Map Issues (again)

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Map Issues (again)

Postby Steve Foley on Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:47 pm

We're having issues with the pilot map again. The real issue is that google maps simply can't handle the number of pilots we're trying to publish. At last count, there are over 1400 pilots listed on the map. It usually loads if you wait long enough, but when you zoom in or pan the map, you have to start waiting all over again. This simply is not a viable solution anymore.

As a stop gap measure, I am working on maps broken down by state. This will allow you to click on a state, and google maps will display the pilots in that state only. Hopefully that will temporarily resolve this issue.

Also, there are currently over 600 pilots that are not listed on the map because the airport id they entered is not in our database. We have a database several years old and do not have an update available.

The main issue with invalid IDs is the improper addition of a 'K' prefix to an id that should not have one, or a missing 'K' prefix on an id that needs one.

Again, airport IDs with numbers in them should not have a K prefix. My base airport, 60M, has the number six and the number zero in it, so does not get a K prefix. The airport next door, ORH, has only letters in it, so needs a K prefix. These airports are entered as 60M and KORH.
The best way to contact me is via email:

steve dot foley at gmail dot com
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Re: Map Issues (again)

Postby BrettE on Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:46 pm

Are the pilots all listed in a database? How about only plotting pilots within a user specified distance of a user specified point. I would be more than happy to write the code to do this. Plotting by state only will be fairly inconvenient for people like myself who live at the corner of 3 states.

As far as the extra leading 'K', that seems like something we could deal with too. We could simply use the rule you described to validate the ID before looking up the airport. Also, we could try the stupid approach: try to look it up, if it's not found, add/remove a 'K' at the beginning and try again.

Has anyone contacted AOPA, AirNav or anyone like that to see if they'd be willing to give us access to their airport data? At least just the IDs and Lat/Lon?

Brett
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Re: Map Issues (again)

Postby Steve Foley on Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:07 pm

Here's the pilot database: (Sorry, it's ugly)
Query:
describe phpbb_profile_fields_data

Result Set:
Field Type Null Key Default Extra
user_id mediumint(8) unsigned NO PRI 0
pf_airport_id varchar(255) YES MUL
pf_zip_code varchar(255) YES
pf_foster_yn tinyint(2) YES
pf_pilot_yn tinyint(2) YES
pf_emergency_contact text YES

pf_airport_id contains....

The airport ID (as entered by the user) It probably wouldn't be tough to write a two pass script: One to remove the preceeding K from 4 character ids, and another to add a K to the front of any three LETTER ids.


This is the airport database:'
Query:
describe airports

Result Set:
Field Type Null Key Default Extra
id mediumint(6) NO PRI auto_increment
apt_id varchar(5) NO MUL
apt_name varchar(40) NO
lat varchar(11) NO
lon varchar(11) NO
city varchar(40) NO MUL
state char(2) NO MUL

The data came from Paul Tomblin's site at www.xcski.com I don't what parameters I used to build the extract file, but that's what I started with. If you want to build a new one, go for it. I'm barely competent in SQL, and really don't have the time right now. If you build me a script, I'll run it. I've got a test system to run it against first.

Since I've got a state in the airport table, filtering on that would be a quick fix, just add a parameter to the url. Calculating the distance is a little more difficult. Building a clickable map will be the hard part.
The best way to contact me is via email:

steve dot foley at gmail dot com
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Re: Map Issues (again)

Postby davidtg on Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:33 am

Steve, et al --

Steve Foley wrote:... We have a database several years old and do not have an update available.
[snip]

Why not just go directly to the FAA to get it?

Facilities data dictionary: http://faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/ ... ionary.cfm

Facilities data download: http://faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/ ... ification=

Facilities & Runways entry page: http://faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/ ... data_5010/

I occasionally go and grab an updated copy of the list and stuff it into my DB. Here's the quickie script: http://flying.justpickone.org/airports/ ... -load.phps

All of this came about when I needed to get lat/lon info for airports so that I could stuff them into my hiking GPS for reference. The resultant http://flying.justpickone.org/airports/ page is a brutal hack but a start :-) Note that I haven't even touched the runways side yet.


HTH & HAND
:-D
--
David & Laura T-G
C172 @ KCNI - small loads - 150nm VFR (and just maybe farther & cloudier)
see http://justpickone.org/davidtg/email/
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Re: Map Issues (again)

Postby BrettE on Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:34 am

Awesome. I've probably used SQL even less than you, but I'm fortunate to work with several people who have used SQL a fair amount. I'll get to playing with it in the next few days, and I'll let you know what I come up with.

