[aprssig] Andorid APRS

Ryan Tourge k2rrt.lists at gmail.com
Sat Dec 26 20:58:58 CST 2009

Anyone play with Mologo? It provides an option to call a 3rd party and
pass location and telemetry information. In my case I had it call a
web server where I had an app running that would listen and inject
that data into the APRS-IS. If there is already an android based app
that does similar I could modify the server to use it.

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 9:06 PM, Jeffrey Johnson <ortelius at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Exactly.   How likely are networks like ATT and T-Mobile to sell you a SIM
>> for a phone that not "theirs"?   [I'm well aware that this issue of carrier
>> "lock-in" is far less of an issue outside the U.S.]
> The telcos could care less about what 'phone' you use, they care about
> APRU as in Average Revenue Per User. So, if you are willing to pay
> full (unsubsidized) price for some gee-whiz phone and then pay them to
> use their network with said phone, they are happy to let you do it ...
> these are pre-paid plans, which usually cost more than a plan with a
> subsidized device.
>> And what do you do about CDMA networks that don't use SIMs???  Beg for mercy
>> from Verizon or Sprint?
> Not sure what you are getting at? These telcos sell android phones,
> you use the app store to download apps and use them and then use the
> network, send your check to the telco every month. Whats the issue
> here?
>> I have found the quality and accuracy of the OpenStreetMap maps to be rather
>> underwhelming.
> OpenStreetMap in the US is based on TIGER from the US Census. If you
> don't like the quality, you are welcome to fix it.
>> Is there anything that can/could be loaded locally onto such a device with a
>> comprehensiveness similar to MapPoint, Delorme Street Atlas, or the NavTeq
>> database used by Garmin GPSs that would provide an up-to-date seamless
>> street-level map of all of North America?
> Yes, its called google maps, or bing (microsoft) maps or yahoo maps
> which are by and large based on NavTeq or teleatlas.
>> I.e.  produce an experience similar to UIview with Precision Mapping  or
>> APRSpoint using MS MapPoint running on a laptop, without having to endlessly
>> download additional snippets of maps as you travel across the US or Canada?
>> [All three of these mapping systems cover all of North America down to
>> street level with numerous other outline overlays (parks, hydrographic
>> features, campuses, malls, National Parks, military bases, etc) and millions
>> of point objects of interest in a total file size of about 1.5 GB.]
> I find the user experience in both of these programs to be inferior to
> tile based map services and applications, and I use mapping apps all
> day long every day for a living.
>>>> a)   You are potentially going to run up huge airtime charges for data
>>>> acccess.  Most so-called unlimited data plans have monthly bandwidth
>>>> caps;
>>>> i.e. download quotas of "x" megabytes.  [Currently the iPhone users
>>>> tethered
>>>> to ATT's network are screaming and howling about ATT's plan to do away
>>>> with
>>>> unlimited data access and start charging by the amount of monthly
>>>> bandwidth
>>>> used. ]
>>> Monthly bandwidth caps on Verizon and other carriers are measured in
>>> the Gigabytes of data which constrains usage like video and audio
>>> streaming. AT&T currently does not have bandwidth caps, but is
>>> considering going to tiered pricing.
>> It seems to me to be obvious that as the number of data-gobbling non-voice
>> gadgets (especially Web browsers) on wireless networks explodes (as ATT is
>> now experiencing with the hordes of iPhone users),  that flat rate (or quasi
>> flat rate) plans will go by the wayside.
> So? Then download the maps to your phone when you are at home on your
> home internet connection.
>> Further, when devices have "real" web browsers that can view normal "uncut"
>> webpages like a normal PC (such as the iPhone can), even gigabytes of
>> bandwidth/month go fast,  if you do much web browsing at all, given the
>> ever-increasing bloat of inefficiently-coded web pages loaded with
>> meaningless graphics, Java applets, Flash animations,etc.
> What does this have to do with APRS?
>>> In any case, maps are actually
>>> quite small in size. unless you want to cache a huge chunk of maps
>>> down to your phone in which case, you could use an android based
>>> device like the Archos 5 Internet tablet
>>> http://www.archos.com/products/imt/archos_5it/index.html?country=ru&lang=en
>>> which is WiFi only and doesnt even work on the cell phone networks.
>> Hmm....   Looks conceptually somewhat like an iPod Touch; i.e. an iPhone
>> without the phone.     Tying a device like this to an APRS radio would be
>> essentially the same as tying any other laptop or netbook to an APRS radio,
>> except that you would be re-inventing the wheel creating an APRS app for a
>> different operating system.     I was assuming the whole point of an
>> Android-enabled application WAS to use it on a cell-phone-type device that
>> could use wireless networks with longer range than WiFi.
> What I am saying is that your all your arguments against an android
> based APRS app based on dislike of telcos and cell phone plans are
> irrelevant because there are several android based devices out there
> which NOT telephones, but do the exact same thing except get on the
> net over a 3G connection.
>>>> b)     Once again, if you are out of the cell carrier's coverage foot
>>>> print
>>>> -- NO MAPS!!
>>> There are a plethora of apps for the iPhone that allow you to download
>>> maps to your phone while on a WiFi connection and then use them out in
>>> the field without an internet connection. Many/Most of these are based
>>> on the Route-Me library which can be used with various map tile
>>> sources including OpenStreetMap, Bing (Microsoft Maps), Yahoo Maps and
>>> even google maps if you don't mind violating the Terms of Service. I
>>> have also developed several apps based on this library and have been
>>> able to use my phone with GPS AND Maps in the absence of cell coverage
>>> or WiFi.
>> Again, how much space would it take to cache/store/archive (whatever you
>> want to call it) coverage of the entire US?   Would most devices have the
>> local storage available to do this?      [I ask since I was shocked to see
>> the immense size of the full US database for the U.S Government "Tiger
>> Files" map database for example, compared to commercial products like Street
>> Atlas, MapPoint, etc.]
>> Note that I am thinking in terms of smoothly-zoomable/scrollable
>> vector-based mapping, not tiled arrays of bitmaps that have to be stored
>> repeatedly at different resolutions.
> In any case, none of this matters. What we are talking about building
> is a APRS app for android that works similar to iBCNU http://ibcnu.us/
> on iPhone, but also allows you to interface with your radio over
> Bluetooth using a bluetooth to serial dongle. All that said, I fail to
> see what your point is ... if you are happy to use your garmin device,
> by all means, keep using it.
> Jeff
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Ryan Tourge - K2RRT

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