[aprssig] speaking of aprs....

Wes Johnston, AI4PX wes at ai4px.com
Sun Jun 10 22:52:36 EDT 2007

I've written a "little" database in PERL that is relational and keeps track
-people helping out at an event,
-equipment that they've been issued, cosumables (such as batteries and
-locations such as checkpoints, facilities and vehicles
-evacuees that need transportation to facilities and their triage

The database ties everything together in a clickable fashion... if you list
locations, each location shows
- contact info for that facility that includes a name a phone number
- a clickable list of people working/ assigned to that facility
- a clickable list of evacuees AT that facility
- a clickable list of evacuees enroute to that facility along with a
clickable link to the vehicle they are riding in.
- a map pulled from findu that shows all vehicles in proximity to the

When I tell them that the people at a hospital can see a map of the vehicles
enroute they say Ohhh _that's_ what aprs it good for!  Then I tell
them really nifty part of all of this is that even if the vehicle doesn't
have a GPS, they can "radio" in their position over a voice repeater or cell
phone and we can manually update their location.  It never ceases to amaze
me (of course I'm biased) why the general ham population still persists in
passing traffic by voice and info by voice.  Do you have any idea how much
time it saves to simply show the hospitals where the vehicles are instead of
them having to call in and ask constantly?  We used this database in a NDMS
drill last month and the hospitals loved being able to see the patient's
conditions before they arrived.  To be honest, we did have one glitch... the
transportation manager at the patient reception area did not understand that
he was supposed to edit the patients' records to indicate that they were
actually on a particular bus or ambulance, and it ended up looking like the
patients were at the PRA for the entire event.... it was a minor training
issue, and the transportation manager didn't show up for our training class
prior to the event.

Anyway, I said all that to say that I still can't believe that the general
ham population doesn't see the value of aprs and would still rather do
things the hard way.  Not that APRS is the end all do all solution, but
geez, use it as a tool in yer toolbox!

In theory there is no difference between practice and theory.
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