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Unique Identification of the station name

Unique Identification of the station name

by Silke ADLER -
Number of replies: 17

Dear all,

there is a problem with the unique identification of the station name. We have got a station in Austria which is called Horn. In OSCAR there is allready a station named Horn from Sweden so the system was not able to insert our Austrian station with the same name.

We have the same problem when we change the location of a station and it gets a new stationnumber but the name is still the same. So how can we handle this in the near future? Is it possible that the station name does not need to be unique since we already have the unique station identifier?

best regards

Silke Adler 

In reply to Silke ADLER

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Djohar Massoundi Souefou -

bonjour, ma proposition est la suivante, tant que la recherche d'une station se fait en général dans un pays alors il ne devrait pas déranger. Par contre le nom d'une station dans chaque pays doit être unique. en conclusion, le nom de la station doit être unique à l'échelle nationale, mais pas à l'échelle internationale merci


In reply to Silke ADLER

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Robert TOTH -

Dear Colleagues,

I do suggest, only the station identification number should be unique, but not the station name. There are some hundreds of precipitation stations in Hungary, mainly having the name of the village where they are. If they move within the village, they get new identification number, but the station names remain the same. It would be confusing if we gave new, artificial names to these stations.

Best regards,

Robert


In reply to Robert TOTH

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Jitze P. VAN DER MEULEN -

Dear all, 

I am still puzzling with what to do if you move (relocate) a station. I searched the basic WMO regulatory material, but didn't find an answer or guidelines although I thought we solved it already. So, we have to propose some guidance to WMO to be inserted in e.g. the Man. WIGOS. (WMO-No. 1160) or Guide to the WIGOS (WMO-No. 1165). This Manual gives clear statements on issuing stations identifiers and the WSI format (will be discussed during next WMO Congress (see Cg-18/Doc. 6.1(1) on http://meetings.wmo.int/cg-18/English/Forms/AllItems.aspx)

We (in the NL) had comparable issues starting in the '90s. Because of urbanization we sometimes have to move a station. (I recommend not to simply move a station to a nearby location, but to do research first on how to improve your whole network design by finding a new and better location). Therefore we have developed a policy on when to change an Id, or not, in case of a movement.

The first and major criterion is 'representativety' in the sense that if you expect a 'break' in the climate records you should always change Id and name. Relevant is that Station Id and Station Name is coupled. In principle, if you change the name, then should change the number too, and vice versa, but that's not always easy to realize (think to large cities or large airports, > 10 km). The problem however is that you should first perform parallel measurements (as required by WMO, for 2 years) to know if a significant break may be expected (so start with a 'test' Id and Name).

Then we follow 4 rules:

[1] if the new station is in the same community (or township) [the smallest political community with its own local council] than Id and Name are unchanged

[2] if the new station is in the same community (or township), but has a significant different representativity than change Id only (so name is unchanged; to be avoided, but not always possible)

[3] if the new station is a neighboring community (or township) but there will not be a change in representativity (or a break in the climate records) than Id and Name are unchanged (to be avoided, but not always possible and recommended by the climate community).

[4] if the new station is in a another community (or township) and there will be a change in represenativity (or a break in the climate records expected) than Id and Name are changed (i.e. all other cases).

I experienced that in fact only rule [4] was used, so we always changed Id and Name.

In fact I am in principle only happy with rule [1] and [4], i.e. to maintain the link ID-Name, or change both.

Apart from this, two issues remain:

[a] what to do with e.g. windmasts, located relatively far from an AWS, but representative for the area in which the AWS is located (far from AWS because at the AWS the wind is disturbed, or in case you like to do measurements on two wind locations to get a better idea about the wind at that area like in mountainous areas).

[b] what to do with 'twin stations'. E.g. Upper air station De Bilt and nearby Upper Air Station Cabauw are 'twin stations' for GRUAN (De Bilt provides Radio Sonde data, Cabauw the rest, like Windprofiler data).

Kin dregards,

-Jitze van der Meulen

In reply to Jitze P. VAN DER MEULEN

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Evgeny VJAZILOV -

In Russia, it is written in the Manual if the location of the station has changed by more than 3 km, then this station is assigned a new synoptic number and a new station name.

In reply to Robert TOTH

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Joerg Klausen -

Dear colleagues

The issue has been discussed recently also in the OSCAR project team. The motivation for requiring uniqueness of names originated from the impracticality of choosing the right entry from a drop-down if there are several identical names. The requirement to display unique entries in a drop/down makes sense. This could be guaranteed by displaying a combination of name and either WIGOS station identifier or country. The combination with WIGOS station identifier is guaranteed to create unique entries, the combination with country is probably more human-readable, and therefore preferred. 

