[aprssig] APRS and Big Data

Miroslav Skoric skoric at uns.ac.rs
Sun Jan 1 11:29:40 EST 2017

On 12/30/2016 06:39 PM, Robert Bruninga wrote:

> The idea was, tune to 144.39, monitor for 10 minutes, and you would see
> everything going on in Ham radio in your area, on any and all bands and
> any and all activites, nets, frequencies,  contests, meetings, eyeballs,
> and what you were building, installing, whatever.  If you were doing
> **it** then there was a packet on APRS announcing it live (for the
> duration).

Just a digression, I wonder if there ever was a 'regular' 2-way packet 
communication software (say, non-APRS-exclusively-devoted software) that 
was capable to include position reports within 'regular' packets of data 
- for example at the beginning of each transmission, after the sender's 
callsign or so, so that the sender's corespondent (and all others on the 
frequency) could decode the sender's position from his/her packets, and 
plot it on the local map (the map as an addition to the communication 
program) - regardless they are in connected or in disconnected mode with 
the sender? Having been on packet for many years, but not interested in 
APRS until recently, I just wondered ...

> All we got instead, was a wasted decade of one-way GPS trackers with no
> one even looking at what was going on in their area.

Well as said I started looking & learning in APRS maps here. After some 
experimenting with direwolf+xastir combo I started testing 
afskmodem+aprsmap (by Hannes OE5HPM). Thankfully to a nearby APRS digi, 
which is the only way to the APRS world for my small handy ADI AF-16, I 
can now visualize some APRS stations in YU, YO, UR, HG, OM, OK, OE, DL, 
9A, and S5 countries. However, most of them seem to be unattended digis, 
and just a few are human operators. What I miss here is a way to combine 
or integrate APRS world with traditional packet nodes/bbs's, see bellow ...

> Are you doing something useful right now in Ham radio?  Are you
> beaconing it?

I my case I just added APRS parts to the same Linux machine that has 
already been running packet node & bbs (on another VHF frequency of 
course), so I've been thinking about possible integrating in between 
those two subsystems. For now, I use APRS for beaconing info about 
packet node & bbs for those around who could hear them (since the other 
radio is also a handy but with an external antenna). Btw, unfortunately, 
once existing regular packet network is dead.

Nevertheless, aprsmap generates text logfiles named rawlog<date>, such 
as rawlog20170101 etc. Its content looks like this:

2.4.0-beta3 digi+igate sysop:HA1AV/HG2EBH qth:Lilahegy

I wonder if it would be of any use to 'export' such logfiles into the 
packet messages sent over the 'regular' packet node/bbs infrastructure, 
so that the 'non-APRS' packeteers can import that data into their local 
maps and see what is (or recently was) going on in other parts of the 
world. Yes, I know there is aprs.fi and other Internet sites doing it 
online, but hey is that feasible to do it over ham packet instead?

> APRSdos even had a human-present detector (any keys or mouse movement)
> and if so, your home station symbol changed to indicate “operator
> present” and of course (by 2004) your voice monitoring frequency was
> included in your beacon.

Something like that would be definitely usable for today's software, 
especially for APRS stations that appear on the map but you never know 
if anybody is still attending them after a while. They are still on map 
but the sysop went asleep ...

> Anyway, what else can we do with “big data”?  I always wanted to write a
> “special event “ detector that would note any “convergence” of specialty
> mobiles in an area… thus, alerting one to an emergency response or
> something,…

Related to my idea above, it might be interesting to consider producing 
a server addition for FBB and other mailboxes, similar to WP info server 
or so, by means such server could return the 'last known' location for a 
callsign inquiry? (Something similar to returning 'last known' home bbs 
of a user, or so.) In my opinion, by more usage of elsewhere collected 
data would be more cost-effective to the existing packet world.


Misko YT7MPB

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