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[aprssig] New FINDU cgi for searching by SYMBOL

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Mon Dec 6 18:48:45 UTC 2004


Steve has added a new cgi so you can query FINDU for
all stations using a particular APRS SYMBOL.

Where I think this will be most valuable for APRS users
is in the application of keeping track of APRS sub-groups.
For example, you can now ask findu for a real-time list of:

All SCOUT stations
All SATERN stations
All EOC's
All RACES or all ARES or all CD stations
All SKYWARN stations
All Portable stations (think Field Day)

and almost 500 other categories!

This is because APRS has about 180 different symbols 
but a dozen of them allow for the OVERLAYcharacters 
0-9 and A-Z.  THus about 432 additional symbols.    
If nationally distributed groups that use Ham Radio and
APRS choose their SYMBOL and Overlay carefully, they 
can uniquely identify their nationally distributed participants.

For example the following cgi captures all SCOUT symbols:

http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/symbol.cgi?icon=/,&limit=200 

This is what triggered this need, because someone was looking
for a way to find out all the scout camps that have HAM
stations.  This simple CGI above lets you do that.  The format
for the cgi is:

   symbol.cgi?icon=XY&limit=100

Where X is the TABLE or OVERLAY character
and     Y is the SYMBOL character.
and limit is the number of hits. 

PLEASE DO THIS ONLY FOR RARE SYMBOLS so as not
to burden FINDU!  And if you have to use a common one,
set the limit to 50 or so.

APRS has many symbols for groups to use and most of their
value comes in the use of Overlays.  APRS has had overlay 
characters since 1995, but, unfortunately, there are still many 
software packages that dont do them, thus, making their 
users blind to all the the unique identification of unique
groups within APRS.

I hope I am not stealing Steve's thunder, but I find this to
be a fantastic addition to FINDU and APRS.  And hopefully
it will serve as an inspiration to get people to make better
use of the overlay characters  on symbols.

de Wb4APR, Bob






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