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QTH Locator of Summits in SOTAWatch


#1

When chasing activators I use SOTAWatch to transfer summit name, height and points to my logbook program. I also transfer the QTH Locator of the summit so my logbook program can calculate distance and display the location on a map. For UK summits this is very easy as the QTH Locator is directly displayed in the summit information, like here:

Summit Information for GM/NS-001
Sgurr Mor - 1110m, 10 points
Association: Scotland Region: Northern Scotland
Latitude: 57 42 0 N, Longitude: 5 1 1 W
Grid Reference: NH 203718, QTH Locator: IO77LQ
Today’s Sunrise: 05:58 UTC, Today’s Sunset: 18:28 UTC

For all other associations I usually work, the line with the QTH Locator is missing, like here:

Summit Information for DM/BM-333
Rainberg - 533m, 4 points
Association: Germany (Low Mountains) Region: Bavarian low mountain ranges
Latitude: 50 9 45 N, Longitude: 11 19 24 E
— Here the QTH Locator is missing —
Today’s Sunrise: 04:56 UTC, Today’s Sunset: 17:20 UTC

Of course this information is available in the database but this requires a second, separate search of the summit.
Am I too lazy or do other SOTAWatch users also miss the QTH Locator outside UK? I do not want to bother the MT if I am the only one missing it. So a comment whether others miss this information is appreciated.

73 de Michael, DB7MM


#2

In reply to DB7MM:
I can see a grid reference and locator for G summits, but cannot see any locator for OE summits. Did not miss it untill now.

Heinz OE5EEP


#3

In reply to DB7MM:

I’d always assumed it was missing because it wasn’t in the database, but if it is then I agree, it would be nice to have it displayed.

Colin G8TMV


#4

In reply to DB7MM:

Too lazy! It was only added to the database a few months back and is in the queue for SOTAwatch. As the data is available in the database it’s not a high importance update.

The UK data is available because it was available when the UK was set up. i.e. we got it for no effort.

Andy
MM0FMF


#5

In reply to DB7MM:

Another way to get the locator for a summit: when you are on the SOTAwatch page for your summit (e.g. DM/BM-333), click on the “SOTA Map” link - this will open a new page where the summit is marked on the map and an Info window is opened for you with the information you need.

OK, it’s an extra mouse-click, but the page should load quickly enough…


#6

In reply to DM1CM:

You should remeber that by definition the database is always right. SOTAwatch and Rob’s excellent mapping site are normally slightly behind the database. This means there will be times when these sites do not agree. In which case the database is correct. (Even when it isn’t!)

Andy
MM0FMF


#7

In reply to MM0FMF:

This means there will be times when these sites
do not agree. In which case the database is correct. (Even when it
isn’t!)

Hi hi… love that one (it is of course true for all the right reasons, but sounds very funny!)

73
Gerald
MW6AQU/P


#8

In reply to MM0FMF:

The QTH locator in its usual six-figure format is only an approximation, appropriate for its usual purpose but not so useful for a precise spot such as a summit. Latitude and longitude would give a more precise distance and bearing.

73

Brian G8ADD


#9

In reply to G8ADD:

The QTH locator in its usual six-figure format is only an
approximation, appropriate for its usual purpose but not so useful for
a precise spot such as a summit. Latitude and longitude would give a
more precise distance and bearing.

Indeed Brian,

Like the notoriously unreliable Postcodes for Sat Navs when using on them for directions away from built up areas.

For instance, entering the given Postcode into a Sat Nav, for the Cat and Fiddle pub at the start of the G/SP-004 Shining Tor track, will leave you on a totaly different road, well over a mile away from the pub.

73 Mike
2E0YYY


#10

In reply to G8ADD:

Just as well the locator is derived on the fly from the saved latitude and longitude as the web page is generated.

Andy
MM0FMF


#11

In reply to 2E0YYY:

notoriously unreliable Postcodes

When the only tool you have is a hammer you treat all problems as if they were nails!

There is nothing unreliable about postcodes. Apart from parts of Manchester, Bury and Croydon, postcodes are very reliable and regular. BR0 and CR0 were the only places with a 0 in the town part of the code, everywhere else started at 1. The postcode is designed to make a postman’s delivery walk regular. If he sorts mail by postcode he will never have to backtrack on the delivery route. Cul-de-sacs and dead ends excepted. Early postcodes in Manchester tried some cyclical patterns but I think they were reissued in the 1990s.

So postcodes work exactly as they were designed, to optimise the delivery of mail by a postman. The downside is that they use a sorting order which requires some effort when programming, using the ASCII sort order does not work for postcodes. A mix of letters and numbers were chosen as humans found it easier to remember a 6 character string “W1A 1AA” than 6 figure number. The GPO can be forgiven for not realising that computers would be ubiquitous. Hell Thmas J. Watson thought there was only a big enough market for 5 computers in
1945.

What postcodes do not do is translate an address into a geospatial location. They were never designed to do so. The PO themselves have a simple file that maps postcodes to NGRs and the NGR is chosen to be at approximately the centre of the area covered by a postcode. But given that the shape of each postcode zone and its size is variable, at best this is bush-league solution to complex problem. The PO’s own file is some 290MB in size. The use of a postcode in a SatNav is a viable solution for urban destination selection where the area covered by a postcode is physically small. But it is doomed to failure and imprecision when applied to sparse rural areas.

So if you use something to minimise the amount of backtacking a postman will walk to set the desitination of a SatNav, don’t be surprised if the results are not what you want. But postcodes themselves are far from unreliable for their design role.

I spent some considerable time working on postcode handling software in the early 80s when 640k was more memory than anybody could possibly need!

Andy
MM0FMF


#12

Thanks to all for their reply. Andy, nice to hear displaying the QTH Locator in SOTAWatch is a topic - I will be patient - doing nothing is easy for a lazy person like me, hi.
I appreciate the database displays QTH Locators. Only because of this I wondered if SOTAWatch could do the same.

Brian, you are right the six-figure QTH Locator is only a approximation. While it is not usable for locating the exact position of a summit it is a convenient way to tell my logbook program the approximate position of a qso partner.

In reply to DM1CM:

Another way to get the locator for a summit: when you are on the
SOTAwatch page for your summit (e.g. DM/BM-333), click on the “SOTA
Map” link - this will open a new page where the summit is marked on
the map and an Info window is opened for you with the information you
need.

This is a very good suggestion. Another single mouse click is acceptable even for such a lazy person like me. As SOTA Maps is quite new I am not used to all of its features already - so I missed this one.

73 de Michael, DB7MM