[aprssig] APRS Search Engine --- Request for Comment

Gregory A. Carter gcarter at openaprs.net
Tue Jul 1 18:33:59 EDT 2008

Hello all,

I've been toying around with the idea of creating an APRS search engine that
acts much the same way as web search engines only for ARPS data/packets.  I
recently created a new site that uses the same backend as OpenAPRS (which on
another note should be far more stable and reliable than it used to be) that
allows you to basically search through the APRS data using a pretty simple
search interface to find position reports, weather and telemetry.  I plan to
implement more search features for messaging in the near future.  The site
is at http://www.oaprs.net/ and the results point back to the "Info"
interface on OpenAPRS's main site when a station is clicked, though much of
the data is included right in the search results for quick lookups.  The
engine will also search by FCC ULS and display both ULS information
specifically or in addition to position/telemetry/weather reports.  Most
everything is sortable by callsign, speed or age at the moment.

There are some options like measurement units, geocoordinates display
preferences (not quite implimented yet) and default timezone that can be set
and searching can be narrowed by using several options inline with your
query (you can find what I call "quibbles" or search options under the help
link next to the search input box).  I am also pondering the idea of adding
search capabilities for Satellite data and pass prediction in some sort of
searchable format.  The basic idea I had for this search engine was to be
able to "find" stations, whether they be stations you know the callsign for,
stations you may know a partial callsign for or perhaps stations you just
would like to find by the type of data they are offering to the APRS
network.  I am also considering focusing on adding features that help to
debug APRS packets quickly and easily for users who are learning to get
their APRS stations dialed in and who feel a bit overwhelmed at the idea of
hitting findu and trying to figure out the scripts.

As I am not quite sure of the direction I want to take this, I wanted to get
some input from the experts on how useful this interface would be and what
suggestions for additions, subtractions or other design
modifications/features would make this a powerful tool that would benefit
the APRS community.  I'd love to hear any comments or constructive criticism
that everyone may have to offer either on or off list, fire away!


NV6G (previously N7NXS)
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