If I haven't mentioned before, I'll mention now: I think these mapping tools are probably one of the most powerful tools that we have. A problem I've run into a few times is that people don't know they exist. For example, here's an email I got this morning after asking a gal if she knew about the mapping:

I actually wasn't aware of this function.....If I can find a cincinnati pilot that can go from Cincinnati to NC that would be great.....I see them all on the map but not sure how I would email them.


Her response also hints that some simple howto information about the map might be useful. It's obvious to you and me how it works, but I use Google Maps a lot, so I forget that not everyone has an intuitive sense about how to use it.

One problem is that the link to the map page is only accessible from the main page, and not the forums. That'll be fixed when WP integration is eventually added. Every transport request has a map this request, but the requestor only sees that link if they go to their post, and they're only likely to do that if someone responds. I don't know what the answer is to this question, but here are some random ideas I've had:

- After a request is posted, the poster goes to a page that has their request mapped. No one would have any excuse to miss that :)
- A small sidebar in the forum that contains a GMap thumbnail. Folks would probably spot that pretty quickly I think.

Thanks!
Brett
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Re: Map Issues (again)

Postby davidtg on Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:44 am

Brett & Steve --

BrettE wrote:Awesome. I've probably used SQL even less than you, but I'm fortunate to work with several people who have used SQL a fair amount. I'll get to playing with it in the next few days, and I'll let you know what I come up with.
[snip]

I'm not an SQL expert either, but LMK if I can be of assistance.

I agree that the mapping tools help and that we should utilize Google (and others) as much as we can. I still think that a pilots-only (and a volunteers-only) option would make displaying a lot quicker, too :-)


HTH & HAND
:-D
--
David & Laura T-G
C172 @ KCNI - small loads - 150nm VFR (and just maybe farther & cloudier)
see http://justpickone.org/davidtg/email/
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Re: Map Issues (again)

Postby bobnall on Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:32 pm

I've been following this thread with interest as I registered as a pilot volunteer in November and I'm still not listed on any of the Google maps I've looked at on this forum. I'm from the Portland, OR area, so that's where I looked.

As an example,there was a recent posting from a rescuer in Boise, ID trying to get a pup to Corvallis, OR. Wx (I'm not IFR) and distance wouldn't have worked for me to do the transport, (I volunteered to drive a long leg if others could have connected with me) but in attempting to help her find transport I referred her to the map function and suggested she contact people listed along the proposed route by e-mail or PM to see if we could get something lined up.

In looking over the listing, I noted I was not on it. So that begs the question....how many volunteers have registered but don't have their "balloon" show up, thus limiting the choices?

This is not a complaint. I think this is a great website and all being done by volunteers. But up to date information and easy access to that information would help rescuers and transporters better get together to help move the animals that need the help.

Bob Nall
bobnall@comcast.net
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Re: Map Issues (again)

Postby admin on Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:40 pm

bobnall wrote:I've been following this thread with interest as I registered as a pilot volunteer in November and I'm still not listed on any of the Google maps I've looked at on this forum. I'm from the Portland, OR area, so that's where I looked.

In looking over the listing, I noted I was not on it. So that begs the question....how many volunteers have registered but don't have their "balloon" show up, thus limiting the choices?
Bob Nall
bobnall@comcast.net


Hi Bob,

I went to your profile to look and see if you entered a zip code in the zip code box when you joined and you did not. The maps work with zip codes and airport ID's. So I entered your zip code for Hillsboro and now you show up on the google map! There is another pilot based at your same airport. When using the map, you do need to keep adjusting up and down when you zoom in because so many balloons are on top of each other now.

I totally agree that we need an easier mapping capability. We can never repay Steve for all the outstanding features he has added to this board and I am thankful to see that others with similar knowledge are stepping up to help him out. Thank you all!!

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Re: Map Issues (again)

Postby artsmonster on Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:03 pm

This may sound dumb, but my problem is so many icons of pilots and vol I can not track the line in the map. Is there a way to remove all those Icons so I can see the line?
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Re: Map Issues (again)

Postby admin on Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:15 am

artsmonster wrote:This may sound dumb, but my problem is so many icons of pilots and vol I can not track the line in the map. Is there a way to remove all those Icons so I can see the line?


Art , you can use the zoom tool and then the arrows for up and down and across......or you can use the Pilot Tool on the homepage and when you enter your airport ID and miles willing to travel, the posts related to that will come up and you can open each one and see the specific map for that route.

Steve is working on the map, to make it load faster and more user friendly. Growth and so many volunteers is absolutely wonderful but it does cause us to have growing pains in some areas. Thank you for your patience.

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