WSV3 Next Gen Software

Apr 8, 2015
19
40
6
Plainfield, IL
I just wanted to get everyone's thoughts on this new software being released tomorrow. I've been following their facebook page for awhile, and it looks pretty interesting. Tomorrow and tomorrow only they're offering a discount on the software, so I was tossing around the idea of purchasing it. It looks like a great Level 2/3 Radar data source plus so much more. Models, satellite, mesoanalysis, etc. Has anyone had the chance to beta test it, or anything? Check out the website here: http://wsv3.com/.

Thoughts?
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
7,350
920
21
51
Lansing, MI
skywatch.org
I spent a lot of money on their last "revolutionary" weather package and it's been sitting dormant for years, with promises of future improvements always unfilled. FWIW.

And any product calling itself "the new standard" and the market leader within days of launch also makes me go hmmm...
 

Matt Salo

EF1
Feb 22, 2015
51
38
11
Minneapolis, MN
After playing around with WSV3 for a few hours, my overall first impression is "Gimicky". It has a very colorful interface that might appeal to some people, but being a long time IT guy, I'm more impressed by functionality, and data. What can the app/utility do for me. etc..

In general, the tools I currently use are GR Level 3 for radar, HazWX for models, and the SPC Mesoanalysis page for current obs. Though I am not currently a GR Earth user, I have been considering it.

I had hoped that WSV3, based on the aggressive pre-release marketing claims, would possibly be a one-stop shop for me, and replace all 3 tools. I just don't see that happening right now. WSV3 does not currently provide all of the data that GR3, HazWX, SPC MA provides me.

GR3, while it doesn't have a fancy interface, is very functional and easy to use from a radar standpoint, and HazWX (or even TwisterData for that matter) provide very good Model analysis, and SPC MesoAnalysis web site is sufficient enough for current observations/analysis.

Perhaps, GR Earth combined with GR3 is the right solution for me at this time?

I'm going to explore WSV3 some more today, but not overly optimistic at this point.
 

Jeff Duda

EF6+, PhD
Staff member
Supporter
Oct 7, 2008
3,463
2,417
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Broomfield, CO
www.meteor.iastate.edu
I haven't tried it yet, but it seems to me that if you've used GR products and have a basic understanding of how to obtain and interpret radar data, change color tables, import placefiles and shapefiles, and the like, then WSV3 really doesn't offer anything you can't already do using GR.

Unless I discover it really offers something truly unique and useful, I probably won't bother to spend money on it.
 
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Reactions: James Hilger
Apr 8, 2015
19
40
6
Plainfield, IL
I've been playing around with the trial, it seems it is lacking in a few key areas. It seems to be fairly well put together, a little more refined than GR, and fairly easy to use with several different aspects to it. The only problem is it gives a bit of everything, rather than ALL of everything. It looks cool, but time will tell how functionally sound it is and if it holds up to as cool as it looks. I'm going to play around with it a bit more, adjust some of the crazy color palettes, and then make a decision on whether or not to purchase it. Overall however, it looks like a pretty good product.
 

Matt Salo

EF1
Feb 22, 2015
51
38
11
Minneapolis, MN
After playing around with WSV3 for a few hours, my overall first impression is "Gimicky". It has a very colorful interface that might appeal to some people, but being a long time IT guy, I'm more impressed by functionality, and data. What can the app/utility do for me. etc..

In general, the tools I currently use are GR Level 3 for radar, HazWX for models, and the SPC Mesoanalysis page for current obs. Though I am not currently a GR Earth user, I have been considering it.

I had hoped that WSV3, based on the aggressive pre-release marketing claims, would possibly be a one-stop shop for me, and replace all 3 tools. I just don't see that happening right now. WSV3 does not currently provide all of the data that GR3, HazWX, SPC MA provides me.

GR3, while it doesn't have a fancy interface, is very functional and easy to use from a radar standpoint, and HazWX (or even TwisterData for that matter) provide very good Model analysis, and SPC MesoAnalysis web site is sufficient enough for current observations/analysis.

Perhaps, GR Earth combined with GR3 is the right solution for me at this time?

