Request to Include Band QSO Counts in Bulk Summit Data

This is a feature request to the SOTA management team, filed publicly in case others have helpful ideas and comments.

I, as a user of SOTLAS, wish to have the ability to filter summits based on the number of QSOs in a frequency band; specifically for my use case, I want an easy way to find summits that are easy with VHF (as opposed to requiring an HF kit). Since the code for SOTLAS is open source, I was able to peruse it and figure out what would be necessary to make that happen; see discussion here.

So, SOTLAS needs a way to grab the per-band per-summit QSO counts from SOTA in bulk. From an external point of view, the easiest way to do this would be to add some additional fields to the summitlist.csv. If adding a field for each individual band is too bandwidth-intensive, the bands could also be grouped into HF-and-below and VHF-and-above. If it makes sense to expose the data another way instead (a new API endpoint?), I’m all ears.

Since the code for SOTA is not open source, I don’t have an idea of how extensive the changes to make this happen would be. I am willing to (attempt to) make the initial code contributions to make this happen (and test them, of course), but there would still be an ongoing burden for the management team to maintain this code which I imagine you would like to discuss.

So, management team - how can we make this happen? :slight_smile:

@KK7LHY

I thought SOTL.as was developed, maintained and presumably “owned” by Manuel HB9DQM.

Has it been transferred to the MT?

Paul

You are correct. SOTLAS is the work of Manuel @HB9DQM. The request should be sent to Manuel.

Here is a way to use our SOTAData site to find summits:

*Go to the ‘Honor Rolls’ for your home association and look at the Activator Honor Roll
*Filter by band = 144MHz and Mode=FM
*Now you will see the top 2m FM activators in your area. Drill down into their logs (right-most column ‘view log’) to see how many 2m FM QSOs they made on each summit.

In general, look for summits that are close to populated areas. You may also consider contacting some of these folks and asking them for recommendations. SOTA ops are generally friendly and very happy to talk about summits, kit, etc. with other SOTA ops.

-Josh WU7H

1 Like

Perhaps I provided too many links in the first post - I have already reached out to Manuel, please see discussion in this Github issue: Best approach for adding band QSO filter to map view · Issue #24 · manuelkasper/sotlas-frontend · GitHub. He agrees that, architecturally speaking, code changes are also needed at the SOTA level in order to accomplish my goal in a clean manner.

SOTL.as operates on data that is automatically published by SOTA. I am requesting that SOTA publish additional data, so that I may implement a new feature for SOTL.as on top of it.

OK, I didn’t read your original message carefully. We will discuss it and get back to you.

73,

-Josh

2 Likes

I’ll think a bit about this, but one thing is certain, it won’t be done via summitslist.csv. I once typo’ed a word in the header - not even the data - and broken a dozen tools that people had written that parsed that file and never heard the end of it, so no changes going to happen there. I don’t need that kind of grief :smiley:

It’s also used by a gazillion different clients - it seems every new logging app decides it needs to download it whether the person is logging SOTA or not - and it’s also already a very large file that’s often downloaded via mobile data and adding the counts would almost certainly double that size at least.

So, if it happens, it’ll be an API endpoint. The second thing I want to check before committing it is the fact that if you want that data in bulk, it’ll almost certainly require a table scan of several very large tables. That’s the sort of thing we desperately try to avoid because it ties up resources while the query runs and invariably causes other issues.

4 Likes

Andy, would it save resources to have the info on the summit page, calculated annually to show the figures to Dec. 31st of the previous year? I can’t imagine that any more than that would be needed.

2 Likes

From my point of view (as just a SOTA activator not an MT member) I get quite some satisfaction from digging out info like this by viewing all the resources. The info on how often a summit is activated and the QSO counts per band is already available per summit. It’s not made available as a list of summits in a region and the counts so you have to view it per summit.

As Andrew says such a query will involve a lot of table scans and thus be expensive. It can be done for a single summit as there’ll be only one scan and there is also à lot of index data. One summit will have an expense but hundreds, thousand or tens of thousands will cost. The problem with queries that run for a few seconds is some users have little patience and if they don’t get results as soon as they click then they start clicking and refreshing and clicking making the situation worse.

It can be done but it will need some proper engineering and measuring doing so the impact is not problematic.

2 Likes

This is indeed true: within a single region’s summits listing in the SOTA DB, it necessitates clicking forwards through an intermediate page to get to a listing of QSO counts per band for a particular summit (but no breakdown on modes), and then clicking backwards two web-pages again to get back to the region’s summits listing, just in order to choose the next summit. To view several summits in a region, that’s a lot of clicking back and forth through many web-pages - think of it as good exercise for the mouse-click finger.

There is at the moment an easier and more comfortable alternative, however, using the main page in sotamaps. Just choose a region to list all of its’ summits in the LH part of the window, and one can choose “Mapping” (the standard option), “Summit History” or “Region Summaries” from the tabs above the summits listing. These tabs will show in the main part of the window either

  • the full activations history for a particular summit, including a full breakdown of bands and modes used on the summit in both tabular and chart presentations, or
  • summaries of bands and modes used in the region, again table and charts.

It’s simplicity itself to choose another summit from the LH list, and watch the display update in a fraction of a second.

The best part of all this is that, in the very near future, these tables, charts, etc. in sotamaps will all be closed down and deleted when sotamaps is finally buried, and your only chance to see such details (minus the modes, of course … and the regions summaries) will be the click-fest described above. But don’t worry too much about that - the colors and fonts used there are really nice and easy on the eye.

HTH, cheers, Rob

1 Like