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Re: Position Ambiguity

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  • ka0azs
    A couple of reasons for ambiguity: 1. You don t have a GPS and are manually entering your coordinates. Ambiguity allows you to accurately show the limitations
    Message 1 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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      A couple of reasons for ambiguity:

      1. You don't have a GPS and are manually entering your coordinates. Ambiguity allows you to accurately show the limitations of the source of your position. Example, walking around a hamfest with a D7 and no functioning GPS. Rather that mislead folks into thinking you are in a particular place, just that you are somewhere in the confines of the fest (and hopefully have a contact frequency in your status.

      To put in a more defined position would be inaccurate and misleading. Probably not a big deal for most folks, but for those of us that spent years dealing with differences between accuracy and precision, it can be a bit annoying.

      2. Yes, security (at least as perceived by non-hams) can be an issue.

      I once helped with the configuration of a digipeater. The site owners had no problem with the transmitter and antenna, just didn't want their site "highlighted" on maps.

      To keep them happy we offset the transmitted position and gave it about 1/2 mile position ambiguity. That put the actual digi site in the circle, but did not "highlight" it. If you tried to DF the site, you'd end up in the approximate area, but to try to refine it, if you started at the center of the circle, you'd be in a area that happened to be covered by the department a fellow ham worked as a dispatcher for. :-)

      Security concerns overblown? Probably, but it was their property and they didn't have to let us put a digi there. By doing the ambiguous position, we answered their concerns and sidestepped a possible roadblock to putting up a needed digi.


      Both minor to me, but I'd like this eventually, if nothing else to help cement APRSIS as THE new APRS client!

      As far as "it's not showing me where I really am", just make it a non-default option. Of course we could also do a little education on the fact "where I really am" depends on a lot more factors than where your GPS display says you are.;-)

      73 Randy KA0AZS

      --- In aprsisce@yahoogroups.com, "Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr)" <kj4erj@...> wrote:

      > Not yet. I'm still not totally convinced as to the utility or
      > usefulness of ambiguity and it seems to always raise the question >of "it's not showing me where I really am".
    • Rob Giuliano
      Why do you need to have the digi provide its position at all? I realize that information is a valuable part of the system, but if it means no digi vs digi, is
      Message 2 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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        Why do you need to have the digi provide its position at all?
        I realize that information is a valuable part of the system, but if it means no digi vs digi, is it a must?
         
         
        It has to ID, but I don't think it "must provide" its position.  At APRS.fi and such, it might be hard to follow, but the diretive of getting the data  across the "dead spot" would still be accomplished.

        Robert Giuliano
        KB8RCO

        ---------------------------------------------

        The difference between CW and other digital
        modes comes down to 2 characters:
        ASCII Character 32 (hex 20) a defined space
        ASCII Character 12 (hex 0C) a carriage return (line designation)

        --- On Sat, 1/1/11, ka0azs <ka0azs@...> wrote:

        From: ka0azs <ka0azs@...>
        Subject: [aprsisce] Re: Position Ambiguity
        To: aprsisce@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Saturday, January 1, 2011, 1:01 PM

         
        A couple of reasons for ambiguity:

        1. You don't have a GPS and are manually entering your coordinates. Ambiguity allows you to accurately show the limitations of the source of your position. Example, walking around a hamfest with a D7 and no functioning GPS. Rather that mislead folks into thinking you are in a particular place, just that you are somewhere in the confines of the fest (and hopefully have a contact frequency in your status.

        To put in a more defined position would be inaccurate and misleading. Probably not a big deal for most folks, but for those of us that spent years dealing with differences between accuracy and precision, it can be a bit annoying.

        2. Yes, security (at least as perceived by non-hams) can be an issue.

        I once helped with the configuration of a digipeater. The site owners had no problem with the transmitter and antenna, just didn't want their site "highlighted" on maps.

        To keep them happy we offset the transmitted position and gave it about 1/2 mile position ambiguity. That put the actual digi site in the circle, but did not "highlight" it. If you tried to DF the site, you'd end up in the approximate area, but to try to refine it, if you started at the center of the circle, you'd be in a area that happened to be covered by the department a fellow ham worked as a dispatcher for. :-)

        Security concerns overblown? Probably, but it was their property and they didn't have to let us put a digi there. By doing the ambiguous position, we answered their concerns and sidestepped a possible roadblock to putting up a needed digi.

