- Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:06 pm
Dhruv Kalra 878508 wrote:I understand the sentiment, Ross, but to be quite honest, the real-world NEXRAD WARP that ERAM gets is pretty low resolution to begin with (and somewhat delayed as confirmed by the previous posts). Such low resolution, in fact, that often times what we see out the windows and what the controller's 2D representation depicts can be wildly inconsistent. I've had controllers express outright shock that I've gone through what on their scopes appears to be heavy or even extreme precipitation with no ride or precipitation issues, and vice-versa.
I don't see resolution as a concern. With poor resolution, the weather is still in the right location relative to the route of flight. Sure, it may be delayed, but delay can be compensated for in the controller's mental picture.
Even with resolution differences, delayed data, and other factors that we haven't even mentioned yet such as radar shadowing, the weather depiction on a controller's scope can still allow the controller to provide weather advisories that will be useful to the pilots in the area.
Remember that in the real world, controllers have another source of weather data: pilots. The pilots all get the same weather. And the weather reports that they give, or the weather deviations that they request, are all additional data points that improve the controller's overall picture.
I think of all these things as factors that contribute (positively or negatively) to the overall validity and utility of the weather picture for both pilots and controllers. You can also think of them as factors that move the "error bars" in or out.
That's real world ... now, step into the VATSIM world. You've just introduced a new factor that does not have an analog in the real world: your pilots have different weather. This is a negative factor that is potentially
very large. It pushes those error bars much further apart. I say potentially
because we don't really know how much variance there is from one pilot to the next and from one weather engine to the next. This factor makes the weather overlays on the controller's scope potentially
much less useful.
I liken it to the usefulness of things like ride reports and wind shear reports on VATSIM. It is highly unlikely that the smoothness of the ride or presence of wind shear is going to be consistent from one pilot to the next. For the most part, these reports are just ear candy. They add a bit of realistic flair to the experience for both pilots and controllers. Certainly the same is true of weather overlays on the scope ... it would add realism for both pilots and controllers. However, there is one HUGE difference: ride reports require no software engineering. They are "free". Not so for weather overlays.
So unless we can get consistent weather on the pilot's side (and again, someone needs to do the testing ... we may already be "close enough") then weather overlays on the scope are effectively
just eye candy, and, in my opinion, not worth the engineering cost.