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[aprssig] Re: FindU Maps Quirky

KC2MMi kc2mmi at verizon.net
Thu Feb 10 00:45:22 UTC 2005


< So why is there such a huge
difference in cost to go international?

The reason is the expense of obtaining the data. Only the US gives this data

I know that. The US is probably the only nation where "the people" own the
copyrights, instead of "crown copyright" or something equivalent. Then of
course there is the old USSR, where there were no copyrights because
intellectual property belonged to ALL of the people, not persons. Trying to
work on a global level could be a nightmare. Working first on a smaller
elephant, i.e. just the US and 2/3 of all users, would be a more rational

<Will Kenwood front a bill of $100k a year to supply international maps? >>
 Bear in mind, there is no such thing as "Kenwood" or "ICOM". There is
Kenwood-Japan and Kenwood-US and ICOM-America...some of them are
manufacturers, some are simply franchised territorial distributors.
Kenwood-Japan might be interested in a global project--but none of the US
franchisees *should* have any interest in supporting a global project.

<<I've already spent aound $20,000 from my own pocket to buy the machines
that have run aprs.net and findu.com over the last 6 years, and with my
plans to
retire next year, I have decided I will not be spending any more of my own
for servers.>>
 WOW! I had no idea the dedicated costs were that high.

<<So bottom line, findU cannot offer ad space to support this suggestion,>>
 That's where, respectfully, I have to disagree with you. You've already
shown that the current model (your own wallet) is not a feasible way to
continue the projects into the future. Besides advertising, what else is
there? That's something to look into. I could see possibilities in asking
ARRL to donate a home for servers, and some money, and using their 501-c-3
umbrella for an APRS project. That would allow manufacturers (plural
perhaps) to take a 100% write-off and get credit for their money. And,
perhaps even allow ARRL to ask other radio groups to support mapping in
their geographies, i.e. if someone in the UK wants the UK on the
server...get their "UK ARRL" whatever it is called there, to chip in.

I'm not saying that specifically would be the magic bullet--just that right
now there's apparently a real need for a totally new paradigm that allows
for ONGOING funding of APRS mapping, and getting a 501-c-3 into the act in
order to encourage contributions would be one good way to do it. Or, getting
a university to carry the project, and turn it into some type of ongoing
project for their cartography and electronics students to do work on. i.e.,
Class project: Write the code. Class competition: rewrite the code for
better speed and performance. There are ways to make APRS mapping into a
"collateral benefit" from some larger project which in turn can be funded in
more conventional ways, I'm sure.

Of course, as I said before "Who the heck is he?" (me) I'm on the outside
and have no idea what you folks have or haven't explored. Hams are tight,
for many reasons, and expecting any major project to be funded by donations
and a volunteer operator...Like we used to say, "don't Bogart that joint, my
friend, pass it round again". <G> Or as Bullwinkle sometimes said, "Hey
Rocky, wanna see me pull a rabbit out of my hat?" Ooops.<G>

Maybe Fugawi would be interested in something, at a nominal subscriber fee
to the user. Or Maptech, etc. Dunno, till someone's gone around to ask them.
But doing the whole world? Awfully ambitious. I'd try to start with the US,
and hold off on going gloabl till "the globe" brought some shekels to the

Just one outsider's opinion, trying to be constructive not criticizing.

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