        Both minor to me, but I'd like this eventually, if nothing else to help cement APRSIS as THE new APRS client!

        As far as "it's not showing me where I really am", just make it a non-default option. Of course we could also do a little education on the fact "where I really am" depends on a lot more factors than where your GPS display says you are.;-)

        73 Randy KA0AZS

        --- In aprsisce@yahoogroups.com, "Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr)" <kj4erj@...> wrote:

        > Not yet. I'm still not totally convinced as to the utility or
        > usefulness of ambiguity and it seems to always raise the question >of "it's not showing me where I really am".


      • James Ewen
        ... This to me is a strange mindset. You are basically saying I m only going to implement a subset of the APRS specification, the parts that make sense to me.
        Message 3 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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          On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 9:19 AM, Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr) <kj4erj@...> wrote:

          > Not yet.  I'm still not totally convinced as to the utility or
          > usefulness of ambiguity and it seems to always raise the question of
          > "it's not showing me where I really am".  I'll add it to the list to
          > support in some future revision.

          This to me is a strange mindset. You are basically saying I'm only
          going to implement a subset of the APRS specification, the parts that
          make sense to me.

          Obviously there's no way to be able to make a program support every
          single aspect of APRS from the start unless you sit on it under
          development until it is perfect, then release it. Obviously we're
          playing with the program as it is growing, and we get access to new
          features as they are added. We suggest features desired, and wait for
          them to bubble to the top of the queue.

          Position ambiguity would seem to be a fairly simple feature to
          implement. I'd hang it in the menu structure in the Precision section
          where you have the !DAO! feature. Of course that now brings up the
          query... if you don't see the usefulness of ambiguity, why have the
          ability to disable 2 digits of !DAO! precision? If you can resolve a
          position accurately to give the extra precision that !DAO! extensions
          give, then why have the ability to shut it off?

          Obviously I'm playing the Devil's Advocate here, just trying to show
          the other side of the coin.

          One thing that I love is that you draw the purple circle around the
          received stations that have ambiguous positions. I don't know of
          anyone else highlighting ambiguous position reports. That's the
          biggest problem with position ambiguity... it's not that people use
          it, but rather that receiving stations ignore position ambiguity, and
          add digits of precision which are inaccurate, and then depict the
          inaccurate location to the end user as if it were a high precision
          location report.

          I sent a feature request in to Hessu at aprs.fi yesterday suggesting a
          method of indicating position ambiguity on the site. I like your tight
          purple circle idea, which highlights the station as transmitting an
          ambiguous position. I'd put the station at midrange values rather than
          padding out with zeros so as to minimize the amount of possible
          maximum displacement. Then I would highlight the rectangle of possible
          locations where the station would be, rather than draw a circle.

          When zero padding, the icon ends up on one vertex of the rectangle of
          possible locations. Drawing a circle at that location then puts 3/4 of
          the circle outside of the area where the station could possibly be,
          which again is adding to the depicted inaccuracy.

          Having the ambiguous station icon drawn at the center of the ambiguity
          rectangle with a tight purple circle around it, and then when zoomed
          out far enough being surrounded by a rectangle showing the bounds of
          the ambiguity area would be the 100% best solution in my mind. This
          would alert the observer to the fact that the station is somewhere
          within the bounds of that rectangle.

          Obviously if one were to select position ambiguity in APRSISCS/32, the
          program should draw the area of ambiguity around the user's location
          so the user realizes that they are transmitting lower precision
          location information. That would actually look interesting while
          driving around... rectangles would highlight as you drive from one to
          the next.

          Just my 2 bits...

          James
          VE6SRV
        • g4ilo
          ... To save 4 characters in the length of a packet transmitting a position with unnecessary accuracy? I think I was with Lynn in that if I m bothered about
          Message 4 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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            --- In aprsisce@yahoogroups.com, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
            >
            > query... if you don't see the usefulness of ambiguity, why have the
            > ability to disable 2 digits of !DAO! precision? If you can resolve a
            > position accurately to give the extra precision that !DAO! extensions
            > give, then why have the ability to shut it off?

