[aprssig] APRS Emergency Activation

Rick Green rtg at aapsc.com
Tue Mar 4 10:46:40 EST 2008

On Tue, 4 Mar 2008, Robert Bruninga wrote:

>>> 4) If anyone sends an emergency posit, the map
>>> screen is forced on all users and centered
>>> and zoomed into that stations symbol... displayed
>>> in bright red and SOS beeped in CW until the
>>> operator attended.
>> That's a good way to annoy users right out of APRS
>> altogether!  Pop-ups are bad enough, but if my
>> display jerked to a different center and zoom
>> based on a received packet instead of my input,
>> I would dump it in a flash.
> Probably the person with the emergency needing immediate
> assistance has a different opinion.  Operators that don't want
> to be bothered by other people's emergencies probably would see
> it as a nuisance.
>> The individual user has a job to do, and THEY
>> determine the scope of information that they
>> need to be displayed at any point in time.
> So they will only turn on the emergency alert function when they
> think someone they care about is about to have an emergency?
>> One tracker 'crying wolf' would disrupt the entire emcomm
>> activity until EVERY operator made their own determination,
>> and reset their display.
> Yep, Everyone in the net may have information that others do not
> have.  In an emergency presented to the APRS local network,
> everyone involved needs to take that ssecond or so to determine
> if they are in the position to offer assistance.
It's not a second or so.  If my display is zoomed out from where I want 
it, I can zoom in and re-center easily, but it takes 15 seconds or so to 
re-paint.  If I have to zoom out, it may take several steps, and a minute 
or two to get back to where I need to be.
   I'm not talking about the one personal emergency happening in isolation, 
the true SOS.  I'm thinking about the 'emergency' a single operator sees 
during an ongoing emcomm event, which should be reported to NCS, not 
disrupting the already-busy activities of the operators in other sectors 
of the event theatre.  Think also of the potential for a malicious DoS 
during such an event.
   I do not object to the presence of an emergency alert function, I just 
find that "the map screen is forced on all users and centered and zoomed 
into that stations symbol" is way too disruptive.  The pop-up 
message/bulletin window will certainly get one's attention, without 
disrupting the overall display, or better yet, since the 'emergency' or 
'priority' is just a flag, without an associated text message, then simply 
indicate its presence by an annoying-enough blink attribute on an icon 
already on the users' display.  Couple it with an audio alert if you wish, 
since that's out-of-band on a basically visual medium, it's distinctive 
without being disruptive.

Rick Green, N8BJX

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
                                   -Benjamin Franklin

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