Develop free basestation.sqb

The "to-do" list for Virtual Radar Server is as long as my arm, but if you want to pile more work onto it then this is for you.
jjwiseman
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:23 pm

Develop free basestation.sqb

Post by jjwiseman » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:50 am

It seems that the databases that link Mode S data to aircraft information are unreliable, ad hoc, or restricted. It can be difficult to find a complete, up-to-date database. Some sites (airframes.org) collect the data, but restrict it so it can't be used in programs like Virtual Radar Server.

Have there been any attempts to build a free, completely open "basestation.sqb"?

jfm
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: Develop free basestation.sqb

Post by jfm » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:16 pm

This is a great suggestion, especially now that http://pp-sqb.mantma.co.uk/ is no longer providing updates.

Maybe something similar to the "routes" system?

agw
Posts: 2249
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:20 am

Re: Develop free basestation.sqb

Post by agw » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:35 pm

I've thought about this in the past, along with having a web service for it so that VRS can look up codes on the fly and cache them locally rather than having to keep a local BaseStation.sqb up-to-date. On the technical side there's no problem, the main sticking point is how you seed the database with an initial set of values. If I were to seed it with the values from my BaseStation.sqb then that might not go over too well with GAS - all of my data has initially come from them via SBSPopulate and I can't imagine they'll be too impressed with their data being used on a database that could potentially take customers away from their pay-for offerings.

Jester
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:23 pm

Re: Develop free basestation.sqb

Post by Jester » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:12 pm

I'm playing with the same idea.

However, here is a suggestion, host it on this site, but start with minimal data (or empty)
provide an interface for users (verified users) to add data and build your own set of data.

This was done for example with movie information (IMDB didn't allow XBMC to use their movie data, all the users made their own open source version, themoviedb.org)

just my 2 cents

jjwiseman
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:23 pm

Re: Develop free basestation.sqb

Post by jjwiseman » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:29 pm

I think there are a few sources that could be useful in initially seeding the database, for example, you can download the FAA registration database: http://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificate ... _download/

Here's a list of other databases: http://www.gatwickaviationsociety.org.u ... ficial.asp

You can get basic registration data tied to ICAO codes through those national registries. I don't know if there would be ready-to-use sources for things like operator livery--that may take more manual effort.

In general, though, open wins--If people have the choice of contributing effort to add data and updates to a single consolidated open & free database vs. multiple closed, proprietary databases, I am confident that at least eventually they will choose the open solution--which will benefit everyone. As you say, the technical aspect is not much of an obstacle, but the social aspect could be, at least at first.

I think it would be important to

1. Make the database useful as soon as possible, so that people really start using it and seeing benefits.
2. Make it easy to update.
3. Come up with good quality assurance strategies that are compatible with #2.

Open data projects like Wikipedia and Open Street Map might be useful to look at to figure out some approaches to #2 and #3.

jfm
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: Develop free basestation.sqb

Post by jfm » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:50 pm

I regularly load data from the FAA and Canadian official sources (and have automated quite a bit in terms of setting the operator flag and type codes). I'd be happy to share this as "base" data.

agw
Posts: 2249
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:20 am

Re: Develop free basestation.sqb

Post by agw » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:22 am

It's a shame that G-INFO isn't free :(

I'll finish the web site rewrite first - that's underway and going quite nicely so far - and then I'll take a look at doing something like the routes database but for ICAO tie-ups.

13C
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:26 pm

Re: Develop free basestation.sqb

Post by 13C » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:59 pm

jfm wrote:I regularly load data from the FAA and Canadian official sources (and have automated quite a bit in terms of setting the operator flag and type codes). I'd be happy to share this as "base" data.
I'd be interested in this data for Canadian aircraft, I've made flags for several operators that don't show up (ie: WestJet), but I have little idea of how do edit the database file etc. As an example of my woeful computer skills, after several days of frustration, I just managed to get the database writer plug in to work. :lol: If there is any way I can add to your data let me know.

Aardvark
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:16 pm

Re: Develop free basestation.sqb

Post by Aardvark » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:10 pm

Yes, Canadian registrations would be great. I see a lot of CanJet and Westjet traffic through the NYC metro area but they do not appear in the database. Only ACA flights appear (one trick I have noticed is that all Westjet aircraft appear to have a "W" somewhere in the registration). Adding to the problem is the route information is not prefixed with either the IATA or ICAO code so VRS is not able to translate the information. JetBlue (JBU), Southwest (SWA) and AirTran (TRS) have been doing that too so very often you will see a flight such as "1234" with no clue who it is until you run the registration number through Google. JetBlue can really be screwed up with callsigns such as JB1234 and JBLU1234 also being seen.

Still waiting to see MEOWMEOW. I have seen "GOTO FMS" a few times around here.

agw
Posts: 2249
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:20 am

Re: Develop free basestation.sqb

Post by agw » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:30 am

If you do have a callsign like "1234" then VRS will prepend the airline's IATA or ICAO code when it tries to look up the route - but that only works if you have the aircraft in the database.

Post Reply