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The Need for an Official Map for VATSIM


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Hello to all,

I don't know if this topic was previously opened up or no ; I did a search but didn't find any relevant post.

 

I feel that we need an Official Map for displaying online ATC and Pilots. I know there are 10 - 12 websites and softwares that offer this but it becomes so inconvenient for the Facility Engineers to execute a single update if there are any changes in the airspace. They have to send updates to all websites , make changes in the VAT-Spy .dat files , etc. Wouldn't it be easier if we just had 1 single online map managed by VATSIM itself , where the staff can submit their changes and it would get updated.

 

New Members flying for the first time don't even know that which stations are online or how many pilots are flying. Sure , there exists stats/who.html website which gives a list , but don't you think we need something more attractive ? . Its like a situation of a salesman is selling without brochures . The customer doesn't know what and where the salesman is selling.

 

Why can't the board appoint a 2 - 3 member Team to manage this task ? Is it so difficult? We have so many talented people out there.

 

I just expressed my opinion as a member. I would like to know your opinion as well.

 

Regards,

Shrikar Galgali

Proud Member of VATWA Division

India vACC

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for displaying online ATC and Pilots

Once every couple of minutes, your application can download vatsim-data.txt from one of the URLs listed here.

 

if there are any changes in the airspace

A map of airspace sectors is a very different request. Every region and facility uses different software to create their sector files and getting them to all use the same system is a huge task. AeroNav are undertaking such an effort with their GNG software.

 

See also this comic.

swift - Developer
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It's not really that huge of a task, since the sector files exists, the coordinates are there in text format already. When a change comes, local directors only have to send this copypaste to someone managing the VATSIM central database, or even easier, use a login to upload it themselves. This 15 minute job per airspace change would be well worth it considering everyone would be aware of all online ATC without old or missing outlines on a map. Laying the foundation for this system will of course take some manpower, but once in place, not troublesome at all. Then devs of existing or new software or websites can use this data in whatever they regard as the best user interface.

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It would not even be too much work: the GNG Global Nav Generator http://gng.aero-nav.com/ is the potential Swiss Officer's Knife that VATSIM needed for a long time. It holds all the information in a central place and is great to generate sector files and all the stuff you need. Probably it would be easy to provide a world airspace file that can be used for an official VATSIM Map Tool.

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I agree with you Shrikar.

 

I strongly feel we need a Official Map for displaying online ATC and Pilots in our network, I do understand there is a stats page which shows the online list of ATC and Pilot. But I feel that the stats page with a official traffic Map would look even more better to attract the pilots of our network.

 

For instance in India we have a lot of subsectors under one FIR and most of the traffic maps don’t provide the details of these ATC units, so we have to give our subsector information to each pilot who visits our airspace via P.M because they will have absolutely no idea about the subsectors of our airspace. When a pilot opens VAT-Spy without updating the database files what a pilot will see is 4 FIR’s of the Indian airspace but that’s not how it looks we have around 4 subsectors under 1 FIR with different callsigns but most of the traffic tool map doesn’t provide the subsector details of the FIR's, so the controllers who login under a subsector will not be seen.

 

I feel it’s not really a hard task to get this run because we have sufficient resources which could provide the coordinates and other information such as FIR & subsectors directly from the sector files of each ATC unit to create a traffic map. Hence if the board can find a team to manage this section it would be really nice.

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Accomeap is currently under development by some very talented programmers and contributors.

Website: http://accomeap-project.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/accomeapvatsim/?fref=ts

 

We have a team of contributors who are consistently scouring the VATSIM division websites and AIP's for charts and airspace diagrams, and they are being drawn very precisely onto the map. Our database will be continually updated as need be, and VATSIM users can submit their requested changes to us for implementation.

 

Check it out, release is due for this week!

 

Cheers,

Andrew Ogden | I3
Gander Oceanic OCA Chief
VATSIM Web Developer

Visit us: https://ganderoceanic.com
Contact: [email protected] 

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Accomeap is currently under development by some very talented programmers and contributors.

Website: http://accomeap-project.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/accomeapvatsim/?fref=ts

 

We have a team of contributors who are consistently scouring the VATSIM division websites and AIP's for charts and airspace diagrams, and they are being drawn very precisely onto the map. Our database will be continually updated as need be, and VATSIM users can submit their requested changes to us for implementation.

 

Check it out, release is due for this week!

 

Cheers,

 

Andrew I can't wait for Accomeap and I will be using it once released.

 

My question is it being officially endorsed and pushed to be the primary source for this type of information by VATSIM because otherwise I fear it'll just join the hodgepodge of other similar programs(albeit Accomeap beats them all hands down) and will only end up being used by a small percentage of the community.

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Andrew I can't wait for Accomeap and I will be using it once released.

 

My question is it being officially endorsed and pushed to be the primary source for this type of information by VATSIM because otherwise I fear it'll just join the hodgepodge of other similar programs(albeit Accomeap beats them all hands down) and will only end up being used by a small percentage of the community.