I'm going to explore WSV3 some more today, but not overly optimistic at this point.
After more time spent on the trial... I've made my decision.

Despite the lure of the opening day discount, it's still a big price tag for a product that at this point seems incomplete. I am pulling the plug on this testing at this point. I'm not going to pressure myself into going for the discount for something that may never be fully developed, or ever meet my needs. I'll take my chances and hold off on the expense for now.

I will be keeping an eye on the progress though.

-matt
 
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Reactions: Matt Magiera
Apr 8, 2015
19
40
6
Plainfield, IL
I tried it out as well. I was actually surprised that it was consistently beating GR2AE in refreshing the L2 radar scans; sometimes by wide margins.
This is one thing I noticed bigtime. It beat it out by over a minute, sometimes even more. Definitely one of the pros to the software.
 

Matt Salo

EF1
Feb 22, 2015
51
38
11
Minneapolis, MN
Well.. blame it on exhaustion I guess..

I woke up in the middle of the night to participate in insomnia club, and that usually doesn't bode well for my wallet. Most of the time it's Amazon, but this time pulled the trigger on the WSV3 purchase 4 minutes before the discount cutoff. I really hope I don't regret it, but only time will tell I guess.

:(

Will someone please come put a block on my internet access after 10pm please... K' thx!

-matt
 
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Reactions: JohnHuntington
Mar 30, 2008
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1,179
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Norman, OK
www.benholcomb.com
I messed around with it a bit yesterday - Probably 30-45 minutes. It seems like a decent hobbyist software, and I can see a lot of uses for it and a lot of potential.

One place I don't see a lot of potential yet is chasing. The level3 products are WAY too hard to change between, there's no way to step back and forth with keyboard shortcuts in a radar loop, you can't display full metars nor did I find anywhere to display other data (Spotter Network icons for example).

Gimmicky is the best way to describe it in my opinion - I hope eventually there is more development and more refinement. It's obvious that a lot of work went into the product and something that could easily replace GR3 would be nice. Right now I have to run 2 copies of GR3 one with reflectivity and one with velocities because they did away with those handy tabs.

GPS support is supposed to be added, so that will be helpful on WSV3. Still holding off on spending my $. Hoping they do another promo in the future when the direction of development becomes clearer.
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
7,350
920
21
51
Lansing, MI
skywatch.org
Good move on waiting. I wish I'd done that with the previous software - instead I bought two licenses based on "coming soon" and we're nearly two years out and I still can't plot QPF.
 
Jun 14, 2009
80
37
11
Brooklyn, NY
Perhaps, GR Earth combined with GR3 is the right solution for me at this time?
I'm going to explore WSV3 some more today, but not overly optimistic at this point.
One of the reasons I tried this software is that while I've been a long time gibson ridge user, I found GR earth to be very frustrating to use. It took a long time to load things and wasn't always clear to me what it was doing.

I'm not a forecaster, more like a power user, and the interface for this software (so far), with a little poking around, just lines up better with the way my brain works.

Especially once I found that holding the right mouse button activates zoom. Just as a radar browser with that feature it blows away many other programs. It definitely needs some documentation, though.

For the long term, we'll see, of course...

John
 

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Jun 14, 2009
80
37
11
Brooklyn, NY
One place I don't see a lot of potential yet is chasing.
It seems to me that this is more of a competitor to GREarth than GRLevel.

I've been crushed with work and haven't had much time to mess with it but I've been using it more to look around at large scale stuff and poke around in the models.

So far, my favorite feature are the animations that include animated satellite and obs info.

John
 
Aug 4, 2008
203
35
11
Nashville, TN
I saw it a couple of weeks ago and it looks gimmicky and more like something I would see on teevee. I hate all of the colors and labels and blah. I am still running old school L2 and L3. All I need is a black background, with state and county borders, roads, and up to date unsmoothed radar data with all tilts. Anything else is a useless distraction.
 

Whitney Owens

Enthusiast
Dec 22, 2015
2
0
1
Levelland, TX
I too have played around with the trial version. It does have a faster refresh of data or acquisition of it. With my limited testing of the software, my first impression would not be to use it mobile. Screen (menu) colors are hard to read and control layout seems a bit strange, but then I'm accustomed to GR. Does have some nice bells and whistles built in.
 
