Re: meteorological symbols

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Dec 03 2003 - 22:59:05 EST

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    Eric Scace asked:

    > At the risk of re-triggering yet another "what is a character"
    > discussion... Have meteorological symbols been considered for
    > incorporation in Unicode? (A search of the archives did not turn
    > up any discussion.)

    Not per se. And yes, this will trigger another "what is a character"
    discussion, I fear.

    > The set of symbols in use has been standardized for many decades
    > by the World Meteorological Organization.

    Can you point us to a specific document? lists
    hundreds of publications, but nothing that I could see or search
    for easily that points to a standard for meteorological symbols.

    Also, you need to take into account that whatever the WMO may
    state about this in a standard document may or may not reflect
    computer practice reflected in fonts, other character encodings,
    and actual practice around the world.

    > The total set is
    > around 150 characters.
    Unless the WMO has promulgated a *character* encoding standard
    that we don't know about, the fact that there is a standard
    list of some 150 images for symbols begs the question whether
    these are characters or not. ISO has *many* standards for symbols
    and icons of various sorts. They clearly do not all constitute

    > However, some are already available in Unicode in various locations
    > (arrows, simple thunderstorm symbol,
    > lightning, and other glyphs which can be re-applied in their
    > meteorological context such as various kinds of fog)... and some others
    > can be decomposed in a manner similar to basic letters and
    > diacritical marks.

    Point the UTC to the set of 150 things standardized by the WMO,
    and let the debate begin.


    > Thanks for your kind assistance.
    > -- Eric Scace

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