Position Ambiguity [was] Re: [aprssig] findu.com....

KC2MMI (Jared) kc2mmi at verizon.net
Fri Jun 9 12:44:44 CDT 2006

From: "Curt, WE7U" <archer at eskimo.com>
"So why aren't you going after Xastir and WinAPRS too? "

Curt, I'm not "going after" anyone. I have said and do say that *all* mapping applications that present bad data should be ashamed of doing so after they have been notified and intentionally decided to leave it uncorrected.

Traditional cartographers *solicited* corrections, better known as "ground conformation" in military mapping circles. Fifty years ago if you sent a map maker a correction note, they sent you a thank-you letter AND a copy of the next edition of the map, gratis. They were quite happy to pay (maps cost money) to get their ground conformation done for free, it was an expected part of the business.

I haven't "gone after" James or APRSWORLD. On the contrary, he's decided the errors aren't his problem and he's decided to take umbrage at the fact that some of us won't pretend the emperor(s) have new clothes. When I found apparent errors, I asked him about them. I suggested a simple way to compensate for them. That was a long time ago. Why he has decided now to feel picked on, when he wasn't mentioned by name, and why he thinks I should recode his application, I can't guess. Users find and submit bug reports for applications. The *authors* fix them, not the users. That's the norm on this planet.

I have asked NavTeq, and Google (who uses NavTeq and other sources) and DeLorme, and others, to make corrections when they have made errors. Some do, some don't. If you notify the USCG of an error in a charted buoy location, they'll send out a field team to the buoy and re-measure the location to make SURE of whether there is a problem. They know what the consequences can be. But the USGS, USCG, NOAA, NIMA, GSIA (who call themselves GSA apparently not realizing that's another government agency)...they don't get upset about errors, they know errors will and do happen. They say "thanks for the catch" and then they go on to FIX IT.

But most of the "internet mappers" really just don't care, they figure "cheap is good" and be damned with the rest. (And do take note, I said "most" not any one in particular.)

I've seen hospitals that literally were bulldozed more than five years ago, still shown as standing on DeLorme, NavTeq, and other Google sources. How would you feel if you were a stranger passing through town, needed an emergency room, pulled one up on your computer and when you got there...found private homes or a library instead? 

Mapping errors can KILL. They are not something to laugh at and say "Cheap is good". Sure, cheap often is good but there's no excuse for intentionally presenting bad data after the good data is known. Especially after five+ rounds of annual data updates, in the case of the hospitals on software that is updated annually.

Now, as to Xastir? Sorry, Curt, but you know very well that I don't run *NIX and despite your oft-repeated remark that Xastir runs on Windows, we both know it does NOT run on WIndows, it runs on *NIX or a *NIX emulator which may or may not be run on Windows. I have no desire to start learning the vagarities of a *NIX emulator loaded on top of everything else to find out how well your app might run. As far as I'm concerned, it is a *NIX app and I've chosen not to look at those. If you find a rock-solid stable boot-from-CD *NIX version that you can distribute with it, let me know, I'm always willing to take a look.

And WinAPRS? Sure, it needs better map availability. What makes you think the Sprouls don't know it has problems because of using the TIGER maps? The difference is, the Sprouls don't come here to say "OK Mister, you write the new code for us!". 

Don't try to confuse the issue. There's lots of software which COULD easily do better. One author feels picked upon because I made (and make) that general statement.

Why not ask him why he doesn't just implement any of the solutions instead? After all, he's the one who says he can and does write software, not me. I only said I'm familiar with navigation and cartography--not writing software.
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