Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sharing your position on the map without GPS

The aprs.fi site now supports sharing your current position from the convenience of your web browser by simply pointing at the map, without using a GPS or web browser Geolocation API support.
  1. Sign up to the service, if you haven't done so already. Your account's nickname will, by default, be used to mark your position.
  2. Log in!
  3. Find your current position on the map.
  4. Zoom up close for more accurate pointing.
  5. Right-click the position and select Upload my position. On a Mac, press ctrl to simulate right mouse button. Left-handed mouse setup will probably use the left button, but if you have one, you know better.
  6. If you didn't get the position quite right, simply move the symbol image by dragging and dropping it.
  7. When you've moved, right-click and upload the position again.
To change the symbol icon, the web station's name, or the comment text, click on the Favourites (star) tool button in the top right of the screen, and select My stations and bookmarks, and then Settings from the default My web stations item.

I also upgraded the web server software to a new major release. Nice surprise – it didn't require any configuration changes, it just worked. Or so it seems.

7 comments:

Jim said...

In the United States, we seem to have this problem:
"Database query failed while looking up nearby cities"
while accessing just about any page.

help?

Jim A., KB3TBX

oh7lzb said...

Oops. Does it work now?

A database stored procedure for calculating the distances of the cities was accidentally missing, and it broke a lot of the info pages. I've now recreated it.

Seems like I have to implement automatic alerts when a lot of database query errors happen.

Julian said...

Cool! What would be even cooler is if this could support browser geolocation so if you go to http://aprs.fi/ with no arguments the map is already centered on where your browser thinks you are. As I found in a recent experiment this doesn't work in all browsers but when it does it can be surprisingly accurate.

Jim said...

Yes, it is all good! sorry it took so long to get back to you, I noticed it working the same day, thanks for the prompt attention!

Now, if we can only get our local digipeater back on the air!

thanks again, for everything - KB3TBX-7

oh7lzb said...

Julian: As was said on the discussion group, the 'crosshair' tool button will center the map using the browser's Geolocation API, if one is available. The 'antenna tower' will upload that position to aprs.fi and share it to other viewers.

It's not the default behaviour, since accessing the API will cause the browser to emit a warning which might be slightly frightening for most first-time visitors. I've been wondering how to make a nice user interface for users to enable a center-using-geolocation-API-by-default setting, for those who are not afraid of publishing their location.

Re-replying here for the benefit of other blog comment readers :)

Wireless.Phil said...

Well, I just tried this, it was about 12 blocks south and maybe 4 blocks west of my location.

I'm no longer on-air, but I'm still listed.
73's Phil N8EUT

Wireless.Phil said...

Oops, I left out the details; Win-XP, Firefox-3.6.13.
The location it gave be is closer to the walk-in location for my cable TV provider, just a few blocks east. Strange because my IP location shows me in Akron, Ohio, south of Cleveland.