Over the years, SOTAmaps has become increasingly harder to develop and maintain, and we’re considering simplifying the code base down to potentially consolidate some functionality or remove features or pages that are rarely if ever touched.
I’ve created a poll below to determine what should remain. If you click on an option, you want it to stay. Options in square brackets are the alternative functionality.
Spots and Alerts [ -> SOTAWatch3 ]
Contact page [ -> SOTA website contact page ]
Chases mapping page
Elevation data page
Given the state of sotl.as now, there is also a discussion as to where the future lies:
I love SOTAMaps, keep it around
I use SOTAMaps, but only because it has something SOTL.AS doesn’t
I prefer SOTL.AS and use that primarily now.
Keeping both is not much of a burden if we put SMP into a caretaker mode, but likewise it makes little sense if people are all moving to sotl.as. We can work with Manuel to get API calls to make sotl.as feature comparable with SMP in the longer term.
It is of course worth highlighting that the work Rob DM1CM has put into SMP over the years has seen it grow and become the resource it is and we should all be grateful for the work he has put in. Rob has since moved on from SMP development but the impact of SMP remains.
I just went to sotl.as for the first time. Much prefer sotamaps.org. I prefer the way it is laid out, shows the defined region within the association, etc. The things I would like to see in it, no mapping software has, and is really specific to W0M association and some others like it, so I doubt it would be universally used.
I mainly use sotamaps to see how my signal got out during a specific activation, and also for activation planning, as I’m fairly new to this.
I just crawled out from under my rock and looked up SOTL.AS did not know until this day it even existed. I hardly use the Mapping part anymore I seem to visit the same Summits every season so know where they all are by now. I like the link dipole designer on SMP but can not vote one way or the other for which one to keep i guess the one easiest for MT to look after. Thanks for all your efforts.
Ian vk5cz …
Just had a look at SOTL.AS myself. Whilst I like the layout, it seemed there is only one basemap available (please correct me if I’m wrong). SOTL.AS does not show any trails at all. The wide choice of mapping in SMP is surely too important to get rid of, isn’t it? My trip to Iceland would have been very hard to plan without SMP.
73 de OE6FEG
You need to zoom in very much to see the trails.
And I agree with you. Having a variety of maps is quite relevant for planning. Some info in on OSM but not on Opentopo. Some Via ferrata sections and trails are better documented on the 4U maps with the alpine difficulty grades (sac T grades) listed.
So both mapping solution have their individual benefits.
I like the phone-browser compatibility of sotl.as and especially showing all the summits in one go independent of association.
Sotamaps is a bit like the swiss army knife. A lot of tools there but sometimes a tricky to access hi
But always good to have the right tool for a job.
Although I am a fan of the elevation profile but with the 200 km limit in place it has a reduced overall value. Are the changes in database/servers freeing up resources for it?
I would say there should be an additional survey item: I use both equally.
Although I find sotl.as fantastic, I use a lot more SMP and especially the “Range maping page”, function which gives the possibility to center the map on its position and thus see the sotas of the surroundings. On the other hand, the “Distance measurement” function allows to evaluate the access time/distance to a sota to define if it is or not reasonable (time enough) to make this walk after a working day.
Same as Laurent, SMP is No. 1 for me. I suppose long term familarity is a factor as I’ve used it since it came into being.
The choice of mapping for comparisions of Terrain and features is important when I am planning tours of summits outside the UK. The OT and 4U variant of maps I find the most useful, and its easy to link into a google map from a feature shown on the Sat map and study road junctions and roadside for parking places in the SMP. I don’t want to loose any functionality of SOTAMaps personally, and although I do use SOTLAS also, most of the time I’m a user of the SMP.
I think it depends on what you use it for and what features that already exist that you have not found. I find the Range and Elevation Profiles in SMP excellent and extremely useful but only found the EP much later on.
SOTL.AS has the very useful feature of filtering out summits already done so it is easy to concentrate on ones yet to do - saves a lot of time when planning another trip to GM.
and I’m not willing to change my laptop just to make SOTL.as visible, simply because I can already see SMP perfectly on my laptop and it provides me all I need for planning an activation to an unknown summit, as well as many other great features I don’t think SOTL.as provides.
My impression is SOTL.as is cool but I can perfectly live without it, while SMP is absolutely powerful, helpful and I couldn’t have done most of the activations I’ve done without it. Please, keep SMP, at least all the mapping, tracking, range, features. The spots and alerts can go away. I’ve never used them as SOTAwatch is my choice for that.
I agree, SOTL.AS works well on a smartphone and I will certainly start using it more often. One more thing I will say for SMP is that the satellite view often shows up huts and parking spots that would otherwise not be visible. You can then view in Google Maps and plan your route. Certainly, the site can be trimmed down a bit; there’s a lot there I never use.
I use the SOTA Mapping Project mainly for two things. First, the GPS tracks showing paths previous activators have taken. Second, I used to use it a lot to flip between alternative OSM map layers (cycling, walking, contours, etc.) that Google doesn’t do so well.
I rather like the activations and chases mapping pages, too, though it does seem to know only about my old QTH. Obviously it can get accurate locations for SOTA activators, but chaser locations are trickier to determine, so I’d guess it’s making assumptions about quite a few of them…
OK, but I doubt people are using SMP for looking at spots and alerts - wheras while the spots and alerts are “just” tables in sotl.as (and display well on smart phones) - it is possible that those are being used instead of SotaWatch by some users and those usages will be included in your total for user sessions on sotl.as.
I still don’t think the number of user sessions on SMP compared to the number on sotl.as can bring any conclusions, due to the difference in features.