[aprssig] distributed findu possible ?

Michael Conrad do5mc at friggleware.de
Wed Aug 6 08:03:10 EDT 2008


after reading the posts about the movement (and the monthly costs) of the findu servers
and old idea was coming back in my mind.

At present there are some very cool APRS web applications, but most of them have to fight
with monthly/periodically costs (bandwidth, hardware, administration) and some of them
are unable to cover the expenses via donations or banner ads.

If the amount of APRS users will increase, these costs will also increase until the
operator of an APRS web application is unable to provide the service.

Maybe its time to think about alternative solution using the computing ressources
(bandwidth, memory, storage) of more than a small group of people. Personally I
would prefer a distibuted approach, where the whole infrastructure is provided
by a (preferably large) subset of all APRS users.

A distributed APRS database could work as follows:

1. There a set of nodes, all running the same web application and a small (in memory) database.
   Each node is responsible for a specific (dynamic) geographical area and stores APRS information
   related to this area. (Each node is connected to APRS-IS, but requesting only APRS data from
   a small area)

2. If a users wants to requests the status of another station, he is directed via DNS
   (domain name system) to a random node (the entry node) of the distributed APRS database.

3. After entering a call by the user the entry node dertermines the responsible node and
   redirects the user to this node (transparently to user)

4. The responsible node displays the APRS information (station status, wx, raw data) or is able
   to show near APRS traffic.

If someone out there, who is willing to discuss such a mid-term solution, please respond to my mail.

First steps could be an analysis about the requirements (APRS messages per day, hits per day) and
the feasibility of such a project.



PS: I think, there a lot of people, which will run a computer at home to be a part of the
    global APRS network/infrastructure before funding 50 bucks for another project.

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