            To save 4 characters in the length of a packet transmitting a position with unnecessary accuracy?

            I think I was with Lynn in that if I'm bothered about people knowing exactly where I am then I wouldn't be doing APRS at all. However, I can see an argument that APRS is not just about showing one's exact position, but the system still needs to know the general area you are in to determine what information is relevant to you or what area anything you originate is relevant to. So if someone wants to participate in APRS without having their station pinpointed on a map positoin ambiguity makes some kind of sense.

            Julian, G4ILO
          • Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr)
            ... Ok, finally a justification that I can understand and appreciate. Question is, how many people will really set and unset Ambiguity for that purpose? And
            Message 5 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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              ka0azs wrote:
              > A couple of reasons for ambiguity:
              >
              > 1. You don't have a GPS and are manually entering your coordinates. Ambiguity allows you to accurately show the limitations of the source of your position. Example, walking around a hamfest with a D7 and no functioning GPS. Rather that mislead folks into thinking you are in a particular place, just that you are somewhere in the confines of the fest (and hopefully have a contact frequency in your status.
              >
              > To put in a more defined position would be inaccurate and misleading. Probably not a big deal for most folks, but for those of us that spent years dealing with differences between accuracy and precision, it can be a bit annoying.
              >

              Ok, finally a justification that I can understand and appreciate.
              Question is, how many people will really set and unset Ambiguity for
              that purpose? And with APRSISCE (the most popular mobile use), they're
              probably running a real GPS and direct APRS-IS connection, so they're
              probably not approximating their position anyway.

              > 2. Yes, security (at least as perceived by non-hams) can be an issue.
              >
              > I once helped with the configuration of a digipeater. The site owners had no problem with the transmitter and antenna, just didn't want their site "highlighted" on maps.
              >

              It was somehow a disguised tower? This is exactly the kind of thinking
              that makes absolutely no sense to me.

              > To keep them happy we offset the transmitted position and gave it about 1/2 mile position ambiguity. That put the actual digi site in the circle, but did not "highlight" it. If you tried to DF the site, you'd end up in the approximate area, but to try to refine it, if you started at the center of the circle, you'd be in a area that happened to be covered by the department a fellow ham worked as a dispatcher for. :-)
              >

              I haven't done any foxhunting or DFing, but I thought the general idea
              was to start away from the target and triangulate a bearing from
              multiple positions decidedly distant from the target?

              > Security concerns overblown? Probably, but it was their property and they didn't have to let us put a digi there. By doing the ambiguous position, we answered their concerns and sidestepped a possible roadblock to putting up a needed digi.
              >

              Agreed, and such a site was probably a TNC beaconing a static beacon?
              Just guessing and trying to learn, not challenging or being obstinate
              (although it sure reads that way to me). Questions stimulate discussion
              and with discussion comes learning and understanding. Bold-faced
              statements of "you need to do this because it's there", doesn't do much
              to help me appreciate the "why"s.

              > Both minor to me, but I'd like this eventually, if nothing else to help cement APRSIS as THE new APRS client!
              >
              > As far as "it's not showing me where I really am", just make it a non-default option. Of course we could also do a little education on the fact "where I really am" depends on a lot more factors than where your GPS display says you are.;-)
              >

              That's why it's on the ToDo list (now). It'll come eventually because I
              really do want to cover at least aprs101.pdf completely. The remainder
              of the 1.1 and 1.2 specs are a bit more nebulous, but are also in my
              viewfinder.

              Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32


              > 73 Randy KA0AZS
              >
              > --- In aprsisce@yahoogroups.com, "Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr)" <kj4erj@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >> Not yet. I'm still not totally convinced as to the utility or
              >> usefulness of ambiguity and it seems to always raise the question >of "it's not showing me where I really am".
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Jordan Hayes KG6UAE
              ... So you don t understand and appreciate the WinLink idea of publishing grid-square for a system, where the area that it serves is more important than
              Message 6 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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                > Ok, finally a justification that I can understand and appreciate.

