web-cam image. LWC can upload these web pages to your server for display via a web browser anywhere in the world.
LWC also monitors the weather and can run a set of pre-defined and user programmed alerts that can trigger emails, send SMS messages to your mobile phone and/or run scripts should an alert trigger.
Lightsoft Weather Center offers the following main features:
- Integration with Davis Vantage and WS 23xx range of weather stations.
- Wunderground PWS upload support
- A local network client can display weather station gauges on any machine on your local network.
- CWOP upload - user programmable server list, ports and upload time (with random variation).
- Simple web page generation and upload to web server of current conditions, graphs, web cam image, statistics and journal - just fill in a few details and have your weather pages on-line in a few minutes
- Custom web page processing - takes your web pages, replaces weather tags with current data, graphs, dials, web-cam imagery and FTP to your web server with up to 3 upload streams simultaneously.
- Custom CGI driver - can drive a CGI on your web server with current weather data in close to real time. Simple example php scripts included.
- Continuous and unlimited recording, monitoring and analysis of weather data for up to three locations.
- Provides graphs of temperature, dew point, wind chill, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation and barometric pressure.
- Can graph and display conditions for any date in the database; dates can be entered using natural language; for example 'last wednesday'. Graph scales range from 1 to 56 days.
- Continuous statistics calculation and display.
- Continuous database timeline maintenance; if LWC misses samples, data is interpolated between last know good sample and the latest.
- Database query facility; for example querying the total rainfaill over a given date range.
- A journal, linked to the database for recording your own weather notes.
- Export of data from any date range within the database.
- Additional sources of weather data for comparison purposes or keeping an eye on other locations include weather.com, The Weather Underground, The Weather Underground Personal Weather Pages, METAR and NOAA. Backup sources can be specified.
- Three pre-programmed alerts; ice, rain and clear sky.
- Unlimited number of user programmed alerts.
- LWC can send email, SMS message (via modem) and run scripts when an alert is triggered.
- In-built test system for custom alerts.
- Independent units for each of the six main data types.
- The current weather can be spoken.
- Daily data email; sends tab-delimited data email for any or all locations.
- LWC can collect, display and animate satellite imagery.
- Weather records can be notified via email.
What's new in this version: Adds support for WeatherLink IP, a banner generator, support for all channels on Vantages, an SDK for plug-ins, fixed date ranges for stats tags and a variety of other additions, changes and bug-fixes. Please see the release notes included in the Documentation folder of the distribution for full details.
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"The best Weather Station emulation software for Macs"
Version: Lightsoft Weather Center 2.1.0
I used this some time ago on a Mac G4 tower, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it's kept up with the newest MacOS, I'm running it with Lion 10.7.1 on a 2006 Mac Pro.
Could use a more inspired gauge panel
If you're running your own weather station, plus uploading your data to Weather Underground, this is the one you want. First class function and Mac compatibility.
"Top of the line software for Personal Weather Stations"
Version: Lightsoft Weather Center 2.1.0
Powerful graphing, full support for common Internet services, fast and efficient, extremely robust and stable, wide support of weather station hardware, elaborate alert system, extensible plug-in architecture and AppleScript support.
Program is so powerful that some features aren't as intuitive as can be found on "beginner" weather software.
Lightsoft Weather Center (LWC) is the BMW of Weather Station Software. After finding Davis Instrument's WeatherLink for Mac utterly unsatisfactory, I investigated all the Mac Weather Station software offerings about a year ago. Even then, LWC was head and shoulders over its competition. Version-2 incorporates a complete redesign of the architecture to vastly improve performance and reliability. It also has some "gotta-have" enhancements that leaves even its PC competition in its wake.
Even the development version of LWC-2 was stable for weeks at a time and was very forgiving of Weather Station connectivity issues I was having for a while. LWC has very robust and reliable Internet upload capabilities. It not only does the "required" upload to Weather Underground and CWOP, but it provides you with detailed information about how the processes are going. There is even a supplied AppleScript that will provide Growl announcements should your Internet services have a problem.
Where LWC really shines over the competition is in its graphing capabilities. You can create very complex graphs using multiple sources of weather data. These can be used for something as complex as graphing parameters related to the onset of precipitation or as basic as when to open and close your windows by comparing indoor and outdoor temperature. Folks who have custom weather websites can display these custom graphs on their website to provide unique information to their website viewers that simply isn't possible using other software.
LWC is built for Mac only using Apple's Cocoa development environment. So it has no baggage for Windows portability and no legacy code that reduces efficiency. It also takes advantage OS-X capability of multi-threaded applications. That means LWC will really scream on the fastest Macs with multiple cores and/or processors, and because of OS-X's superior resource management, it won't hog older machines unnecessarily. LWC runs fine on older Mac so that you to "recycle" an old Mac as a dedicated Weather Station manager. However, it also is a "good citizen" with other Macintosh applications. So you can run LWC on your Mac workstation and have it seamlessly take care of your Weather Station even if you run CPU hogs like graphics applications. That way you can keep an eye on the weather no matter how you use your computer for on a daily basis.
Version 2.1 of LWC adds a new plug-in architecture that will allow 3rd party developers to extend LWC for specific needs. Whether the task is computing agricultural watering schedules or estimating drag racing bracket times, programmers can simply extend LWC instead of reinventing the wheel.
End users get some solid improvements with 2.1, including support for the IP version for the Davis Vantage data logger. They also get a really nifty active banner generator that allows you create a web banner with current weather conditions to place at the bottom of a web page or rich-text email. This latest release as it all from major architecture improvements to really fun accessories!
LWC has been a commercial product for several years and an enthusiastic community of loyal users has sprung up around it. If you have a question about LWC or weather matters in general, someone on the LWC forum is bound to have at least a helpful pointer to get you unstuck. That's really, really important since weather stations are complex and cantankerous beasts and technical support is hard to find and rarely all that helpful. The LWC forum is by itself a reason to use LWC, but its very existence is testimony to how good LWC really is. Like the Mac itself, it takes an outstanding product to make people passionate about it. LWC is truly such a product. If you have Mac, don't settle for anything less!