Apr 8, 2015
19
40
6
Plainfield, IL
I have to agree with the general consensus here; it's definitely not for chasing. It's color tables are sort of funky, and it's pretty complicated to just have a quick look to see what's going on. I like how fast it updates, and I also like the METARs and how they animate with everything else. It has several nice features, but it just doesn't "fit" like GR2A and GR3 do to me. It might be just because I'm accustomed to them as well. It puts a lot together, but also leaves a bit to be wanted. We'll just have to see where it goes, and if any of these promised updates come through with anything that changes the gimmicky look to it.

At this point I really don't see any sort of practical application to chasing. It does, however, really compete with GREarth. There's a market there, but it doesn't seem to suit this particular aspect.
 

Evan Coverdill

Enthusiast
Mar 7, 2015
8
2
1
26
Indianapolis, Indiana
As of right now, Im not a fan. I use GRLevel3 and will probably get GR2 at some point. I waited to try WSV3 until a bit after the release, and I wasn't sold on it. GR3 is more straightforward for radar data and easier to use in my opinion. I do like the real-time data on WSV3, but its not worth it to me at the moment.
 
Interesting..... Same product, different name and same steep price tag for a bunch of eye candy and WSV3 is apparently under the same LLC now offering the same marketing gimmick.

http://911skyalert.com/

I will stick with GR products.Much more reliable and I can do without all the eye candy. I tried WSV3 and it was plagued with the same issues the original WS had and lacked bug fixes and stability updates which this one does too and constantly locks up, freezes and crashes on a i7 4790k chip with 16GB of RAM which is a brand new machine. Also offers no discount to current customers of WS to buy at their leisure so all the previous customers got hosed. That so called "Real-Time Data" is nothing more than MESO SAILS or SAILS_3. WSV3 claims it updates faster than GR3 but according to the comparison chart on the site above FB page it states WSV3 and GR have the same 2.5 min update time. It sometimes took 20 mins to update at times on a 1GB symmetrical connection. I can't imagine what kind of latency it would have on a mobile hot spot. Definitely agree that it is not chaser friendly. If you like over priced eye candy then you would love this if you can get it to run more than a couple hours without it crashing on you which has been reported numerous times by others. IMO I agree with others, it is simply gimmickware and eye candy.
 

paulmarv

EF0
Mar 2, 2009
31
0
5
Interesting..... Same product, different name and same steep price tag for a bunch of eye candy and WSV3 is apparently under the same LLC now offering the same marketing gimmick.

http://911skyalert.com/

I will stick with GR products.Much more reliable and I can do without all the eye candy. I tried WSV3 and it was plagued with the same issues the original WS had and lacked bug fixes and stability updates which this one does too and constantly locks up, freezes and crashes on a i7 4790k chip with 16GB of RAM which is a brand new machine. Also offers no discount to current customers of WS to buy at their leisure so all the previous customers got hosed. That so called "Real-Time Data" is nothing more than MESO SAILS or SAILS_3. WSV3 claims it updates faster than GR3 but according to the comparison chart on the site above FB page it states WSV3 and GR have the same 2.5 min update time. It sometimes took 20 mins to update at times on a 1GB symmetrical connection. I can't imagine what kind of latency it would have on a mobile hot spot. Definitely agree that it is not chaser friendly. If you like over priced eye candy then you would love this if you can get it to run more than a couple hours without it crashing on you which has been reported numerous times by others. IMO I agree with others, it is simply gimmickware and eye candy.
Dear others - thank you for the valuable feedback.

Dear Nick, I've remained quite respectfully open to troubleshooting your absolutely rare and, in fact, almost unheard of issue of the software "constantly locking up, freezing, and crashing" on your new and capable computer. At this point 2+ months after release, after all the bug fixes and enhancements, it seems to me that the only mainstream crashes/lock-ups are occurring with a few types of Placefile commands that use the old WS code, and this is about to be a thing of the past after the Placefile rewrite happens this month.

