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Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?



 
 
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  #61  
Old April 17th 17, 08:14 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Ron Gleason
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Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

On Monday, 17 April 2017 08:59:56 UTC-6, Sean Fidler wrote:
I suggest some careful observation this week during the SSA's "Perry contest" in order to experience how interesting and compelling the SSA tracking is in general. Someone is at least adding the tasks into Glideport.aero (this means that the tasks display on the Glideport.aero tracking map, providing context to the viewer). Task info being added into Glideport.aero at SSA contests is actually very rare. Watching tracks without the context of the task is painfully boring. As an example, tasks were not added to Glideport.aero for the Seniors contest. The real question is, from a home viewer perspective, do enough pilots trackers work in Perry, with enough detail, to make actually following the tasks interesting? This will depend on what trackers are being used (Spot, InReach, or mobile and at what refresh rate), and by whom (attention to detail from the pilot to ensure the device is working properly during the entire contest). Hence my previous post on the need for a standard SSA tracking device that is simple to use, highly detailed in its tracking product, affordable, and highly reliable.

Another issue is that 98% of US tasks are TAT (usually very wide areas). These tasks are not the most exciting follow via tracking, to say the least.

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  #62  
Old April 17th 17, 09:48 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

True, but even with that extra Guy Byers effort to make it "easy" for contest organizers to migrate tasks directly, the reality is that tasks are almost never active in Glideport.aero for SSA contests. Just look at Perry right now. And honestly, entering a task doesn't really have to be integrated.. Entering a task into GP.aero is simple and takes under a minute. Less with a few days of practice. Obviously, see adoption and usage statistics, it was probably not worth the hassle to build this integration.

The key problem (in my view) remains the hodge-podge of various trackers (or no tracker at all) and complete lack of leadership and standards. Here is my report from today:

"---SSA Tracking Report Day 1 Perry---

...............And there off!.............I think? Where are they going? We have no idea. No tasks. Zzzzzzz. And, moving on....in roughly thirty seconds to something useful...

1) No Tasks are programmed into Glideport.aero, so we no idea where they are going.
2) Only about 10% of the gliders have altitude information (Mobile App or InReach). These tracks provide some value at least.
3) 60% of the sailplanes are using Spot trackers (awful). Many of those are updating far less than every 10 minutes.
4) 25%-40% of the competitors appear to have no tracking device, whatsoever....
5) Nico Bennett track is showing up in Perry's 18m class, even though he is flying a long flight in Florida (actually much more interesting than watching Perry as he has a good high quality continuous Mobil track, GO NICO!)

Dismal."

Obviously, todays Perry "tracking experience" was not very exciting, so I stopped almost immediately. But here are some screen shots for each class for reference.

Like 🇦🇺 Australia's SSA (GFA) has shown us, the SSA desperately needs a standardized, unified tracking device for all SSA contest pilots. At present, all the effort that has been put into Glideport.aero is being COMPLETELY WASTED. The SSA needs to require the contest organizers (just as they are required to meet certain guidelines) to take the two minutes necessary to enter the tasks into GP.aero. At the end of the day, successful, well adopted and exciting tracking will come down to the SSAs vision and leadership. So far, the current results are no surprise.

Here are some "riveting" screenshots of the SSAs "state of the art" tracking system from today's Perry Contest on GlidePort.aero (which is an amazing tool...if...the competitors and organizers feed it with good data)...

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0tGWBC59GlHo6c
  #63  
Old April 17th 17, 10:24 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Ron Gleason
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Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

On Monday, 17 April 2017 14:48:32 UTC-6, Sean Fidler wrote:
True, but even with that extra Guy Byers effort to make it "easy" for contest organizers to migrate tasks directly, the reality is that tasks are almost never active in Glideport.aero for SSA contests. Just look at Perry right now. And honestly, entering a task doesn't really have to be integrated. Entering a task into GP.aero is simple and takes under a minute. Less with a few days of practice. Obviously, see adoption and usage statistics, it was probably not worth the hassle to build this integration.

The key problem (in my view) remains the hodge-podge of various trackers (or no tracker at all) and complete lack of leadership and standards. Here is my report from today:

"---SSA Tracking Report Day 1 Perry---

..............And there off!.............I think? Where are they going? We have no idea. No tasks. Zzzzzzz. And, moving on....in roughly thirty seconds to something useful...

1) No Tasks are programmed into Glideport.aero, so we no idea where they are going.
2) Only about 10% of the gliders have altitude information (Mobile App or InReach). These tracks provide some value at least.
3) 60% of the sailplanes are using Spot trackers (awful). Many of those are updating far less than every 10 minutes.
4) 25%-40% of the competitors appear to have no tracking device, whatsoever...
5) Nico Bennett track is showing up in Perry's 18m class, even though he is flying a long flight in Florida (actually much more interesting than watching Perry as he has a good high quality continuous Mobil track, GO NICO!)

Dismal."

Obviously, todays Perry "tracking experience" was not very exciting, so I stopped almost immediately. But here are some screen shots for each class for reference.

Like 🇦🇺 Australia's SSA (GFA) has shown us, the SSA desperately needs a standardized, unified tracking device for all SSA contest pilots. At present, all the effort that has been put into Glideport.aero is being COMPLETELY WASTED. The SSA needs to require the contest organizers (just as they are required to meet certain guidelines) to take the two minutes necessary to enter the tasks into GP.aero. At the end of the day, successful, well adopted and exciting tracking will come down to the SSAs vision and leadership. So far, the current results are no surprise.

