API v0.1

Legacy - subject to removal

This legacy API provides two possible methods to obtain AuroraWatch UK status information, a plain text file containing activity values for the last 24 hours and a XML format status file.

Activity values (plain text file)

The first option to obtain the alert status is a plain text file containing current geomagnetic activity values recorded by AuroraWatch UK. The text file has the following format:

Lines are terminated by a single newline charater (i.e., Unix end of line markers). The meaning of each line is indicated by the first word.

The abbreviation of the station which recorded the data.
The start time (inclusive) for the 24 hour period which the file describes.
The end time (exclusive) for the 24 hour period which the file describes.
The time the file was created.
The activity levels thresholds in use, with one line per threshold level. The first word (e.g., green) gives the colour name. The second word indicates the lower threshold (inclusive) of that activity level. The 3rd, 4th and 5th words give the RGB values for the colour, in the range 0.0 to 1.0 inclusive. For consistency please use the same RGB values as used by AuroraWatch UK.
The hourly geomagnetic activity value, The second word gives the start of the hour in UT, formatted to ISO8610. The third word indicates the magnitude (i.e., |n|) of the hourly geomagnetic activity. The final word indicates the activity level by name. The hourly geomagnetic activity value is computed as the modulus of largest difference between the recorded data and the quiet-day curve. Thus in normal operation the geomagnetic activity level for the current hour can only increase. A decrease may be seen if a manual adjustment to the quiet day curve level is made by the AuroraWatch UK team.

The URL of the activity file is http://aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk/api/0.1/activity.txt.

Alert status (XML file)

The second option to obtain alert status is an XML file which contains the current and previous alert status:

    <state name="green" value="0" color="#33ff33">No significant activity</state>
    <state name="yellow" value="50" color="#ffff00">Minor geomagnetic activity</state>
  <station>AuroraWatchNet. Lancaster #1, England.</station>
  <updated>2015-01-07 17:02:01</updated>

The items in the XML file have similar meaning to those in the plain text file. It is important to note that the file is only updated when the current alert level changes. The URL of the status file is http://aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk/api/0.1/status.xml.


The data used by AuroraWatch UK has specific data acknowledgement requirements. Ideally the acknowledgement made available to the user should reflect the data source in use at that time. This version of the API does not have a means to provide this information so please ensure the following acknowledgement is included in an “About” page:

“AuroraWatch UK alerts data is provided by Lancaster University, UK using data from the SAMNET and/or AuroraWatchNet magnetometer networks. Please also include links to AuroraWatch UK, Lancaster University, SAMNET and AuroraWatchNet. A revised API will be introduced which will be provide the appropriate data acknowledgement for you to show.”

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