Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

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agw
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Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby agw » June 13th, 2010, 4:26 pm

I've been working on a small free .NET program that displays the output from an SBS-1 onto a Google Maps page. You run the server locally and can then view the output from any modern browser:

http://www.virtualradarserver.co.uk/

It's still under development but I think it's at the stage where people can have a play with it if they like the look of it.

While it isn't necessary for the operation of the server it can optionally make use of your BaseStation database file and operator flags folder to display extra information about each aircraft. The reporting side of things is a bit light at the moment but I'll be working on that fairly soon(ish).

You can mark where you are on the map and the program can automatically select and tell you about the aircraft closest to that location. I'm not sure how many people would find that useful, but as the only reason I bought one of these radios was to find out about the aircraft passing by my living room window it's been useful to me :)

The web page that it dishes up makes heavy use of Javascript which may make it unsuitable for displaying on older or lower-powered machines. The server itself is fairly light on resources though and should run on pretty much anything that can run Windows XP SP2 or better.

If you do try it and hit any snags, or have any suggestions for the program, then please feel free to either post or PM me here or email me via the address on the site.

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dogo
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby dogo » June 23rd, 2010, 8:31 am

Hi.

Great little program you got going there! works fine on my network but won’t work over the internet... problems at my end and dam firewalls :-)

the only suggestion at the moment is perhaps cut down on the amount of traffic that is transmitted somehow

Keep up the good work

Dogo
Darren - Kinetic Beta team member

agw
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby agw » June 23rd, 2010, 4:41 pm

Thanks, glad you like it :) I changed the installer for the latest version so that it can add an exception to the Windows firewall for the program if you want it to, but as you say if you want to see the site on the Internet then you will need to configure your router to forward requests for port 80 to the computer that's running the server.

The amount of traffic shouldn't be a problem for browsers on the local network but if you put it on the Internet then it would be nice to be able to restrict the amount of traffic sent to remote browsers, especially if you're on a capped connection and that traffic could actually be costing you money :) I can figure out from the address of the machine that's connecting to the server whether it's an Internet machine or a local network machine, so I could treat the two differently - local browsers could be sent all of the trace co-ordinates while remote browsers could be sent a restricted set, or I could cap the traffic sent to a remote browser over a period of time and so on. At the moment I'm concentrating on the reports but I'll add it to the list of things to do.

Dan Dare
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby Dan Dare » June 24th, 2010, 1:39 pm

Many thanks for an excellent programme. Just what I've been searching for since obtaining the SBS unit.
Appreciate your efforts and thank you for making it available to us.
Use the programme on a home wired network using modest spec PC'S running XP.
However, I notice that the position of the aircraft is delayed by several minutes before they appear on screen
when compared to those aircraft displayed on the basestation radar screen on another computer.
Is this intentional or is there a setting I have missed .
Looking forward to future developement. Regards Dan.

edgy31

Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby edgy31 » June 24th, 2010, 2:08 pm

Dan Dare wrote:However, I notice that the position of the aircraft is delayed by several minutes before they appear on screen
when compared to those aircraft displayed on the basestation radar screen on another computer.


Sounds like you have an old version of Basestation. Do you have version 1.2 or greater?

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Anmer
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby Anmer » June 24th, 2010, 3:22 pm

Excellent application, well done and Thank You.

I hope Kinetic is taking note?
Anmer
Radarspotting.com
Radarspotting since 2005

manu67a
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby manu67a » June 24th, 2010, 5:08 pm

Hi there,

I've just discovered that thread today and I have to say: Well Done !!!

This is just easy to install, and run.... It is working perfectly on a virtual windows XP machine.
The only issue I had was the decimal separator that is the "," and not the "." Changing that in the regional settings solved the issue.

Any plan to have that running directly on a linux server ?

Thanks for this tool to the community :)

agw
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby agw » June 24th, 2010, 8:17 pm

However, I notice that the position of the aircraft is delayed by several minutes


I've been beaten to the punch - as edgy31 says the original versions of BaseStation delayed output to 3rd party applications by 5 minutes. That was removed in the latest version of BaseStation, which you can download from here: http://www.kinetic-avionics.com/downloadssbs1.php.

Changing that in the regional settings solved the issue


I have to confess that while I was doing this it didn't really click that people from outside of the UK might be using it :D I have Google Analytics on the site and was surprised to see how many hits it got from Sweden and Greece. I should probably have thought a bit harder about regional settings while I was writing it!

