The curious popularity of the Google Weather API appears to be coming to a close. The search giant never officially supported the feature, but developers have used the unofficial feed available from the iGoogle homepage. With iGoogle now set for deprecation in November, developers are reporting that the once simple weather API is no longer returning data.
As we wrote over two years ago in Google’s Secret Weather API, the company never supported the service. Googler Jeff Fisher even wrote in a message board post from 2008 that it is “for gadget use only.” Yet, developers flocked to it, because of its simple interface and streamlined results. Even the developer preference for JSON over XML hasn’t tempered interest in a Google weather API.
In early August we started getting messages about weather API errors, including some in the original “secret” post. At the time it seemed intermittent, or at least geared toward scripts–browser queries worked. But that’s the sort of unreliability that one would expect from an unofficial, undocumented and unsupported API.
It’s clear now that Google has intentionally turned off the service. TheNextWeb points out that iGoogle now uses the Weather Underground API. It’s one of 60 weather APIs in our directory that one could use in place of the Google Weather API.