Let me clear up your perceptions on the "Real-Time data" claim. This is in reference to the Level 2 data, not Level 3. It remains a fact that WSV3 is the only PC product available to display real-time, live, in-progress Level 2 sweep data less than 10 seconds old, consistently beating GR2Analyst's updates as has been confirmed by many users, including one above in this thread.

How is that possible? Is the thing a bandwidth-hog that sits there refreshing the feed every x seconds? Is it doing "fake" visual tricks to make data look new? Not quite. This feat is possible due to three facts:

1. The fact that the Level 2 data stream is offered in real-time (though this amazing opportunity was not capitalized upon by any software prior to WSV3)
2. The fact that WSV3 can display partial, in-progress radar sweeps (GR2Analyst rejects any sweeps that aren't 100% complete in the data stream)
3. The fact that WSV3 has a sophisticated updating/real-time beam prediction algorithm which determines the current, live position of the WSR-88D radar beam from the Level 2 metadata and compares this to the user's selection of radar tilt and product, which means that it will go into LiveScan mode only when the radar is presently updating the selected product.

This means that you will get to see the data come-in for a selected radar sweep basically in real-time with less than 10 or even 5 (sometimes) seconds delay from the echoes being bounced back from the radar.

Proof:

I have heard from GR2Analyst users reporting the same data being displayed in GR2 over 30 or even 60+ seconds later (one such source).

Matt and Brian also provided confirmation of this above:
I tried it out as well. I was actually surprised that it was consistently beating GR2AE in refreshing the L2 radar scans; sometimes by wide margins.
This is one thing I noticed bigtime. It beat it out by over a minute, sometimes even more. Definitely one of the pros to the software.
In the end, with regards to data usage, if all you have activated is Level 2 data, then WSV3 should wind up using just about the exact same amount as GR2Analyst. When it retrieves the newest packets of radials during LiveScan updates, it is using HTTP byte-range headers only the grab the newest parts of the file.

Since GR2Analyst blindly updates every 60 seconds, it is even conceivable that WSV3 would not even make that many more total HTTP requests during one volume scan despite having real-time data display, since it only updates based off the selected view (i.e. if you are looking at the 0.5 tilt and there's no SAILS activated, it will only expect to go in LiveScan once throughout the volume).

Therefore, your statement that "Real-Time Data" is nothing more than MESO SAILS or SAILS_3" is very much a misunderstanding, since WSV3 is letting you see whatever the radar is doing at any tilt (normal 0.5, SAILS 0.5, or otherwise) before you would be able to see it in any other product.

Level 3 data is a totally different story. You might be able to see GR3 update a couple seconds faster than WSV3 L3. I've also seen the reverse. Any Level 3 data is going to be way worse anyway in delay compared to even GR2Analyst Level 2 data, and especially to WSV3 Level 2 data. I don't think the WSV3 Level 3 system is optimized yet. However, the Level 2 system is the fastest and best you can possibly get on a consumer PC with an internet connection.

Saying that WS customers got "hosed" when they received a free complimentary copy of the software in April 2014 and a large release discount for WSV3 on 12/13 (despite it being opened to everyone) is a criticism you know I disagree with, but I respect and appreciate having your opinion on that.

I too, out of curiosity, asked myself "I can't imagine what kind of latency it would have on a mobile hot spot." Turns out, I was viewing radar data rays 4.5 seconds old (i.e., bounced back into radar -> to my laptop screen in 4.5 seconds) using my Verizon phone 4G connection. Level 2 data on mobile is going to use a ton of data no matter what, but WSV3 should not use that much more than GR2Analyst.

With regards to the SkyAlert application - it's a WSV3 shoot-off massively simplified for Public Safety users that a business partner of mine had the great idea of making. Great product, many people love it - but this community here on Stormtrack definitely wants the bells-and-whistles of WSV3. The "2.5 minute" comparison you are citing is somewhat misleading - that is referring to how often you will see updated data at the base level assuming SAILS, not to the actual latency of the newest data (SkyAlert has a very unique thing I developed called "LiveComposite" which uses the upper level scans at close range to update the near-surface reflectivities, essentially moving forward storms during severe situations before the next surface tilt comes-in. Not something I want in WSV3 because people would call it "fake", which is also my opinion.)

