I was searching like crazy for the location of DF2GN`s recent activation of DM/BW-228 (Hummelsberg). Finally I made a Google query and found out that its not SOTA but GMA.

Why alerting GMA activations on SOTA? Why is the scheme of peak reference numbers so similar? Why GMA at all when there is SOTA?

Is there some organizational relation between SOTA and GMA?

Thanks for clarification
73, Stefan DO7KX

In reply to DO7KX:

DM/BW-228 is a SOTA summit

73 de Les, G3VQO

In reply to DO7KX:

Hi Stefan

As far as I recall, Mario DC7CCC set up GMA using SOTA references. His motivation was/is unclear (to me).

73 Richard G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

GMA came about because a revision of the German summits resulted in many of the most popular German Summits being removed from the list because their prominence was too low for them to be valid SOTA summits. GMA was set up so that these popular summits could still be activated but not as part of SOTA.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to DO7KX:

Hallo Stefan,
im Jahr 2008 gab es Änderungen in den SOTA-Regeln. Deswegen wurden viele Berge in DL (und anderen Ländern) gestrichen. Genaueres siehst Du hier:

GMA wurde unter anderem gegründet um die vielen gestrichenen Berge und die Aktiverung derselben zu erhalten.
Vy73 de Fritz HB9CSA, DL4FDM

In reply to G3CWI:

His motivation was/is unclear (to me).

It was perfectly clear to most other people!


In reply to G8ADD, HB9CSA, et. al

thanks. I understand it now although it does not seem logical to me to remove summits from SOTA.

In order to typecast the summits there is the point-system. So why was it not sufficient here… I always wondered why there are so many beautiful mountains in DL/DM which are not listed on SOTA.

Seems I should engage in GMA as well.

Thanks and many 73
Stefan DO7KX

In reply to DO7KX:

Seems I should engage in GMA as well.

Many of us do!

73 de Les, G3VQO

In reply to DO7KX:

The rules of SOTA are and were at that time quite specific: to be valid for SOTA a summit has to have a prominence of 150 metres, which is to say that you can descend at least 150 metres in any direction before re-ascending to another SOTA summit. When the German Association was first set up the MT did not have access to the mapping resources that we now have, and we had to depend on the knowledge of those setting up the German Association, but it transpired later that they did not have a perfect understanding of the meaning of “prominence” in this connection. As a result there were many summits initially listed that should not have been. In an effort to make the loss of summits less traumatic, we relaxed the rules to permit the German Association to adopt a limiting prominence of 100 metres. Since that time the only Associations permitted to use a prominence value of 100 metres have been those with few or low summits: thus for instance P100 permits the formation of Associations for PA and OZ. No Associations with many mountains will ever again be allowed to adopt P100, so in this respect Germany is unique.

I believe that there are still some summits remaining to be listed for the DM Association, no doubt they will be submitted to the MT at some future time for an update.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G3CWI:

GMA using SOTA references

No, GMA don’t use the SOTA reference system with the prefixes
DM/ or DL/, they use DA/ for GMA-only summits.
If the OP use them correctly…
When you work a DM/ or DL/ reference you have scored a SOTA
valid summit, when DA/ it’s just a SOTA invalid GMA hill.

Same with Austrians summits, OE/ are SOTAs,
while OE0/ aren’t SOTA valid ones - or
in the UK with Gx/xx- SOTAs versus the Gx/Hxx-
references of British HuMPS.

73, Tom

In reply to G8ADD:

Hi Brian,

just for your information:
GMA was founded in 2008 by DJ2AY and the local branch "X47"
of the DARC (Deutscher Amateur Radio Club).

Reducing the errors only to the German association is not honest.
Mistakes were made in some other countries (F, G, HB9, etc) also.

Have a nice weekend, vy73 de Fritz HB9CSA, DL4FDM

In reply to HB9CSA:

Hi, Fritz, yes, we are aware of on-going errors in other countries, but sorting them out ourselves is very, very costly in man-hours and we have new Associations to bring into being, which is also very costly in man hours. From the point of view of the MT, it is best if each Association sorts out its own errors and gives us an updated summit list which can be checked and incorporated quickly in the ARMs. Unfortunately a few Associations will not accept our guidance - no names - which leads to considerable delays.