                So you don't understand and appreciate the WinLink idea of publishing
                grid-square for a system, where the area that it serves is more
                important than exactly where it's located?

                /jordan KG6UAE
              • Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr)
                ... I do have it on the ToDo list. I asked the question so I could understand the use of such a function as well as to get an idea of what priority to assign
                Message 7 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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                  James Ewen wrote:
                  > On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 9:19 AM, Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr) <kj4erj@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >> Not yet. I'm still not totally convinced as to the utility or
                  >> usefulness of ambiguity and it seems to always raise the question of
                  >> "it's not showing me where I really am". I'll add it to the list to
                  >> support in some future revision.
                  >>
                  >
                  > This to me is a strange mindset. You are basically saying I'm only
                  > going to implement a subset of the APRS specification, the parts that
                  > make sense to me.
                  >

                  I do have it on the ToDo list. I asked the question so I could
                  understand the use of such a function as well as to get an idea of what
                  priority to assign to it. I plan to support all of aprs101.pdf and as
                  much of the 1.1 and 1.2 addendums as I can find specific documentation
                  (and usefulness) for.

                  > Obviously there's no way to be able to make a program support every
                  > single aspect of APRS from the start unless you sit on it under
                  > development until it is perfect, then release it. Obviously we're
                  > playing with the program as it is growing, and we get access to new
                  > features as they are added. We suggest features desired, and wait for
                  > them to bubble to the top of the queue.
                  >
                  > Position ambiguity would seem to be a fairly simple feature to
                  > implement. I'd hang it in the menu structure in the Precision section
                  > where you have the !DAO! feature. Of course that now brings up the
                  > query... if you don't see the usefulness of ambiguity, why have the
                  > ability to disable 2 digits of !DAO! precision? If you can resolve a
                  > position accurately to give the extra precision that !DAO! extensions
                  > give, then why have the ability to shut it off?
                  >

                  Every feature is "easy" to implement. But if you've got a thousand
                  small rocks to move, it still requires a substantial amount of time to
                  move them all.

                  > Obviously I'm playing the Devil's Advocate here, just trying to show
                  > the other side of the coin.
                  >

                  I appreciate the conversation, truly.

                  > One thing that I love is that you draw the purple circle around the
                  > received stations that have ambiguous positions. I don't know of
                  > anyone else highlighting ambiguous position reports. That's the
                  > biggest problem with position ambiguity... it's not that people use
                  > it, but rather that receiving stations ignore position ambiguity, and
                  > add digits of precision which are inaccurate, and then depict the
                  > inaccurate location to the end user as if it were a high precision
                  > location report.
                  >

                  The purple circle was done in self-defense a while back when I received
                  complaints about a station that "wasn't showing the proper location on
                  the map". It took a few days of research before I finally noticed the
                  ambiguous position that the station was transmitting. So, now there's a
                  way to highlight it on the map and it shows in the station popup dialog.

                  > I sent a feature request in to Hessu at aprs.fi yesterday suggesting a
                  > method of indicating position ambiguity on the site. I like your tight
                  > purple circle idea, which highlights the station as transmitting an
                  > ambiguous position. I'd put the station at midrange values rather than
                  > padding out with zeros so as to minimize the amount of possible
                  > maximum displacement. Then I would highlight the rectangle of possible
                  > locations where the station would be, rather than draw a circle.
                  >
                  > When zero padding, the icon ends up on one vertex of the rectangle of
                  > possible locations. Drawing a circle at that location then puts 3/4 of
                  > the circle outside of the area where the station could possibly be,
                  > which again is adding to the depicted inaccuracy.
                  >

                  My circle is actually centered by filling in 1/2 of the missing digit.
                  If it is bb.bbb, I draw it at 30.00. If it is xb.bbb, it ends up at
                  x5.000. xx.bbb is xx.500 and so forth.