WSV3 is currently being implemented by professionals from TV broadcasting to public-safety, and I know of chasers who also use the product. Version 2 added many chaser-useful features (such as automatic Level 3 vector-based Level 2 SRV, quality velocity dealiasing, a Gate-to-Gate shear product, a large-scale rotation/shear Level 2 product, Level 2 KDP, STP/SCP parameters, etc.). Therefore I do hope you re-evaluate the WSV3 software as it clearly would not be doing so successfully if it were as "gimmicky" as it may appear (flashy interface/graphics, etc.)

Let me know if I can support either with the hardware issue you had or with providing further information.

Best regards,
Paul
 
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paulmarv

EF0
Mar 2, 2009
31
0
5
With regards to the SkyAlert application - it's a WSV3 shoot-off massively simplified for Public Safety users that a business partner of mine had the great idea of making. Great product, many people love it - but this community here on Stormtrack definitely wants the bells-and-whistles of WSV3. The "2.5 minute" comparison you are citing is somewhat misleading - that is referring to how often you will see updated data at the base level assuming SAILS, not to the actual latency of the newest data (SkyAlert has a very unique thing I developed called "LiveComposite" which uses the upper level scans at close range to update the near-surface reflectivities, essentially moving forward storms during severe situations before the next surface tilt comes-in. Not something I want in WSV3 because people would call it "fake", which is also my opinion.)
Some needed clarification on SkyAlert's LiveComposite feature which I semi-sarcastically anticipated would be touted as "fake" by radar purists likely to be found in the chaser community. It is completely valid to only look at the raw, tilt-by-tilt L2 radar data in unaltered form (i.e., WSV3's job) and do the mental processing yourself, however SkyAlert offers its users an absolutely indispensable (and unprecedented) capability with the LiveComposite to observe the surface-relevant motion/progression of storms using the upper level tilts (which truly record viable near-surface data at short ranges to the radar) in one simple, unified product.

Instead of trying to persuade with words, please see the LiveComposite in-action throughout a volume scan compared to traditional radar software on the right:
http://911skyalert.com/Comparison.mov

My not wanting it in WSV3 therefore was absolutely in no way intended to diminish the significance of this feature that I developed (which really isn't "fake" at all, since the vertical interpolations it is making are all made from real-time, actual Level 2 data - there is no "guesswork", i.e. contriving of "fake" data), only a reflection on the generally purist user base of the former product.
 
Saying that WS customers got "hosed" when they received a free complimentary copy of the software in April 2014 and a large release discount for WSV3 on 12/13
My deepest apologies Paul. I am sure I must have accidentally deleted the email with my free WSV3 key for this free complimentary copy of WSV3 you speak of. Would you mind resending that activation key again? I guess the same email about the "large release discount" must have got lost in the internet with my free complimentary key also. As I never received any email regarding WSV3 until the 12/27/2015 which by then this pre-sale price had ended.

I guess in the meantime I will continue to use my far less superior GR and Baron Threat Net products.

I do thank you for addressing my concerns personally when others shared the same opinion as well. That is mighty kind of you.
 

Ted Angeli

Enthusiast
Mar 5, 2016
4
0
1
New Orleans, LA
I am new to the forum but have been in the storm spotting world for a while. I am not one to post on these types of things but I wanted to say something.

There was all kinds of stuff on Facebook about the release of the software and the discounted pricing he was making reference too. I was getting completely annoyed seeing it so much so I am not sure how you missed it.

But besides that and the real reason for posting is that I want to say that I do however appreciate what these guys have created, but more than the creation, I am grateful that there are people out there concerned with trying to better the technology available to use in the field. The more options the better after all its not just about science, enjoyment or a thrill, its peoples lives and the safety of their families. We need as many options to help us as possible. I am really excited to see where this progresses to. I remember when GRLevel3 was first released many, many years ago, and look where it is today. I cannot wait to see what is coming over the next couple of years for this software too. This new composite thing sounds really interesting and I cannot wait to try it out during a real event. I hope more folks develop cool things for us to use.
 
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