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sotamaps - About this site

sotamaps timeline

This site was set up in July 2012, to replace an earlier mapping suite developed by a SOTA user who had decided to no longer provide that service.

sotamaps was conceived from the start to be a flexible service, responsive to user comments and suggestions or requests for improvements or enhanced features. So, the SMP is a work in progress: listed here is an outline of stages in the development of the site in chronological order, with the most recent events at the top:

Jul 3, 2017   Work continues on the new version of the SMP, with the introduction of a new mapping page focussing on SOTA chasers and chases. Debugging and testing of the other pages still reveals the odd error which has to be eliminated.
Jun 25, 2017   Work is now almost completed on the new version of the SMP, which is still in test-phase, but now with a go-live date definitely in sight. All pages have been reworked, with some mapping pages now featuring much more data in the form of tables and charts than previously. In addition, each of the new SMP pages will feature a "Single Sign On" provided by the SOTA organization, so that when a user logs in to SOTA, that login will be recognized by the SMP, or vice-versa.
Jun 1, 2017   The SMP took a big step forward on this day when the SOTA IT team finally made the live SOTA data available to the SMP. Live in this context means that the data in the SMP database will be ported to the SMP once a day, and hence will be out of step with the SOTA database by a maximum of one day. A period of a week or so will be needed to properly test and integrate the data flow into the updated version of the SMP mapping pages.
Apr 4, 2017   Started work on an updated version of the SMP which is being developed and tested on a new SOTA server. This version will have new features made possible by having future access to SOTA users' activations data.
Feb 28, 2017   Three new map-types added to all the SMP mapping pages: OpenTopoMaps, 4UMaps and (for the USA only) CalTopo maps. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Feb 27, 2017   Updated the tracks page with a new option to enable the user to show all user-uploaded tracks to summits contained in a SOTA Region. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Feb 12, 2017   New SSL Certificate installed on the SMP server to enable the site to be called via the https protocol instead of http. This will enable future secure logins to the SMP.
Feb 2, 2017   Introduced an update to the range page road-route option, where a road-route (or other kind of route or path) may be defined entirely by the user clicking on points in the map. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Jan 24, 2017   Added a new option in the range page to enable a user to define a polygon on the map, and within which SOTA summits should be found. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Jan 23, 2017   Updated the road-route option in the range page to enable the user to define a series of waypoints to further refine the definition of a road-route around which summits may be found. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Sep 1, 2016   Introduced a new map-zoom function in the mapping pages to enable the user to zoom into a rectangular area defined by the right mouse button. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Jul 8, 2016   Enhanced the code in the mapping pages to suppress any non-map elements in those pages from printing when the user wishes to print the map. Also introduced a popup context menu (mouse right-click on the map area) to simplify printing of the map.
May 25, 2016   Display of nearby regions implemented in the main page - later made it possible for the user to toggle these when desired. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Jan 9, 2016   Added a new option in the range page to allow the user to find all summits within a corridor surrounding a user-defined road route. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Dec 15, 2015   Added a new option in the main page to show/toggle "activations count" circles instead of the usual summit icons. Ported also to the range page. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Sep 10, 2015   Introduced link-back from the main and range pages to the tracks page, for any summits having user-uploaded tracks. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Jun 14, 2015   Google Maps removed the Panoramio, Weather and Clouds overlays, rendering the SMP map-controls for those layers redundant. The three map-controls were therefore removed from the SMP maps.
Apr 25, 2015   Activations page removed from the SMP due to a lack of data from, and lack of interest in supporting the page by, the SOTA MT.
Mar 22, 2015   A small update introduced in the tracks page to enable a particular summit, and its' tracks to be displayed, directly on page load.
Feb 9, 2015   Introduced in the range page the possibility to find all summits within a user-defined ring or annulus. This follows a request from a user for such a feature.
Jan 17, 2015   New alerts page added to the SMP to display SOTAWatch alerts in graphical form.
Nov 17, 2014   New Linked Dipole Antenna Designer published in the extras page. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Oct 26, 2014   Introduced user-defined coloring and opacities for region-boxes in the main page, following a request from a user.
Oct 9, 2014   CSV editor and ADIF-to-CSV converter added in the SMP extras page.
Aug 24, 2014   The SMP appears under it's new domain name sotamaps.org. Ref: SOTA Reflector article
Apr 15, 2014   Introduced the new locator grid, and the latitude/longitude grid, both/either of which can be displayed in any of the SMP mapping pages.
Feb 28, 2014   Implemented GPX export of SOTA summits data, complete with icons.
Jan 4, 2014   New activations page made public: the page displayed SOTA activators' and chasers' logs in graphical format on the map.
Sep 19, 2013   OpenStreetMaps and OpenCycleMaps included in the list of available map types in the SMP mapping pages.
Jul 3, 2013   Tracks page finally completed and published. Initial version allows GPX upload, user-drawn tracks and download of the tracks in GPX or KML format.
Jan 3, 2013   New measure tool introduced in the range page. Enables measurement of distances between various reference points. Points can be SOTA summits, address/city/feature, lat-long pairs, locator, or any combination of these.
Aug 1, 2012   Work started on what would soon become the tracks page - tracks display, GPX upload, user-drawn tracks already working in rough form.
Jul 17, 2012   Spots page added to the SMP
Jul 14, 2012   First version made public in a SOTAWatch reflector post - SOTA Reflector article
Jul 2, 2012   Preliminary version of the site, with main and range pages, made available to the SOTA MT for evaluation.

Acknowledgments

Thanks go to the following:

  • SOTA, Summits On The Air, for just being there.
  • James Clerk Maxwell, for developing his theory of classical electromagnetism, leading to the prediction of the existence of radio waves.
  • The efforts of all those coding geniuses out there in the World Wide Web whose work has been begged, borrowed or stolen (mostly stolen!) in order to build this website.
  • OpenStreetMap for mapping resources.
  • OpenCycleMap / Thunderforest for mapping resources.
  • OpenTopoMap for mapping resources.
  • 4UMaps for mapping resources.
  • CalTopo for mapping resources.

Viewing this website

The site is regularly tested in the latest versions of a number of different browsers and should present the same appearance in all modern standards-compliant browsers.

Users of earlier browser versions, especially MS Internet Explorer 7 or earlier, may experience some difficulty or limited functionality in using the site, in which case they are advised to update their browser as soon as possible.

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Free of Charge

This site is provided as a resource to be used by anybody with an interest in amateur radio and hillwalking. That is to say that you - the user - can use the website and gain access to information which may be of great use to you in the pursuance of your hobby. And the website is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days in the year (as long as the hosting company doesn't go down too often!).

Don't forget! - the SOTA Mapping Project (SMP) site is a completely separate entity from the SOTA/SOTAWatch websites. If you do happen to make a donation to them (and they will surely be pleased to receive it!), be aware that NONE of it will reach the SMP.

The SMP has been created from scratch by a single developer, a radio ham and old-age pensioner, who has to find the costs of running and maintaining the computers, website server and databases from a (very!) small pension.

So, if you like this site and find it useful in your SOTA activities, your contributions or donations toward the maintenance and hosting costs of this site will be very gratefully received...

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Footnote (Paws for Thought...)

No animals were harmed in the creation or display of this website. Honestly...

No animals were harmed
 
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