[aprssig] Injecting Traffic Incident Objects

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Sat Sep 17 20:15:53 CDT 2016

> On Sep 17, 2016, at 8:01 PM, K5ROE Mike <K5ROE at roetto.org> wrote:
> OMs and YLs,
> The state of Virginia publishes an RSS feed of traffic incidents that include enough information to be useful as APRS objects.  I have written a rudimentary parser to inject these into APRS.
> Before I continue into the project, it seems wise to probe the list members with some questions:
> 1) the propriety , would this somehow be against the 'vision' of APRS?
> 2) has this been tried before and deemed to be a bad idea?
> 3) Would it better to inject APRSIS or RF?  If RF should I consider a longer path than WIDE2?
> Please excuse the NEWB questions.  Any and all thoughts greatly appreciated!

You have to think of the APRS IS as a global resource. When 99.99% of the amateurs using the APRS IS are unaffected by the these traffic incidents it becomes very hard to justify injecting them directly in the APRS IS. Coupled with the fact that there are many other ways to view this information (e.g. DOT web site, google and other maps, TV/radio stations, etc) I see no benefit to placing it somewhere else on the internet. My opinion is this is something to be avoided.

RF is different. I believe strongly and have argued vigorously that what happens on the local RF network should determined by local amateurs, not pronounced by distant APRS gods. So what you do on 144.39 in Virginia is none of my business. But likewise, it is something that should be discussed with the other users around your local area. It is something that could be potentially useful, for those people without internet in their vehicles for example, and it is something that could potentially cause QRM. If it were proposed in my area I'd want to see information about how much traffic this will generate and how much spare capacity the channel has. I'd certainly want the information transmitted in a cellular style, with short, probably single hop paths and only incidents in that specific coverage area, as well as careful limitations on bandwidth use like removal of objects when incidents clears, low repeat rates, etc.

If you don't have a local group that is active in managing APRS that you can go to discuss it, you could trial it, doing everything you can think of to minimize the channel load before starting and clearly identifying it through beacons as a test and providing contact info for other hams to provide feedback.

But please do not inject directly to APRS IS, and thanks for asking first!

Good luck.

Steve K4HG

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