In reply to Joerg Klausen

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Evgeny VJAZILOV -

Identical names are found only in different station owners. Therefore, the list of names should be based on the hierarchy of names by countries and organizations - the owners of the stations. Unfortunately, now in OSCAR there are identical station names, since different people described the presence of different observation networks performed at one station (for example, Mirny station has two notations - Mirny - Ozon , Mirnyj (89592-0) - Aero).

In reply to Evgeny VJAZILOV

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Joerg Klausen -

Dear Evgeny

What do you propose should be done in this case? Merge the entries and have only one station Mirny?


In reply to Joerg Klausen

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Evgeny VJAZILOV -

In our system, we have a separate description of the stations and descriptions of the types (points) of observations related to different networks of observations (meteo, aero, hydro, marine, agro, geophysics, pollution). And the search is implemented separately for stations and observation points.

In reply to Joerg Klausen

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Jitze P. VAN DER MEULEN -

Stations from the GOS database (VolA) and from the GAWSYS database are entered into OSCAR/Surface. Some represent the same station but have now a separate primary  WSI and a different station name. The best way, I presume, is to merge both WSI by adding the details (together with the WSI to become an alias) from the second one into the first one and then to delete the second one. But I am afraid that that procedure will give confusion in future. Any ideas?

Also I think that it should be good practice to add some extra local details to station names to avoid confusion (in the old days with telegrams the same confusion happened). May be an acronym can be added referring to the area (province, county, state).

In reply to Jitze P. VAN DER MEULEN

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Evgeny VJAZILOV -

I think it will be more correct when the description of one station includes all types of observations performed at the station. Meteo and aero observations in most cases use one synoptic index, which can serve as an additional extension of the WIGOS identifier.

In reply to Joerg Klausen

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Robert TOTH -

Dear Colleagues,

I hope I can see your motivation for requiring uniqueness of station names, nevertheless I would like to clarify our practice. If we have to move a station within a settlement we assign a new unique national station number to this new position (even if the distance is short). The reason is, because the the new place has slightly different coordinates and some other parameters, but the station name in most cases remains. Through this method we can follow the station's history in our metadata base.

If we want to require unique station name, what is the role of the unique station ID?

Best regards,

Robert T.

In reply to Silke ADLER

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Branislav CHVILA -

Dear all,

There was submitted a problem with the same station name for different countries. We also have several municipalities within the country, which have the same name...



In reply to Branislav CHVILA

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Timo Proescholdt -
Dear all,

interesting issues have emerged during this multilingual discussion of station names and WIGOSIDs.

With respect to station names, we will indeed remove the restriction on uniqueness of the name. For convenience we will show additional information (country name, WIGOS ID) in dropdowns whenever there are multiple stations with the same name. 

Concerning the practice of documenting changes to a station, such as a change of location. The general practice in OSCAR is that most elements in OSCAR are "historized", meaning that old values as well as the date when they changed, can be recorded. This reflects the desire to be able to track the evolution of a station and the network as a whole.
In this context the question is often asked how significant a change must be for a station to be a "new" station. Examples of this are a change in location or a change in instrumentation. WMO does not prescribe any criteria here. Whether a station is indeed new or not is up to the Member to decide. However, we recommend not to create a new station in the case of "minor" changes, such as when the station after the change is still representative of the station as it was before. 

If the station history is kept differently in a national database, it should nevertheless be possible to record the changes that ocurred to the station as one single station with changes in OSCAR, as long as there is a means in the national DB to know that the series of stations is related to one single station.

best regard
Timo


In reply to Timo Proescholdt

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Robert TOTH -
Dear Timo,

In your e-mail message a year ago you promised to remove the uniqueness of the station names. May I ask if that has been carried out? It is very important for us if we would like to develop the link between OSCAR and our national database.
Best regards,

Robert
OMSZ, Budapest
In reply to Robert TOTH

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Timo Proescholdt -
Dear Robert,

apologies for taking some time to come back to you.
The requirement for the station name to be unique will be removed, but it has not yet been implemented. We are trying to address this in the upcoming release.

Do you have several stations with the same name in your DB that need to be separate stations in OSCAR? Could it be a solution to add a prefix or another sequence to the name to make them unique while we implement the change?

best regards,
Timo

Timo
In reply to Timo Proescholdt

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Robert TOTH -

Dear Timo,

Thank you for your message and thanks for your suggestion how to solve the problem of station names. Prefix or another sequence could be a solution, however we would rather wait for the upcoming release with removing the uniqueness of station name.

If we use our station names without national accent marks, there is one station - Sur - representing another station in another country. Our another practice and future intention that we refer the name of the settlement (where the station is located) as station name, even if the station has moved within the settlement. We have designated to the station a new, unique WSI but the same name.

Best regards,

Robert

In reply to Robert TOTH

Re: Unique Identification of the station name

by Timo Proescholdt -

Dear Robert,

thank you for sharing this information. I will keep you updated about the implementation status.

In the meantime I suggest you add the station with a prefix or similar, we can rename the station once the uniqueness constraint is gone.

best regards

Timo