Real world uses for APRS messages on outernet

We all know how fun and cool aprs is for us ham’s. We use it all the time for many things and I think its important for us to keep pushing forward with getting the messaging “infrastructure” established and exploring other types of messages we can pass with it.
In thinking about the outernet goal (at least in my mind) i believe the possibility of some teacher, preacher etc etc in Sub Saharan Africa having the ability to send an aprs message is pretty slim. Not saying it can’t be done, but…

One thing I think could be of use towards the outernet goal would be to have the aprs “system” send out important stuff like Tsunami warnings and things like that. If the outernet servers detect an aprs message with “Tsunami” in the text then perhaps it could be given utmost priority in the carousel for immediate delivery? Not trying to limit it to Tsunami but wanted to give a base example.


I’m sure we could reduce the current five minute internal when posting with OUTNET. Wouldn’t that cover this use case?

Tsunami in two hours. Evacuate now! OUTNET

Not sure you would “need” to reduce the current five minute level for normal every day type traffic. In fact I think it is pretty amazing that we can get messages out that fast.
I think I left out something important in my “use case” above. I “think” perhaps an aprs “feed / server” that is dedicated to looking at specific “threats” (of what ever definition you decide warrants a threat) that are relevant to life or limb and giving that one priority

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It might not be horribly difficult for a programmer to come up with something that would scrape the common sources for emergency alerts around the world and craft messages to be delivered via Outernet.

Granted, many remote areas won’t have much in place at present, but if presented a way with which an official entity might send an SMS message that would be relayed over Outernet, received at the affected locale, there might be some government entities who would be willing to sponsor such.

This could actually be filtered by region or locale in the receiver app, or be an opt-in. Think in terms of the NOAA weather radio SAME technology.

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Currently I monitor the USGS for Earthquakes. Im a nerd, don’t judge :grin:
They have a feed that spits out worldwide earthquake data in a geojson format. Don’t laugh, I wrote it in visual basic.
I parse that feed once every 30 seconds. I filter on various criteria. if a particular Earthquake has something I am filtering for in it such as a Tsunami warning has been issued I pop it up on the screen. What pops up on the screen is all things relating to that particular earthquake, magnitude, location including the LAT LON. etc. It would be pretty easy for someone to write the script that does the same thing and pipes it out to the outernet aprs feed for whatever Satellite region the alert is for.

edit: as mentioned below there are services that do this already. If you want to “roll your own” feed here is the link I use:

and I output this: (obviously not relevant to outernet transmission but is just an example) In clicking on any of the rows will take you to the alert pages shown further down below in these posts.

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There are some services that already do this and have rss feeds.

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correct. I use their service a lot actually.

That GDACS RSS looks like a player…

I wish we could get access to the RSOE EDIS API, because then we could potentially have that alert map on outernet. I cant imagine that the data files are that big, But the API is a premium service.

The alert map is also linked via the feed I posted above (the alert map link /URL is embedded in the json data). There is also the IRIS feed that you can grab that data from as well. Their premium service charge is why I went straight to the source that EDIS gets their information from.

For instance here is the link in the json data for a recent one in Fiji

and this one with a closeup of the area

Sorry I got distracted and missed your post. This doesn’t seem like it would be too difficult. I’ll keep investigating.

Just wrote some code that saved the alert map page as a .pdf and then tar.bz2 compresses it but the page is still 148.3 kB . but I am most certain there are better methods of getting that picture compressed further.

I was thinking about a setup like the weather is now. Individual events could be could be downloaded and populated onto a local map. The biggest data file I have found so far was 10kb and easily compressed to 4kb.


That sounds like a very valid option! perhaps an “alert” app could be written by someone from out community that would accomplish exactly that.

It looks like a feed of alerts already exists. If that’s the case, isn’t it just a matter of building an app for it?

yes. the EDIS access to the API is a premium service and costs.
the USGS feed is free.