[aprssig] APRS growth rates (was: open vs. closed in ham radio)

Heikki Hannikainen hessu at hes.iki.fi
Thu Jul 30 04:17:13 CDT 2009

On Wed, 29 Jul 2009, Steve Dimse wrote:

> Believe me, this is one of the few times I wish I was wrong. There are now 
> multiple open source findU-like databases out there.

Actually, I don't think there are any properly open source ones besides 
aprsworld.net? aprs.fi is using an open-source APRS packet parser written 
by OH2KKU well before I started working on the site 
(http://search.cpan.org/dist/Ham-APRS-FAP/), but the rest is closed. 
Openaprs has an open-source parser and mysql injector, but the web is 
closed. I think I'll open-source my code once I get bored, but that might 
take some time. I hope.

> I wish one would gain some steam and become so compelling that traffic 
> on findU would drop to the point I could walk away. Instead traffic on 
> findU continues to climb, averaging 1.6 million pages views a day for 
> June.

Interesting! How much is the traffic growing currently? Does the page view 
count include search engines? Do you have unique visitor or visit 

During the past 12 months, aprs.fi has gone up from about 5k visits per 
day to about 16k visits per day according to Google Analytics, roughly 
200% growth per year. Not including search engines. Each visit includes a 
number of page loads by the same visitor during 1 hour. I'd assume 
OpenAPRS is getting some growth too. If everyone is experiencing this kind 
of growth, APRS web databases *are* gaining a lot of popularity.

Comparing HTTP hits or page loads does not make much sense, with dynamic 
sites it's easy to tune the numbers by adjusting refresh intervals. I'm 
currently serving some 200 HTTP hits per second at peak times (probably 
well over 10M hits per day?), but that includes the AJAX update calls and 
search engines. On the other hand, I get relatively few HTML page loads 
per unique visitor, since most people browse around the world using the 
real-time map view without reloading the surrounding HTML page.

   - Hessu

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