How it started
It all started when I moved to Spain to learn how to surf and I needed wave, weather and tide predictions for that particular location. Even though there were existing solutions at that time (like MSW, Surf Forecast etc) I was quite soon sucked into "meteo data world" as I was interested in the data origin, who is creating the predictions and how precise the predictions are in my location (as some of the existing solutions didn't perform well in that location).
I learned that the models are usually global (for the whole world) with worse resolution or local with better resolution but limited to some area and time. As it seemed to me that there are many organizations that were providing the data which can be used for the predictions I made the prototype application called Surfsquare combining multiple prediction models to generate surf / weather predictions for Cantabria, Spain.
The prototype was designed to be extensible in terms of the data sources. To be able to add a data source for the particular location with the particular resolution and when the user requests prediction for the location the system picks the best datasets and compiles the prediction from them. You can read more about the project by visiting the About Surfsquare page.
Later I wanted to expand surf predictions for the whole world, not just for Cantabria, but I hit a wall in form of missing tide predictions. As the water level and extremes (like low / high tide) are quite important for surfers, kiters, fishermen etc I didn't want to continue without them. Also, I was quite curious if it is even possible to predict tides for any place in the world.
When I found out that there are few global models which are derived from the tidal gauges measurements and satellite altimetry I was fascinated. We (meaning society, not Marea API) are measuring the wind speed, direction, water level and a LOT of other metrics from the space! Incredible!
After that, the first version of the API was born and access was provided via RapidAPI marketplace. With time passing I decided to deprecate the RapidAPI version for various reasons and provide it directly as Marea API.
To be able to explore the generated predictions I made the visualization based on the API data for the general public called Marea.
You can generate the nearest tide predictions for the current year or you can search for the location you are interested in by the name or geo coordinates. The Marea page also provides widgets you can embed into your page for free.
The predictions are compiled from various data sources. To see which data sources are used, please see the Data section of the API documentation page:
As an EU citizen, I prefer to use providers also located in the EU because they comply with the EU customer protection legislation.
The servers are currently located in Germany so you can experience higher network latency outside the EU. If that is a problem, please let me know your requirements and I'll try to accommodate them (like running a server closer to you or your users).
What is next
I'd like to add the following features to version V2. The following list is not final and the order is just informatory. If you are interested in any of the following features (or you have something else in mind), please just let me know so I can prioritize future work.
- Add more stations
- Add more models
- Add place timezone to the response
- Add payment history to the dashboard
- Add balance history to the dashboard
- Allow users to specify CORS per API token
- Add the possibility to specify reference tidal datum (currently, all heights in response are based on MSL)
- Add the possibility to search stations by name and location
- Add endpoint for custom predictions based on the measurements ("tidal harmonic analysis as a service")
- Add ISLW chart datum
- Add recommended chard datum by location
- Add SVG output
- Add "pre-paid" plans
In case of any question, idea, bug report or to just say hi, you can contact me at email@example.com 🤙