statewide agencies and location information

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c5corvette

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Forgive me for asking so many questions, but I am still in the early stages of learning more about location (gps coordinates) data that is stored in the RRDB with conventional channels aka Frequency Subcategories (subcat) and trunk sites / categories (TrsSite / TalkgroupCat), etc. above and beyond what RR users can't see stored in Agency (AgencyInfo), County (CountyInfo) and System (Trs) info.

So far, I know that if County or Agency data is present in the RRDB and subcategory is empty, the subcategory will inherit the county or agency coordinates. If seperate subcategory info is also in the database - the subcategory info should supercede.

What I don’t know is if the same happens when something is classified as 'statewide' and there is both statewide coordinates and subcategory coordinates. Can someone confirm that it works the sameway as above?
 

loumaag

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:lol: Well, you certainly are the one to keep us on our toes.

Okay, I have an answer, it is not a good answer. I did some looking and found that if a state level agency does not have default data set, the sub-categories of that agency inherit nothing. I am going to bring this up and hopefully we can get it addressed over the next week or so.
 

c5corvette

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:lol: Well, you certainly are the one to keep us on our toes.

Okay, I have an answer, it is not a good answer. I did some looking and found that if a state level agency does not have default data set, the sub-categories of that agency inherit nothing. I am going to bring this up and hopefully we can get it addressed over the next week or so.
That sounds like thats how it should work - maybe I am missing something.

My question is more of this: If an agency is listed as a 'state agency' but it only operates in one small part of the state, can I add subcat data so its picked up by GPS capable scanners correctly?

Thanks,
 

loumaag

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That sounds like thats how it should work - maybe I am missing something.
No, your not missing anything; we are. This is another one of those, it needs to get fixed things.

My question is more of this: If an agency is listed as a 'state agency' but it only operates in one small part of the state, can I add subcat data so its picked up by GPS capable scanners correctly?

Thanks,
You can submit data for a sub-cat that is more limited in scope than the entire state, certainly.
 

blantonl

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FYI: The Web service returns the default state location data that we have defined for each US state if a state agency doesn't have location data assigned. In this case, we predefined a point and range for each US state when we went live with location data.

Understand that we predefined this information in the database for US States only. Therefore, all agencies in US States will have location data provided for them via the Web service.

We'll probably need to look at better doing this internationally, including providing the ability to admins to specify default location data for a state. We don't currently provide that ability to the admins today - the data we loaded for the US was done on the backend.

Thanks,
 

c5corvette

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Thanks Lindsay.

Since I can't see the statewide coordinates for my state, what is the proper way to inquire what they are?

I made inquiry to one of the admins in our area who looked at the one and only statewide trunk system we have in our state and they said the statewide coordinates must be such and such since that was what was listed for that trunk system.

Yet, no matter what third party program I use, I don't get the similar data. Unless there is subcategory data that has been added to the database, no matter what conventional state agency I download I get consistently strange data that isn't even big enough to encompass all of the state or I get zero (depending on the program I use.)

The program that returns the conspicuously incorrect data is using SOAP v7 and the one that returns no data is using SOAP v9. Neither results make sense.

I can't tell if the programs aren't working as they should with the Web Service or if the data is bad, because I can't find out what the statewide coordinates are supposed to be.

Please reply,
 

c5corvette

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For Virginia, they are:

38.06666667 | -79.41666667 | 254.5
Thanks Lindsay, that helps qauntify an unknown.

Should I expect that using any third party software that is on v8 or v9 of the RR Web Service should properly download that range for any statewide conventional stuff that doesnt have its own subcat data?
 

c5corvette

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For Virginia, they are:

38.06666667 | -79.41666667 | 254.5
“37.405074, W -79.475098, 238.2” is what the local RRDB admin told me was statewide. I can’t get anything to download that matches either what you or he quoted.