                  > Having the ambiguous station icon drawn at the center of the ambiguity
                  > rectangle with a tight purple circle around it, and then when zoomed
                  > out far enough being surrounded by a rectangle showing the bounds of
                  > the ambiguity area would be the 100% best solution in my mind. This
                  > would alert the observer to the fact that the station is somewhere
                  > within the bounds of that rectangle.
                  >

                  I considered a rectangle, but the circle looked cooler. And for the
                  purists, they can just square up the area with their eye.
                  > Obviously if one were to select position ambiguity in APRSISCS/32, the
                  > program should draw the area of ambiguity around the user's location
                  > so the user realizes that they are transmitting lower precision
                  > location information. That would actually look interesting while
                  > driving around... rectangles would highlight as you drive from one to
                  > the next.
                  >

                  Interesting idea, but I'm still probably going to insist on Me being at
                  the best known actual coordinate. However, there's another ToDo item
                  that will show the last point at which a beacon was transmitted, and
                  possibly also show the last point where a digipeat was heard. The last
                  transmission point would be a good place to show the ambiguity. Even
                  for a non-moving station, it could then be offset by up to 1/2 the
                  ambiguity (or something like that...).

                  > Just my 2 bits...
                  >

                  As long as you're not looking for change! <grin>

                  Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32

                  > James
                  > VE6SRV
                  >
                • h0chus_p0ckus
                  Maybe we could come up with a different visual representation for stations with ambiguity set? Circle of ambiguity is I believe the phrase used. The
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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                    "Maybe we could come up with a different visual representation for
                    stations with ambiguity set?"

                    "Circle of ambiguity" is I believe the phrase used. The conventional graphic representation when you are unsure of the position, is to use a shaded circle which is solid at the center (the reported or probable position) and fades out toward the edges of the probable position. You'll see this used in cell phone mapping applications, where the position may be 'exact' from a GPS, or somewhat less exact from a SkyHook assist, or really uncertain, from a cell phone tower triangulation. The "certain" position is a spot, the less exact one a shaded circle, the least certain one a much larger shaded circle.

                    The answer is already out there, the rest is just a simple exercise in programming. (Sorry, Lynn!<G>)

                    --Red
                  • ka0azs
                    One reason is to show that there is a digi in that area. Helps with event planning (do I need to dig up a portable digi and all the work set up for a temporary
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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                      One reason is to show that there is a digi in that area.

                      Helps with event planning (do I need to dig up a portable digi and all the work set up for a temporary set up entails?)when you know there is coverage in your area of interest. Particularly when setting up support in area you don't frequent on a daily basis.

                      And, quite frankly, I didn't even consider the possibility of NOT putting a position in. Never occurred to me.

                      I'd have to go back and look at my notes (if I can find them, been almost 10 years), but we were doing this with a burned EPROM, and I'm not sure if the configuration file let you do "no position", or if it would have simply broadcast a position of 0.00 by 0.00.

                      73

                      Randy KA0AZS
                      --- In aprsisce@yahoogroups.com, Rob Giuliano <kb8rco@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Why do you need to have the digi provide its position at all?
                      > I realize that information is a valuable part of the system, but if it means no digi vs digi, is it a must?
                      >  
                      >  
                      > It has to ID, but I don't think it "must provide" its position.  At APRS.fi and such, it might be hard to follow, but the diretive of getting the data  across the "dead spot" would still be accomplished.
                      >
                      > Robert Giuliano
                      > KB8RCO
                      >
                    • ka0azs
                      ... I would find it useful at public service events where I m setting up a portable station with no GPS and limited time frame to fool around with it. Of
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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                        --- In aprsisce@yahoogroups.com, "Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr)" <kj4erj@...> wrote:
                        >

                        >
                        > Ok, finally a justification that I can understand and appreciate.
                        > Question is, how many people will really set and unset Ambiguity >for that purpose? And with APRSISCE (the most popular mobile use), >they're probably running a real GPS and direct APRS-IS connection, >so they're probably not approximating their position anyway.

                        I would find it useful at public service events where I'm setting up a portable station with no GPS and limited time frame to fool around with it. Of course, the APRSIS32 version of using the map and cross-hairs to set a position might make that obsolete.

