All posts by Sophie Rutter

Map of Latitude

Open Data Incubator

Welcome to our Open Data Incubator! Here we’ll show you how to create a data visualisation using Met Office Open Data.

In this exercise you will create an interactive map of recent weather observations using Met Office open data. You can decide what data to display and how it should be displayed. When you have finished you can also publish your map on the web or send it to your friends.

To do this you will be using Google Fusion and you will need an Internet connection, a web browser, Microsoft Excel or equivalent, and a Google account. You can create your own free account if you do not already have one:

1. Download Met Office observation data

To download Met Office observation data go to the website This data is licenced using an Open Government Licence. This means that anyone is free to download, use, and re-use it for any purpose.

In the Query Type drop down box select “Observation Data”. This will automatically update Site Code to “All Observation Sites” and Date of Issue to today’s date.

Next click Search and the data will automatically download to your computer as a CSV file that you can open in Excel. Rename this file “Recent Weather Observations UK”.

Screenshot of data entry fields for Download Met Office Data

2. Create a Google Fusion table

Open a web browser and go to (Create a free Google Account if you do not already have one

Click on “Create A Fusion Table

Screenshot of Create a Google Fusion table

Select “From This Computer” and click “Browse” to find the “Recent Weather Observations UK” file that you saved to your computer. Make sure that Separator Character “Comma” and Character Encoding “UTF-8” are selected, and then click Next.

Screenshot of data entry fields for Google Fusion Import New Table

Click “Next” again.

Screenshot of Google Fusion Import New Table screen 2

In the Table Name field add the title “Recent Weather Observations UK” and then click “Finish”.

3. Display weather observation data on a map

Select the “Map of Latitude” tab.

You can now:

  • Zoom in using the tool on the left of the map, then click on one of the red circles. See what information is being displayed about that weather station.
  • Click “Change Info Window” and select all the weather observation variables that you would like to see when you click on a station.
  • Click on “Change feature styles” and select how you would like each of the weather stations to appear on the map.

Now click on one of the weather station icons and see if it is how you want it to appear. Once you are finished click “Done” in the top right of the screen.

Screenshot of Map of Latitude

4. Publish your weather observation map

Congratulations you have just created an interactive map of recent weather observations. If you would like to share this with other people you can publish the map to the web by clicking “Tools” on the menu bar, and then select “Publish”.