As an exact example, I selected Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (which has no subcat data defined) and it gives me the following results:

FreeScan 2.08 = N38.040000, W79.250000, 125
ARC996 4.0 = zeros
ARCXT 1.7 = zeros
ProScan 4.7 = zeros

Honestly, I have put a lot of the pieces together for my own knowledge about how the DB should work, how the Web Service should work and what programs are using what version of SOAP, how the inherit feature is supposed to work, but I just can't figure out what is going on here!

Any help is appreciated.
 

c5corvette

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So I just learned from another thread that the max radius that can be stored on the XT models is 125 and on the other models is 50 miles.

I thought I had stumbled on a problem with the webservice or with third party software, but its a hardware limitation.

Why bother with accurate data in the database if the scanners arent capable of using it.

This is a huge problem for location-based scanning.
 
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ProScan

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Try using 38.040000N, 79.250000W, 125

“37.405074, W -79.475098, 238.2” is what the local RRDB admin told me was statewide. I can’t get anything to download that matches either what you or he quoted.

As an exact example, I selected Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (which has no subcat data defined) and it gives me the following results:

FreeScan 2.08 = N38.040000, W79.250000, 125
ARC996 4.0 = zeros
ARCXT 1.7 = zeros
ProScan 4.7 = zeros

Honestly, I have put a lot of the pieces together for my own knowledge about how the DB should work, how the Web Service should work and what programs are using what version of SOAP, how the inherit feature is supposed to work, but I just can't figure out what is going on here!

Any help is appreciated.
 

DonS

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Here's a snippet of what the web service (v9) returns for the Virginia agency mentioned above:

Code:
      <getAgencyInfoResponse xmlns="http://api.radioreference.com/soap2">
         <return>
            <aid>1892</aid>
            <agencyName>Department of Conservation and Recreation</agencyName>
            <agencyType/>
            <ctid>0</ctid>
            <stid>51</stid>
            <lat>38.06666667</lat>
            <lon>-79.41666667</lon>
            <range>254.5</range>
            <lastUpdated>2010-08-24T18:00:00-05:00</lastUpdated>
            <cats>
               <item>
                  <cid>5031</cid>
                  <cName>Department of Conservation and Recreation</cName>
                  <subcats>
                     <item>
                        <scid>14665</scid>
                        <scName>Parks - VHF-High</scName>
                     </item>
The agency location data matches what Lindsay listed above for Virginia:
For Virginia, they are:

38.06666667 | -79.41666667 | 254.5
It appears that the agency doesn't have its own location data and is inheriting from the state.

The agency's subcategories are not inheriting from the agency. This seems to match what Lou said above:
if a state level agency does not have default data set, the sub-categories of that agency inherit nothing. I am going to bring this up and hopefully we can get it addressed over the next week or so.
Based on my knowledge of the web service and the DB architecture, the data returned in the XML should look like this (presuming what Lou described gets addressed):
Code:
States - DB has location data, not returned in XML for 'getStateInfo'
  Agencies - has location data, can be inherited from state
    Categories
      Subcategories - has location data, can be inherited from agency
        Frequencies

  Systems - has location data. can be inherited from state
    Sites - has location data, can be inherited from system
      Frequencies
    Talkgroup categories - has location data, can be inherited from system
      Talkgroups

  Counties
    Agencies - has location data, can be inherited from county
      Categories
        Subcategories - has location data, can be inherited from agency
          Frequencies

    Categories
      Subcategories - has location data, can be inherited from county
        Frequencies

    Systems - has location data, can be inherited from county
      Sites - has location data, can be inherited from system
        Frequencies
      Talkgroup categories - has location data, can be inherited from system
        Talkgroups
 

c5corvette

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Thanks Don.

The database appears to have the correct info and the latest version of the web service seems to be obtaining that info correctly.

I can now more clearly make the determination of how the various third party programs are handling the data. Not to mention, as I eluded to a few moments ago, the range limitation in the hardware that I wasn't aware of until now.
 

loumaag

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... as I eluded to a few moments ago, the range limitation in the hardware that I wasn't aware of until now.
I am pretty sure that the hardware limitation is based on what you can set as a range within the device. Remember, there are two independent geographical entities involved here.