                        I'll have to play with it over the next year as I support PSEs. In the past the position was entered manually with coords from the nearest available GPS (sometimes passed by voice from a nearby vehicle) or pulled from a map. I'm not sure about +SA, but IIRC DOS automatically kicked in and calculated the ambiguity based on number of significant digits in the coordinates.

                        As I've stated before, I'm very RF centric. Don't have any phone that will support the CE version, no plans to get one in the near future, refuse to pay for dataplans (I only have a cell because work requires it and family insists). And, as I consider PSEs training for emergency operations, I always assume the internet will NOT be available when I need it, hence I play with the IS parts only as an afterthought.

                        > It was somehow a disguised tower? This is exactly the kind of >thinking that makes absolutely no sense to me.

                        Wasn't a radio tower. A very tall building with some sensitive types working in there (as in their activities were considered sensitive, not that they got hurt feelings easily). I think it was also a bit of "we're willing to do it for you, but we don't want everyone up here asking for space".

                        > I haven't done any foxhunting or DFing, but I thought the general >idea was to start away from the target and triangulate a bearing >from multiple positions decidedly distant from the target?

                        Not an expert, but by my understanding, DFing the signal (which would be fun, isolating that one transmitter on 144.39) from a distance would resolve it into a position fix approximately the same size of the ambiguity circle. Moving into that area (not all of which is accessible to the public) to further localize it would attract the attention of several folks, the nicest of which would be our friend in Dispatch. Probably over thinking it, most folks would look at the transmitted position and call it good. but it made the site owners happy.

                        >...and such a site was probably a TNC beacon a static beacon?

                        Yep. AEA with the config file burned into an EPROM

                        > Just guessing and trying to learn, not challenging or being >obstinate (although it sure reads that way to me).

                        Not to me. If nothing else these type of questions might help me handle a similar situation in the future with a better approach

                        >Questions stimulate discussion and with discussion comes learning >and understanding.

                        Absolutely

                        73

                        Randy KA0AZS
                      • Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr)
                        WinLink s grid-square system doesn t show up in APRS. Something somewhere WINLINK is injecting 0.1nm abiguity position packets into APRS-IS for the
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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                          WinLink's "grid-square system" doesn't show up in APRS. Something
                          somewhere "WINLINK" is injecting 0.1nm abiguity position packets into
                          APRS-IS for the WinLink stations These packets specify a lat/lon, not a
                          gridsquare, so the distinction is lost in the translation. (See
                          http://aprs.fi/?c=raw&call=WINLINK&limit=50&view=normal) I can only
                          understand and appreciate things that I can see in the lens through
                          which I view the world (APRS-IS).

                          Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32

                          Jordan Hayes KG6UAE wrote:
                          >> Ok, finally a justification that I can understand and appreciate.
                          >>
                          >
                          > So you don't understand and appreciate the WinLink idea of publishing
                          > grid-square for a system, where the area that it serves is more
                          > important than exactly where it's located?
                          >
                          > /jordan KG6UAE
                          >
                        • Jordan Hayes KG6UAE
                          ... I think you re being obtuse. ... I think the lat/lon is the center-point of the grid-square in this case. Since APRS doesn t know from grid-square, that s
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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                            Lynn writes:

                            > WinLink's "grid-square system" doesn't show up in APRS.

                            I think you're being obtuse.

                            > Something somewhere "WINLINK" is injecting 0.1nm abiguity position
                            > packets into APRS-IS for the WinLink stations These packets specify
                            > a lat/lon, not a gridsquare, so the distinction is lost in the
                            > translation.

                            I think the lat/lon is the center-point of the grid-square in this case.
                            Since APRS doesn't know from grid-square, that's the best the WinLink
                            folks could do. My point is that the lat/lon of those stations should
                            probably not be represented on the screen in the same way as a tracker
                            with 6-digits of accuracy are represented.

                            > I can only understand and appreciate things that I can see
                            > in the lens through which I view the world (APRS-IS).

                            Yes, this is exactly what I am asking you to do: see the world through
                            the lens of APRS and see that a different representation of ambiguous
                            positions be used in APRS.

                            You said earlier that you don't understand or appreciate it. You're not
                            trying hard enough.

