RST Reporting

I'm working on a Google Map and Google Base mashup for RST reports. The initial vision was for repeater owners to be able to show on a map where people are able to communicate with the repeater, although I'm trying to make it general enough to expand.

This is super-beta, and I'm still developing it. I think I started December 2009, and it's March 2010 as I write this. I'll probably be working on it through the rest of 2010 at least.

Google Gadget

Here's a Google Gadget that I'll keep up to date as I work on it.

RST Reporting

The gadget spec URL could not be found

Include On Your Site

A lot of people already have Google Map mashups on their site, so my intention is that you can add this capability to your existing map. Alternatively if your website supports using Google Gadgets, as this one does, you can embed a gadget as well with this url:

Instructions for how to include this will be coming.

The Technology

This mashup is based on Google Maps and Google Base. I think the most interesting part, or at least the lesser known technology, is Google Base, a sort of public database. Rather than store all this data on my server or your server and have people create yet another login and password, they can instead register with Google (OK, they do have to do log in there) and store data in Google Base.

When you store data in Google Base, the data is yours. That is, whoever is making the report owns the data. They can pull it or modify it. Yes, they can make bogus reports too.

Once these reports are in Google Base anyone (using any mashup technology, not just Google's) can query it and retrieve RST reporting data. I have some JavaScript and PHP libraries I've built up to make use of this RST reporting, and I'm trying to make it available here, but anyone can access the data, add to the data, etc.

Google Base Records

The records are stored in Google Base with type "rst_records." Yes, plural; it seems to be a Google Base convention, so I went with it. There are a few fields required of a Google Base record, and the rest are free form. Here are the fields I am using and their meanings. Nothing stops you from using different fields, but we'll do ourselves a lot of favors if we try to stick to common naming. Let me know if you have suggestions.

  • title: Required Google Base attribute. This is not really used in the mashup, but if you go to your Google Base dashboard, you'll see it there.
  • content: Required Google Base attribute. This is also not really used, but it is a sort of summary that Google Base might display when using some of Google's own editors.
  • location: A built-in field with Google Base. The location field can contain a written description such as, "Central Park, by the ice cream stand," or it might have an address. Within the location field are two more fields, latitude and longitude, which are more precise.
  • tx_station: The callsign of the station making the transmission. In the case of someone talking through a repeater, this would be the repeater callsign.
  • rx_station: The callsign of the station receiving the transmission. This would probably be you, if you're the one making the report.
  • report_date: This was meant to be the date that the transmission was received, but it could be the date the report was filed. I'm not sure which would be more appropriate.
  • rst: The two or three-digit (usually) RST value describing the received signal. It does no one any good to report 59's everywhere because you want to make people happy. The point is to accurately reflect the received signal quality in different geographic locations.
  • comments: This can be anything you want to include about your report.
  • equipment: This can include a list of equipment used, antenna types, placement, etc.