The first is the agency/system/county/etc. that you are attempting to monitor, that entity has a location and range of intended coverage or service area.

The second is the device you monitoring with, it has a location (either GPS enabled or set in software) and a range around which you want to hear in addition to your location.

The overlap of those two is what activates the radio to listen. If you set your radio to GPS enabled (with the outboard GPS unit) and zero (0) range, than as you move through the areas described in the first description above, it will activate that entity. If you increase the range of your device than it becomes a circle (with the radius as set by you) moving and whenever a part of that circle overlaps the area described in the first above it activates the entity.

in other words, the limit set by the device is so that you don't encompass so much that the radio performance takes a drastic hit as it keeps adding more and more things to monitor. Think of it this way, suppose you didn't enable location tracking in the radio, but just told it you wanted to scan every system & frequency you have programmed in the radio; assuming you are like the rest of us it would take the radio quite awhile to cycle through them all.
 

c5corvette

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I am pretty sure that the hardware limitation is based on what you can set as a range within the device. Remember, there are two independent geographical entities involved here.

The first is the agency/system/county/etc. that you are attempting to monitor, that entity has a location and range of intended coverage or service area.

The second is the device you monitoring with, it has a location (either GPS enabled or set in software) and a range around which you want to hear in addition to your location.

The overlap of those two is what activates the radio to listen. If you set your radio to GPS enabled (with the outboard GPS unit) and zero (0) range, than as you move through the areas described in the first description above, it will activate that entity. If you increase the range of your device than it becomes a circle (with the radius as set by you) moving and whenever a part of that circle overlaps the area described in the first above it activates the entity.

in other words, the limit set by the device is so that you don't encompass so much that the radio performance takes a drastic hit as it keeps adding more and more things to monitor. Think of it this way, suppose you didn't enable location tracking in the radio, but just told it you wanted to scan every system & frequency you have programmed in the radio; assuming you are like the rest of us it would take the radio quite awhile to cycle through them all.
Lou, I think you are confusing the way the HP-1 works with the way the other Uniden Scanners work. Ultimately with GPS attached they work the same way, but only the HP-1 has a user selectable device range as you describe.

In the 396/346/996 scanners you have to set a flag in the system to use GPS and if you do that and you set the range of the agency/system/county/etc. that you are attempting to monitor to zero, it will essentially lock out the system and never activate it. There is no device range like there is with the HP-1 or else it would not be possible to monitor some systems independent of GPS when GPS was connected.

For the HP-1 when you connect a GPS to the unit it automatically tells the device to use GPS for the systems in the database and it sets your 'range' for the device to zero and uses the coordinates in the HPDB (from the RRDB.)

According to the author of ProScan, in the 396/346/996 scanners, there indeed is a hardware limitation to the range that can be attributed to what is equivelent to that downloaded from RR (and from what I understand some of the third party software vendors have taken this range into account and will not download anything from RR with a range that exceeds that hardware limitation.)

If someone from Uniden, or one of the software vendors, can confirm what I am saying please jump in here.

(Sounds like I need to write that primer I have been wanting to write on location-based scanning -- but I still haven't learned how to create a Wiki.)
 

loumaag

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You are correct, the overlap circles method is limited to the HP-1 because AFAIK only the HP-1 allows you specify an additional range based on your location, so if I indicated that was applicable to all Location Based Scanning (LBS), I'm sorry.

So let me clarify this a little. Using the x96 version, if you set the GPS flag to ON and then set the system range to zero you are saying the system doesn't have any range so of course you are marking the system to not be monitored. Now let's assume you just take whatever we put in the DB as what you are going to use as what is set for the various systems.

