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The Data Behind the Data

Historical Observing Metadata Repository tracks the history of weather data

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Generally speaking, metadata are the data about data. Metadata help us understand the data, and represent the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how” for the data. Metadata are critical to quality assessment, interpretation, and utilization of data.

What is the Historical Observing Metadata Repository?

NCEI’s Historical Observing Metadata Repository (HOMR) is an integrated station history database that provides land-based station metadata in support of research, reporting, data products, and web applications. HOMR tracks historical names, identifiers, locations, observation times, and equipment for stations located all over the world. U.S. sites like those in the National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Observer Program have the most extensive historical information in HOMR as documented through an official NWS approval process.

You can use HOMR’s station information to plot, interpret, and analyze climate data. The user interface provides access to detailed histories and visualizations for many stations whose data are archived at NCEI. You can search for these stations by a variety of criteria, display summary information for stations matching those criteria, and drill down to high levels of detail for each individual station.

With HOMR, you can also generate a variety of station history reports. These reports provide a focused, coherent set of station details for various systems, and they are quality control checked to help identify and correct any errors in the station information. Reports currently available through HOMR include the Master Station History Report, the Publication Historical Report, and Summary Reports by Network.