                            Sheesh,

                            /jordan KG6UAE
                          • James Ewen
                            ... More likely circle of probability is more likely. ... Yes, that would be a way to represent a possible location. However in APRS terms, the ambiguity is
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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                              On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 12:53 PM, h0chus_p0ckus <reply.via.list@...> wrote:

                              >  "Circle of ambiguity" is I believe the phrase used.

                              More likely circle of probability is more likely.

                              > The conventional graphic representation when you are unsure
                              > of the position, is to use a shaded circle which is solid at the center
                              > (the reported or probable position) and fades out toward the edges of
                              > the probable position.

                              Yes, that would be a way to represent a possible location. However in
                              APRS terms, the ambiguity is defined by dropping digits of precision,
                              and because the location is described by using lat/long pairs, as you
                              drop digits of precision, you create rectangles of probability, with
                              the probability of being at any location within that rectangle being
                              uniform throughout the rectangle.

                              If you were to use shading to represent the possibility of the station
                              being at any one point in the rectangle, where the opacity of the
                              shading represents the possibility of the station being at that
                              location, you would need to use uniform opacity throughout the
                              rectangle.

                              Using a circle misrepresents the area of possibility, and using a
                              fading pattern within the circle could be interpreted to represent
                              that the location suggested is somehow of higher probability of being
                              the actual location than other areas within the shaded area.

                              Having any type of indication of stations sending ambiguous reports is
                              better than nothing, but if you are going to try representing
                              something, it is better to do it right than to go through multiple
                              iterations of incorrect representations, and having to explain to
                              people why:

                              a) the circle around the icon that is plotted doesn't include the
                              actual location they are at, or
                              b) the shading where they actually are located is lighter than near
                              the icon, when they know there's better probability of finding them
                              further away from the icon location.

                              I'm all about accuracy, even when it includes imprecise information.
                              Accuracy in my world is far more important than precision.

                              James
                              VE6SRV
                            • James Ewen
                              ... That is incorrect... there are a number of cases where APRS packets can include Maidenhead grid square information. James VE6SRV
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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                                On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 2:30 PM, Jordan Hayes KG6UAE <kg6uae@...> wrote:

                                > Since APRS doesn't know from grid-square,

                                That is incorrect... there are a number of cases where APRS packets
                                can include Maidenhead grid square information.

                                James
                                VE6SRV
                              • Lynn W Deffenbaugh (Mr)
                                ... I believe he was referring to my comment that the GridSquares known to WinLink were not being used in the APRS-IS packets transmitting the ambiguous
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jan 1, 2011
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                                  James Ewen wrote:
                                  > On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 2:30 PM, Jordan Hayes KG6UAE <kg6uae@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >> Since APRS doesn't know from grid-square,
                                  >>
                                  >
                                  > That is incorrect... there are a number of cases where APRS packets
                                  > can include Maidenhead grid square information.
                                  >

                                  I believe he was referring to my comment that the GridSquares known to
                                  WinLink were not being used in the APRS-IS packets transmitting the
                                  ambiguous location of the same station.

                                  And, IIRC, there's only one non-deprecated use of GridSquares as a
                                  location in APRS. Correction 2. From page 25 (35) of aprs101.pdf.

                                  An alternative method of expressing a station’s location is to provide a
                                  Maidenhead locator (grid square). There are four ways of doing this:

                                  • In a Status Report — e.g. IO91SX/- (/- represents the symbol for a
                                  “house”).
                                  • In Mic-E Status Text — e.g. IO91SX/G (/G indicates a “grid square”).
                                  • In the Destination Address — e.g. IO91SX. (obsolete).
                                  • In AX.25 beacon text, with the [ APRS Data Type Identifier — e.g.
                                  [IO91SX] (obsolete).

                                  Grid squares may be in 6-character form (as above) or in the shortened
                                  4-character form (e.g. IO91).

                                  I actually raised this question a while back in the aprssig and was
                                  told, again IIRC, that no popular APRS clients or sites actually
                                  interpret and map stations using grid squares, which is a good reason
                                  for WinLink to not use these formats. We were looking for a way to
                                  shorten position packets from APRS Messenger on 30m HF.

                                  Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32
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