Also lets consider that LBS started with the 996T. It has (or had) a limitation of 50 miles, I don't know what the 15's limit is in this regard, but as you mentioned the XT versions all have a limit of 125 miles. However also remember that such limits are set for Sites, TG Categories, and Conventional Subcategories only. Because none of these radios set locations based on systems, agencies, or counties. So if vendors are ignoring anything over 125 mi for these radios, what do they do about conventional subcategories that exceed this? Granted they are few but how about a state's forest service. I know that the TX State Forest service has an agency wide sub-cat set at 350 miles (and to be honest, that is too small). So perhaps the software vendors are correct to ignore and not download anything that is over the limit that the radio can handle, that way that entity is not ignored when you are still in the intended service (within the state borders) but the state is too large to keep the radius below 125 mi (or 50 for the older radio).

They also have a limitation (which I had forgot about) that location based information is supposed to be entered in .5 mile increments. That said, I assume that the various software vendors are rounding to fit this limitation, and therefore accounting for the fact we don't specifically put radii in any set increments. What are they doing about settings that are too small? Take a school for example (S TX School of Law), it is contained within a single downtown building and the radius is set to 0.1 mile. Are they ignoring those? There are plenty of entities in the DB that are less than .25 mi and would therefore round down; but here, I am assuming too much with out verification of what is done.

Again, in reference to your Wiki comment, I am pretty sure if you start something in MS Word and give it to Mike, he will change it to Wiki format and that will give you the starting point. Wiki syntax is not that hard to get a handle on. :cool:
 

c5corvette

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I think an easy way to qualify this in explaintions is 'range' is a feature of the HP-1 and 'raduis' is the data used for the various entries in the Uniden DMA scanners. (That said, please note RR refers to the radius as range.)

So if vendors are ignoring anything over 125 mi for these radios, what do they do about conventional subcategories that exceed this?
It appears to be working the same with conventional or trunked, the programs either ignore or limit to a maximum raduis.

They also have a limitation (which I had forgot about) that location based information is supposed to be entered in .5 mile increments. That said, I assume that the various software vendors are rounding to fit this limitation, and therefore accounting for the fact we don't specifically put radii in any set increments. What are they doing about settings that are too small? Take a school for example (S TX School of Law), it is contained within a single downtown building and the radius is set to 0.1 mile. Are they ignoring those? There are plenty of entities in the DB that are less than .25 mi and would therefore round down; but here, I am assuming too much with out verification of what is done.
I just tested this with the 4 major programs I used and some programs rounded up while some rounded down. (They all appeared to round to whole numbers -- for example, 1.33 was rounded up to 2.0 in ProScan.) I will mention these findings in the Wiki too. Either limitation, large or small, does cause serious concern for the entire concept of Location-based scanning - I wonder what UPMan would say to this?


Wiki syntax is not that hard to get a handle on.
Yep, I figured it out. The Wiki article is complete and online. Mike looked at it after I published it. Still waiting on a few subject matter experts to comment.

(Two weeks worth of me testing programs, researching and asking numerous questions of RR db admins, etc. and we now have a nice reference document with a lot of consolidated info.)

If any of the db admins or software authors see any gross errors in the Wiki, feel free to edit or let me know.
 
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c5corvette

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They also have a limitation (which I had forgot about) that location based information is supposed to be entered in .5 mile increments. That said, I assume that the various software vendors are rounding to fit this limitation, and therefore accounting for the fact we don't specifically put radii in any set increments. What are they doing about settings that are too small? Take a school for example (S TX School of Law), it is contained within a single downtown building and the radius is set to 0.1 mile. Are they ignoring those? There are plenty of entities in the DB that are less than .25 mi and would therefore round down; but here, I am assuming too much with out verification of what is done.
FWIW, I just tried your 'S TX School of Law' example and one program interpreted the 0.1 miles as 10 miles and others rounded up to 1 mile.

I think the hardware and the software has a lot of catching up to do with the capabilities of RadioReferences' database.
 

loumaag

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...If anyone else has comments, please PM me or make changes.
I think that you did a great job! I did have one small correction in reference to the TRS site location data, which I applied. It does not use the county data at all.
 
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