Anything that is .NET related will pick up your regional settings by default - that is to say, all the stuff you enter, see or is processed by the server. The data displayed by the browser is mostly done through Javascript and regional support could be a bit more patchy there. Also everything is completely in English. I'll have to have a think about that.

Any plan to have that running directly on a linux server


I thought about that a while back, but eventually decided it would be pointless, at least for the time being. Originally I had hoped to talk directly to the radio rather than go through BaseStation, especially when BaseStation had a 5 minute delay. If that had come off then I would definitely have made sure that it ran under Mono, because that's how I would have had it running myself. Unfortunately communications with the radio are encrypted and I couldn't find any working free code to handle it. I then found some patch for BaseStation to take the 5 minute delay off so I gave up on that approach and just went with reading the feed from BaseStation instead. Once you accept that you need BaseStation a Mono-compliant implementation becomes less attractive as you'll need at least a Windows VM to run BaseStation and a Mono implementation doubles (at least) the amount of testing you need to do. I run the server on the same VM that's running BaseStation (I have BaseStation connected to the Mac in my living room) and the two live together quite happily.

The Windows requirement is just the server side though - you can use browsers on any operating system to access the server. Also if the need did arise to run under Linux it wouldn't be that hard to do, Mono will run .NET applications under Linux and the two third party libraries I use will run (or have implementations that will run) under Mono. It's just I couldn't see the point while BaseStation is Windows-only. If you want to give it a go yourself, be my guest! :D You'll need to replace the SQLite library (a Mono version can be downloaded from here: http://sqlite.phxsoftware.com/), the rest - in theory - should work as-is.

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RDG
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby RDG » June 25th, 2010, 8:40 am

Great program but where does Current location on Google Earth come from ? Mine is showing some ten miles
from actual location ?

Dave.

agw
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby agw » June 25th, 2010, 8:58 am

It's the centre of the map until you set your location, after which it's wherever you set it.

To set the location click "Show options" and tick the box for "Show current location on map". That will display a pin on the map - drag it to wherever you want the location to be. After that you can hide the pin.

The reason why it doesn't use the BaseStation home location is because I have this running on the Internet and I didn't want random people to know where I lived.

You're not the first person to bring this up :) In the latest version (not yet on the site) it now tries to make it a bit clearer in the description as to what's going on - if you haven't yet set a location then it says that a plane is "1.2 miles from centre of map" and once you have the location set it'll say "1.2 miles from here".

The other point to make is that the distance calculation is just the distance to the point on the ground that the aircraft is over, it doesn't take the altitude into account. I was more interested in knowing how long I had before an aircraft would pass over me, so altitude would have muddied the picture, but I can see that the true distance would be useful as well. I'll be adding a browser option to let you choose between the two.

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RDG
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby RDG » June 25th, 2010, 3:19 pm

Thank you for that, Simple when you know how!!

Dave.

Dan Dare
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby Dan Dare » June 25th, 2010, 4:06 pm

Thanks to edgy31 and agw for advice. Now upgraded Basestation software from v.129 to v.145.
Now displaying in real time. Excellent programme.

manu67a
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby manu67a » June 25th, 2010, 4:34 pm

The goal speaking about linux is actually to avoid the VM but for the time beeing it works... don't know if the server side is supporting some load..

I have done a little page were you can have this little server running and also listen to the comms from liveatc. Works pretty well.

While listening to the comms, it would be also nice to have the companies callsigns written somewhere but that would I guess require a modification of the db.

If some of you would like to try, you can go there: http://radar-gva.surleweb.eu

The whole setup is based on 3 different locations meaning the SBS box in one location sending the feed to another location where the basestation is located and the 3rd location were this little software is running.

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bones
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby bones » June 25th, 2010, 5:17 pm

While listening to the comms, it would be also nice to have the companies callsigns written somewhere but that would I guess require a modification of the db.


Other apps use existing columns. Active Display uses Generic Name for this but has a separate DB for the data. BAW123 shows as Speedbird123 and so on..

TG
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Re: Another server to display output on a Google Maps page

Postby TG » June 25th, 2010, 5:53 pm

Hi,
I have tried Virtual Radar Server - very nice indeed.
One issue: some logos here have underscore within the name like XXX_Cargo and these are not displayed.
And feature suggestion: search database by callsign.

TG


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