 

We will certainly try to get it endorsed, although I dont know about it being pushed as the primary source.

If you do have any questions, contact Eoin Motherway, our lead Developer on Facebook or via his email at: [email protected], or ask any of the other devs.

Andrew Ogden | I3
Gander Oceanic OCA Chief
VATSIM Web Developer

Visit us: https://ganderoceanic.com
Contact: [email protected] 

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Accomeap is currently under development by some very talented programmers and contributors.

Website: http://accomeap-project.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/accomeapvatsim/?fref=ts

 

We have a team of contributors who are consistently scouring the VATSIM division websites and AIP's for charts and airspace diagrams, and they are being drawn very precisely onto the map. Our database will be continually updated as need be, and VATSIM users can submit their requested changes to us for implementation.

 

Check it out, release is due for this week!

 

Cheers,

Accomeap definately looks promising, but it doesn't solve anything. It's just like the comic above, it's just another standard I know you've put a lot of hard work into accuracy, but I'm guessing so did the people behind apps like VATSpy and ServInfo once upon a time. Without a central database for global changes, things have the potensial to go adrift. no matter the intent, especially when there's no money involved (and even vRoute, which has got money involved, doesn't really stay on top on sectors).

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  • Board of Governors

Seeing as we've got the conversation going already, would the devs over at Accomeap consider expanding their project to consider the question of having a central database of airspace modifications, which could be used not only by Accomeap but also by other applications? Just a thought.

 

And if not, who would like to be involved? There's obviously appetite for something like this.

 

GUNNAR LINDAHL 
President
## [email protected]
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I've long wanted to add depiction of actual approach (and tower and center) sector boundaries to VATSpy, including the ability to depict those airspaces with different floor/ceiling altitude shelves, in a 3D manner. The main thing that has been stopping me from taking on such a change is the data maintenance issue. I would certainly love to see a centralized airspace data warehouse which applications like Accomeap would draw from. It's definitely needed!

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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While only a third of the world's sectors are currently complete, we are working towards getting most of the sectors accurately implemented into the software and we will continue well after release. A database we could draw from would be cool, and on release we will be relying on resource submission by users of Accomeap.

Edited by Guest

Andrew Ogden | I3
Gander Oceanic OCA Chief
VATSIM Web Developer

Visit us: https://ganderoceanic.com
Contact: [email protected] 

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I would fully support some kind of central database of sectors and areas of responsibility. Perhaps there should be an initial conversation between the BoG and the developers of Accomeap, with a view to putting an 'official stamp' on the project. After that, the project could recruit others to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist on an ongoing basis. The database information could be made available to developers of other map tools (i.e. publicly), with the map component of Accomeap being maintained separately to the database.

Wygene Chong

C1 Controller | Iceland | Greenland | Faroe Islands

VATSIM Scandinavia

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Seeing as we've got the conversation going already, would the devs over at Accomeap consider expanding their project to consider the question of having a central database of airspace modifications, which could be used not only by Accomeap but also by other applications? Just a thought.

 

And if not, who would like to be involved? There's obviously appetite for something like this.

 

As Andreas Fuchs wrote, there is already an approach for this called GNG(http://gng.aero-nav.com/AERONAV/about).

We already got a lot of vACCs participating. All of the FIRs you can find here have submitted their sectors and a lot of more data. http://files.aero-nav.com/

As these vACCs are using the data for their daily controlling and the data is controlled by the responsible person of each vACC directly, the data are always the most current available for this vACC.

 

As stated in our agreement, we may share the data with free VATSIM applications. If you are interested, just contact us via the contact form and we can discuss how we can work together.

 

Felix

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  • 1 month later...

I see posts like these at least once a year now. If you were to do a search, you'd see that there are several already to choose from.

accomeap (mentioned here already)

vattastic

vataware (though doesn't show ATC online)

ServInfo (desktop)

VatSpy (desktop)

 

I've even made a few in the past. It's not hard, it's rather trivial once you have the data.txt. But like others have said, the FIR boundaries are troublesome.

 

But yeah, I would like VATSIM to have an "Official" one but the community has stepped up with several different offerings over the years. No need to recreate the wheel here.

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First of all I really like the layout of Accomeap. I especially like the information on the controller and how long the controller has been on duty. i can expect when the controller has been on only a short time, that they will remain on for awhile, and when I see someone has been on a few hours, I would not be surprised to see them go off line by the time I set up my flight.

 

One negative that I noticed today on a flight into KATL, was all of a sudden my P3D became a stuttering mess as I approached the airport, which has never happened before. I quickly went into task manager/ performance/resource manager and I saw that Accomeap which I had forgotten to close down once I started my flight was using 30% of my CPU cycles. When I closed it down, the stutters went away. My advice, is to close it down while flying.

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