Alpha Tag Naming guidelines?

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wise871

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Over the last few years I have submitted tons of databases updates for my area. I’ve taken the time to verify the frequency or talkgroups before I submit my findings. If possible I try to pull the alpha tag directly from the radios themselves. I will even take the time to make sure the frequencies and talkgroups are listed under the correct organization. The reason I do this is so users will have an easier time downloading the information directly to their scanner. There is nothing worse than spend an hour editing channels and TG because they were just submitted in a rush or someone rearranged everything.

One thing I noticed is the Admins will rename or add extra charters to a lot of the alpha tags submitted. On a very large system this can causes a lot of confusion. Sometimes they will add extra characters in front of the original alpha tags taking up what limited 12 to 16 characters we have available. An example of this is:

East Point, City of Talkgroups

Alpha Tags Description
EastPtPD Dis Police Dispatch
EastPtFD Dis Fire Dispatch

Why not name the tag “Fire Disp” or “Fire Dispatch”. Most new scanners now display systems or groups to give the user additional information such as City or County so you know its East Point. One of the reasons I have slowed down on submitting information is I know it will not look anything like I submitted. Why spend the hours compiling the information just to have it changed. I also have seen that there is no standard when it comes to the database. Some tags are all caps, some lower case; some are like what I mentioned above. Fortunately I have meet two Admins who maintain the sites in my state and there pretty good a keeping the information in its original structure. There great to work with. Then there was one who just didn’t want to make the time to correct the information. One weekend I cleaned up entire systems and submitted it to RR. It went unchanged and the system is still a mess. Now I just email people in the local area the updated information. I’m just wondering if there a database standard?
 

ibagli

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Most new scanners now display systems or groups to give the user additional information such as City or County so you know its East Point.
The site isn't geared towards "most new scanners," and even on my PSR-500 East Point would have to have its own trunked system, or it would have to be a conventional frequency in a scan list named "East Point" in order to be able to show "East Point" separately from "Fire Dispatch."

Why spend the hours compiling the information just to have it changed.
Well, if you just submit "Fire Dispatch" as an alpha tag, it should be changed because alpha tags are supposed to show the agency if possible. Also, the tag off the actual radios isn't necessarily best, especially if it isn't used on air or doesn't adequately demonstrate its use.

I also have seen that there is no standard when it comes to the database. Some tags are all caps, some lower case; some are like what I mentioned above.
There is a standard; it just wasn't followed (or hadn't been implemented yet):

http://wiki.radioreference.com/imag...e.com_Database_Administrator_Handbook_1.3.pdf

Alpha tags are limited to 12 characters to ensure compatibility with older scanners that support only a 12-character alpha tag. Alpha tags should be made as clear as possible given the space provided. Alpha tags should generally indicate the agency and the channel number or usage to the extent that the information is known and can reasonably fit in 12 characters. Alpha tags should use a mix of lower and upper case letters (the use of all capital letters should be avoided). Alpha tags should not necessarily be the alpha tag as shown on a radio transceiver programmed for a specific conventional or trunked system. Alpha tags should be written to be useful to scanner users and furthermore they should be clear to novice scanner users to the extent possible.
 

wise871

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Thanks for the info, especially that last part. You are right about the standards currently not being followed / implemented.
 
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