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Local Snow Load Data

Started by Medeek, February 25, 2015, 01:18:44 PM

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I am currently testing some new features with the Medeek API.

One of these is to offer state snow loads in addition to the ASCE 7-10 national values for ground snow loads.

Note the addition of the variable "localdata" which when set equal to "1" will trigger a local lookup of the snow load values.  By default without setting the localdata variable the API will only give national level values (normal behavior) and the response from the API will remain the same as previous revisions of the API.

Also note that when a localdata lookup is triggered the API must perform a reverse geolocation of the latitude and longitude.  You will probably notice the response time from the API increase by approximately one second.

Currently the states that have snow load data are:

New York

Each State has different methods at arriving at their snow loads, so the addition of each State's data can be a time consuming process.

The plan is to add all of the States that have data that differs evenly slightly from the ASCE 7 ground snow load map.


Google has a reverse geocode API that I use to get the address based on the latitude and longitude.  Based on the city/county/state I then make a determination with the API as how to determine the local snow loads, each state is different and from there is also depends on each county/municipality depending on the state, so adding new local data can be significant work.

For instance Nevada County in California is based on tabulated values for each elevation however there are an East and West zone and also a small transition zone between them.  The snow load for locations within the east and west zone are merely a function of elevation and linear interpolation between the tabulated values, using the elevation service from google with the tables computation is a snap.  However, snow loads within the transition zone require interpolation for each zone and then interpolation between the two zone based on distances between the zonal boundaries.  It is rather complicated but quite easy to program once you wrap your head around it.   Then to make matters even more complicated the municipality of Truckee with the county has its own special tabulated values and transition zone, so this requires its own programming.

When you use the local data option you always will get the ASCE snow load in addition to any local snow load data.  If there is no data for a location you will notice the API returns "NO DATA" in the local snow load field and the local source field.

As suggested by a current client I will probably add in the geocode (address input option) since it may be easier than first finding the lat/long for a particular location.

I have since incorporated the local data into the regular API so you don't have to use the TEST address to now use the local data option.

I have updated the documentation to include the new options, please take a look at:
Nathaniel P. Wilkerson, P.E.