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Sota Spotter app - outdated summits database?

Hello, I just got a call from colleagues trying to activate YU/ZS-102. They are using Sota Spotter app to check if they are right on the summit, and although they were sure they are on the summit, the app was directing them elsewhere.

I know that the this particular summit had its height and position corrected two years ago, in YU association update of March 2018. (the old incorrect height was 1010m, the new correct height is 1025m). It turned out that Sota Spotter is using data form old, outdated summit database.

I just installed Sota Spotter myself and confirmed that the coordinates of YU/ZS-102 are outdated. While trying to perform an on-demand update of the summits database, I got the message “You have the latest summits database. Current database: 20200202”.

Just to be sure, I checked sotadata, and the coordinates and height displayed there are correct, as expected.

Is anyone else having this issue? There were lots of association updates and coordinate corrections lately, I guess somebody else should have noticed before this problem.

73 Fric YU1WC

Strange because searching for the summit on Sota Spotter brings this result.

And that matches exactly with sotawatch.

Can you check the version of SOTA Spotter that you are using. Which Android version?
For mine version is: 2.1.515 on Android 9

Maybe uninstall and reinstall the app?

73 Joe

Thank you Joe for the confirming that the app works well under certain conditions. This gave me an idea…

I have never used Sota Spotter before… I installed it for the first time today (version 2.1.515 on Android 7.0)
I restarted my phone, reinstalled the app, but the data remained outdated:

But I found the solution!

All this was done without SotaWatch3 username and password being entered at all!

After entering my SotaWatch3 account data, the summit data finally showed OK as in the image you sent.

It seems that Sota Spotter uses an old outdated database as long as SotaWatch3 account data is not set up. Frankly, it should not matter, since the primary aim is spotting, and the users are expected to have a SotaWatch3 account… However, my friend who found this error does not have a SotaWatch3 account (!) (he uses this app only for summit position confirmation).

1 Like

start SOTA Spotter…
click on the three vertical dots at the top RH corner of the screen
tap on “settings”
scroll right to botton list of settings - the last option “update now” in the summits data base section, tap on that and it will display New version available! click on the update button.

To avoid having to do this regularly you can set the Automatic update option to “ON” by tapping on it so that it is “ticked” - it is the option above “update now” in settings. By default it is turned off.

The program package in Google play seems to not have the latest summits database with it.

73 Ed.

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I did that (on a fresh installation), and after tapping on the last option “update now” all I got was a message “You have the latest summit database”. The data remained the same (more than 2 years old).
Only after entering my Sotawatch3 account info, I got the database really updated.

73 Fric

Just to be sure, I reinstalled Sota Spotter again this evening… Ed, you were correct, the “New version available!” did appear finally, and the actual update took some time. I guess that my previous test of a single summit passed OK since I was online, maybe the app updated the correct data for this summit only while I searched for it.

So in order to have a up to date summits database, the steps for new users are:

  • install Sota Spotter
  • enter SotaWatch3 username and password
  • update Summits database as instructed by Ed

73 Fric

The SOTAwatch3 account has no bearing on the database update. The database updates are delivered on a completely different channel, not directly from the SOTAwatch3 services. There must have been something else wrong with the local database in your case, @YU1WC. Unfortunately without more information, there’s no way to be sure.

Bogdan YO3SAW


Hi Fric,
My guess would be that the database filestore on your phone somehow got corrupted and the updates were not fully working. By de-installing and re-installing the App you go back to a known-good-position from where a full update of the database to the latest version is possible.

Bogdan has confirmed that the SW3 login account has nothing to do with the database in the case of this App.

Alls well that ends well!

73 Ed.