metaf2xml 1.20 review

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metaf2xml parses and decodes METAR and TAF messages and stores them as XML

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: metaf2xml
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metaf2xml parses and decodes METAR and TAF messages and stores them as XML. From that it can be converted to text, HTML, or other formats.

All parts of the messages are parsed, and some common format errors are corrected or tolerated.

METAR (weather observation) and TAF (weather forecast) information is essential for flight planning and in-flight decisions (real flight and simulation). It is regularily provided by meteorological stations worldwide. The raw format is abbreviated, some items are coded, e.g.:

KJFK 081051Z 31007KT 10SM FEW011 BKN037 OVC080 14/13 A2978
KJFK 080520Z 080606 36008KT P6SM VCSH OVC015 FM0900 33007KT P6SM VCSH OVC018 FM1500 26009KT P6SM VCSH SCT015 BKN025 FM2100 22007KT 6SM -RA BR SCT012 BKN025
SBGL 081100Z 35005KT 4000 BR SCT005 20/19 Q1022
RJTT 081130Z 12010KT 9999 FEW050 BKN100 BKN/// 20/16 Q1008

The format of the messages is specified in the WMO document 306; some countries deviate from that standard or extend it, some have published documentation (e.g. the Federal Meteorological Handbook No. 1 for the USA).

The intended users are flight simmers, private pilot (students) who want to extend their knowledge about the message formats, and everyone who just wants to know what the weather is/will be at some airport in plain language (see examples below).

There are other projects that try to accomplish that (e.g. parts of FlightGear, or Geo::METAR, or jweather) but I found none of them could process all information or use XML as intermediate format. Allmetsat provides a graphical interface to METAR and TAF data; the most relevant parts of the messages are also displayed in plain language.

What's New in This Release:
This release adds two new XSL transformations: one to get a METAR summary (one per line) as an HTML table, and the other to change all units to SI and add data related to the observing station.
There are also a few small improvements for the parser, the life demo, and the distribution.

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