Brian G8ADD

Yesterday I published this on a new topic and someone has deleted the entire topic. Today I try once more on the old topic SOTA vs GMA and I hope that it will not be deleted agn. Strange things are happening on this reflector! May be you better read it quickly!
73 de HB9BIN, Juerg

The SOTA website vs the GMA website
During the evenings while I was on my Portugal trip, for the first time I uploaded all my SOTA contacts to the Global Mountain Activity website ( I would like to extend my congratulations to those who programmed the GMA website, which I find far better than that for SOTA. The following partial list is the basis for my opinion: GMA accepts the ADIF format for imports and exports. It allows the editing of individual QSOs without the need to delete the entire activation file, make the desired changes in an editor or spreadsheet program, and upload the file again. It also allows the free downloading of award in the PDF-format. SOTA-MT has recently published to also offer a free download for awards. GMA offers sophisticated analyses, and supports other certificates in conjunction with other outdoor radio programs such as WWFF. Data transfer from the SOTA database to GMA can be done with just a few mouse clicks, most easily using a CSV download of all chaser and activator QSOs from the SOTA database and a subsequent import of the same data to the GMA website. Here please note that GMA was restarted on 1 April 2012, so contacts prior to this date are not counted. This is the only serious minus point that I noticed in the GMA program. It is also one of the reasons why SOTA and GMA statistics cannot be compared directly. I would thus welcome it if the web programmers for GMA would eventually remove this obstacle. As just described, the later import of data prior to 1 April 2012 would not be any problem at all. If the GMA programmers for whatever reason prefer not to do so, the import of older QSOs should be simply ignored instead of also not allowing the import of valid QSOs. Then those SOTA activators who are not PC power users could easily transfer all of their data from SOTA to GMA.
Those responsible for the SOTA database would be well advised to try using the GMA web site to get some ideas for improving their own website. In particular, introducing the ADIF format, and the ability to edit an individual QSO would be very good additions to the SOTA database and significantly simplify moving data between SOTA and various logging programs. In the CSV format, it is well known that there is no inclusion of the signal strength reports, which are a basic requirement for printing QSL cards. GMA is also able to handle older ADIF and CSV formats. At this point, I would like to thank Tom DL1DVE for his prompt and helpful support with GMA. Unfortunaltly there are some summits, e.g. HB0/LI-010, for which no chaser and activator logs can be uploaded.
Given that the SOTA Management Team has already allowed a prominence of 100 meters in the FL association starting on 1 February 2017, I recommend that all activators and chasers – as a sign of recognition and esteem for all those German activators who now, because the major deletions in the DM summit list, have only GMA summits close by – should upload their logs to GMA as well. At this point, I would like to conclude my comparison of “SOTA vs GMA” with one of my XYL’s favorite sayings: “Men need ranking lists, women do not.”
73 de HB9BIN, Juerg


It was not me who deleted the topic, Juerg, but I suppose I can understand why somebody deleted it. After all, it takes considerable chutzpah to come onto the SOTA reflector and expound on the superiority of GMA, and even more chutzpah to re-post an item that has been deleted from the reflector, since this breaks the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). A more cautious person would have first enquired by PEM about why the topic had been deleted.

Your comments about the SOTA database are not unfamiliar to us. However making changes to a working database containing over four million QSOs is not a task to be taken lightly, nor is it surprising that such a task should be lower in priority than processing the many new Associations waiting to come on line.

I think it’s only fair to say that some of the points raised by Juerg - namely those calling for improvements to the way in which the SOTA “database” interacts with the user - are valid, and should be left open for discussion.

Juerg cannot be the only one who is dissatisfied with the current means provided by the SOTA system by which activator/chase data are uploaded to the database. So a comparison with another online service which does a “better” job is a way to highlight deficiencies in the present setup, and hopefully to encourage those responsible for setting up the SOTA data import/export scripts to incorporate more user-friendly tools in the (near) future.


Of course, Rob, as I said above, these points are not unfamiliar to us on the MT, also they have been raised before by other users, and although I wouldn’t know an ADIF if it bit me on the nose, even I can see that this facility would be useful. I hasten to add that this is even more apparent to those actually responsible for the database, but do not assume from the apparent lack of progress that the data jockeys have been lollygagging! It is easy to demand that somebody else does the necessary work but those who actually do the work have to prioritise their time. As for leaving the point open for discussion - well, all I can say is that you can discuss it until you are blue in the face but that will not write a single line of code! All it does is raise the ire of the people who would be doing the work if there was not even more important work to be done first.

Surely you jest!

Perhaps I should post the emails I have received from people who don’t get there own way with DB requests so the whole SOTA world can see the abuse I have to put up with on a regular basis?

1 Like

Abuse is certainly not good, and you have my sympathies (and I’ll admit I’m not blameless in this regard), but it’s about par for the course in these enlightened days of the interweb.

But you must also receive at least a few friendly messages asking pretty-please for changes?

Yes I agree Rob.

It would be good if the person who deleted the original thread said why here but his has happened before; it reminds me of the Helen Keller famous quote regarding the “power of ideas” …oh well.

The title of the revived old thread of SOTA vs GMA is unfortunate as there is no organisation competing I don’t think. :wink:


1 Like