[aprssig] Generic Smartphone APRS aps!

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Mon Jan 24 22:13:32 EST 2011

To all aspiring smart-phone authors  I offer the following thoughts:

1) Hopefully someone has already written a standard APRS web page that will
show any map of local activity as needed on any device.  So no one needs to
develop map stuff for each new toy.  If such a web source does not exist
then we need one person writing the killer site.

2) Instead, for each new wireless toy, concentrate on APRS in the following
priority order.  Every electronic device  that might be in the hand of a ham
radio operator should be able to do these things in this order of priority.

a) TXing current status (& position if the device knows it)
b) Includes monitoring FREQuency if available
c) Receiving any APRS messages
d) Sending APRS messages
e) Sending OBJECTS (based on current position)
f) Text Display of other nearby APRS-IS stations:
   * Their STATUS text (or position text)
   * Their contact frequency
   * Their symbol
   * Their direction and distance
   * Their PHG, or WX or CSE/SPD
   * Their Path

Notice, that NO map is required.  The path may or may not show much of
value, since only the shortest path to the nearest IGate is captured by the
APRS-IS, but it is a start.

All of the above to me is how APRS fulfills its primary objective of
facilitating ham radio communications.  For the purpose of communications,
the map is just not that important, yet is the biggest 95% of most APRS
clients.  Authors can waste a few years of their life on developing a new
mapping interface, or they can just settle for the above and be done in a

Good luck!

Bob, Wb4APR

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