I’ve been lurking around the SOTA website and reflector for a while now. I’m not that active ham, in fact I’m returning to the hobby after this hobby has been only in my peripheral vision for a couple of decades. By now I chased a few local activators here on VHF and hope to activate a summit or two when the weather gets warmer now that i got me a FT-817 and an EFHW.
My suggestion is to add a link to the Opentopomap to the summit information page. For example, link from this summit info page leads to this Openstreetmap, but it would be nice to have a link to this Opentopomap too. Link structure is simple and it shouldn’t be too difficult.
SOTA map is great with its useful features, but is sometimes too demanding for smartphones or tablets, especially in areas with bad signal and slow data connection. Opentopomap’s advantage is being lighter, but showing terrain and other topo information that Openstreetmap or Google map are missing.
I realise you’d like it on the Summits information page but there’s an OT button at the top of the Sotamapping project ( https://www.sotamaps.org/ ) screen that displays the OpenTopo map - is that what you are looking for ??
You can also see all the summits in an association through this page and when you click on the triangle, you get the summit details as well.
Thanks, Ed. I’m aware of the OT option that you mentioned, but this requires opening Sotamaps first, which in my personal opinion is too bulky for small smartphone display (and other things, as I already wrote). Yes, I’d like to have direct OT link on summit info page because its usage scenario is different than that of Sotamaps with its many features. For example, quick check using my smartphone if spotted local activator on VHF is reachable from my present location.
I just checked and there does not seem to be a “mobile device” version of the SOTAMaps Project website as there is for (for example) the reflector. Perhaps with the new design and combined websites (currently different websites to do with SOTA run on different platforms, possibly even on different service providers).
As most don’t have the luxury of a tablet on the summit, it would be nice if consideration for mobile devices be one consideration in the new design of the SOTA websites.
It may be possible to open the SOTAMAPS site in OT mode but that probably still would not look right on a mobile device.
Another approach might be to try to interface an existing Mobile device OT maps App to the list of sota summits? I think we need a mobile app that already displays OT maps and see if we can get the developer to add a SOTA Summit lookup. Perhaps…
interesting ideas, but don’t let the “feature creep” stop the website team from doing small updates. Remember, perfect is the enemy of good enough (or getting things done).
For my usage scenario, added OT link to the summit info page would be big improvement. On my mobile phone I’m using SOTA spotter and i set up notifications for nearby summits and VHF FM mode. When alert pops up, I open SOTAwatch, acces summit information page from the spot entry and from there a map to estimate (by terrain configuration) if activator is workable from my current position using my HT, without unnecessarily bother my SO and/or company with my weird geeky stuff. The terrain is much better visible on OTM than OSM or other options. SOTAmaps is great, but not that usable in my scenario. I look at it as serious analysis tool that requires decent screen with precise pointing device (which my fingers on tiny mobile screen are not).
If Website team chooses to add the OTM link as i suggested, great (and judging by the likes, i’m not all alone with this opinion). I think it’s not that difficult to do. If not, no big deal.
Offtopic: Of course, for me, ideal option would be to include mapping option on summit info page into SOTAwatch. As far as I can tell there is none at the moment, only basic info and dist/brg. But that’s 3rd party SW, maybe its author will see this an consider the possibillity.
Valdi, I can’t offer a short term fix for iOS but for Android phones…
You can use Orux Maps with downloaded maps from OSM that have topo details. With that you can download KML overlays from the SOTA mapping site for use with Orux. With the data downloaded, you don’t need any data connection. I have used Orux and KML downloads many times in France, Luxembourg, Poland, Czech Republic, Canary Islands etc. and it’s good enough for navigation on the hills with the phone GPS. For the UK I have much mroe accurate mapping, but this system does me when SOTAing outside the UK.
For iOS, my favorite option is the MapOut app. It uses OpenStreetMap and OpenTopoMap data for worldwide coverage too, has an excellent, fast rendering engine, and you can import GPX/KML files generated by SMP to see the summits (it has no problems handling thousands of displayed summits, without any noticeable slowdown). Plus, it’s very easy to draw a tour that automatically follows any paths/trails on the map, and immediately gives you an idea of the distance and elevation profile (no, I don’t get any money from them ).
I am also a big fan of Oruxmaps.
With the Kml overlay you get also summit information on click.
The kml is downloaded from sotamaps.
If there would be a way to provide online overlay files this would be even better. Oruxmaps would support that.
So, sotamaps would need to offer an online repository of KML/KMZ files, ready for downloading at any time by an application like Orux (or just by the user), kept up-to-date, and containing summits in particular regions or countries. No problemo… just let me know what kind of areas should be covered in the files: regions, associations or countries… On reflection, it looks like separate files per association would be the smartest option.
LOOK OUT Rob. A lot of fake Sandisk SD cards about. I have been very pleased with the Lexar brand. They perform well using a speed read / write app I have. I bought a dodgy Sandisk card first from ebay and it was very slow - seller refunded my money without argument after I accused it of being counterfeit.
PS I haven’t used Orux but have I have used Locus Lo maps app outside UK - they come very cheap and are offline once downloaded. Some form of enhanced OSM. I imagine the apps are much of a muchness. The owner of Locus is a Czech and as I go there a fair bit its quite appropriate. The app will take the GPX summit downloads from your SOTA Mapping site and the GPX tracks such as the one Allan GW4VPX put in for GW/MW-003 which I used last Saturday. Thanks to you Rob, and of course to Allan also for sharing such valuable information with others.