Here are some "riveting" screenshots of the SSAs "state of the art" tracking system from today's Perry Contest on GlidePort.aero (which is an amazing tool...if...the competitors and organizers feed it with good data)...

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0tGWBC59GlHo6c


The integration with WINSCORE IMHO was the way to go as the tasks have to be entered for scoring purposes anyway.

Your statement of 'The SSA needs to require the contest organizers (just as they are required to meet certain guidelines) ...' is hilarious at best. The SSA cannot require this type of action, at best they can encourage. What is the SSA going to do, fire the people, fine them or invalidate the results of the contest? We are fortunate that folks are willing and able to organize and run events and the SSA should not place any more requirements on them then what is absolutely necessary.

Most organizers are concentrated on the logistics of the day, getting everyone off and on the airport safely and keeping equipment in great shape for safety purposes. After that anything else is a bonus.

If you look at the R5 Regional FB page you will see pictures that show their priorities are geared more towards social events and providing a great experience for folks that are attended and paying the entry fee then providing desk chained folks tasks on the tracking map.

If you really want to see this happen put a proposal together for the SSA BOD and ask them to spend part of the ~$22K per year they collect in contest sanctioning fees on tracking hardware and what is needed to ship them around. I am sure if you are willing to coordinator for the first couple of years that would really help.
  #64  
Old April 18th 17, 03:35 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

The SSA already requires its sanctioned contest organizers do several things in order to be sanctioned. Thing such as writing a pilots kit, securing a CD, submitting a budget, buying Costello event insurance, following SSA rules and guidelines, etc. Trust me, this is not a very high bar for an organizer to get over.

These SSA standards are similar to FAI events standards. The FAI also requires certain standards to be met. Same for FAI SGP.

So the quality of the event is generally governed by the organizing authority.

Moving forward, SSA contest organizers should be required to take the two (measly) minutes each day to enter the tasks into Glideport.aero per some new SSA contest guideline/requirement. Or required them to simply use the integration to push the task out of winscore. Or the SSA should designate someone enter tasks for all contests remotely (organizer is required to send that person an email each day with the task). SOMETHING! ANYTHING! It's simply not being done. It needs to be done consistently. Otherwise all the effort in developing Glideport.aero is a complete waste. This requirement would be a wonderful improvement for an SSA organization which (thru its apathetic attitude towards technology) has created (for itself) a sport with an average (and increasing steadily) age of the upper sixties (per almost zero focus on youth for decades now) and is therefore so obscure to outsiders that it's "sport" (are all TATs even a sport or is it more of a pastime, like golf?) is almost impossible to follow, even for people who know exactly what they are looking for, even in today's modern world (well, that is to say modern outside the SSA)...

If the idea of requiring the SSAs tracking investment (Glideport.aero) to be used (properly) by contest organizers hilarious to you, I'm not sure what to say. For me, what is hilarious (and sad) is how ridiculously low the contest organizer bar is being allowed to be. What's hilarious and sad is how poorly the SSA represents itself outside of the the SSA insiders club.

The SSA, IN SO MANY WAYS, needs to raise itself off the floor and to have some respect for itself and it's brand (outside of the good old boy network that controls it).

The first step in improving Glideport.aero tracking for SSA contests is to REQUIRE contest organizers enter the tasks into Glideport.aero. The second is that pilots ensure that their trackers are operating properly. The third is for the general group to actually give a **** and stop walking around in three day old clothes (so to speak).

Clean yourself up SSA! Have some respect for yourself. Care enough to ask the organizers to use your own tracking investment.
  #65  
Old April 18th 17, 03:50 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Posts: 939
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

The SSA already requires prospective contest organizers to do several things in order to be sanctioned. Things such as writing a pilots kit, securing a CD, submitting a budget, buying Costello event insurance, following SSA rules and various other guidelines, etc. Trust me, this is not a very high bar for an organizer to get over. If they fail to do so the SSA will, I assume, refuse to sanction the event. For example: if an organizer used FAI rules (and ditched SSA rules), the event would no longer be sanctioned and an emergency SSA BOD meeting would be immediately called to order to deal with said blasphemy ... ;-)

So, SSA requirements exist. The FAI also requires certain standards to be met. Same for FAI SGP.

So the quality of the event is generally governed and maintained by the organizing authority thru these requirements.

Today, the SSA tracking investment is a miserable failure. In large part due to it not being managed by the contest organizers.

Moving forward, SSA contest organizers should be required to take the two (measly) minutes each day to enter the tasks into Glideport.aero per some new SSA contest guideline/requirement. Or required them to simply use the integration to push the task out of winscore. Or the SSA should designate someone enter tasks for all contests remotely (organizer is required to send that person an email each day with the task). SOMETHING! ANYTHING! It's simply not being done. It needs to be done consistently. Otherwise all the effort in developing Glideport.aero is a complete waste.

Adding this requirement would be a wonderful improvement for an SSA organization which (thru its apathetic attitude towards technology) has created (for itself) a sport with an average (and increasing steadily) age of the upper sixties (per almost zero focus on youth for decades now) and is therefore so obscure to outsiders that it's "sport" (are all TATs contests even a sport? Or are SSA TAT "socials" more of a pastime, like golf?) is almost impossible to follow, even for people who know exactly what they are looking for, even in today's modern world (well, that is to say modern outside the SSA)...

If the idea of requiring the SSAs tracking investment (Glideport.aero) to be used (properly) by contest organizers hilarious to you, I'm not sure what I can say to you. For me, what is hilarious (and sad) is how ridiculously low the contest organizer bar is being allowed to be. What's hilarious and sad is how poorly the SSA represents itself outside of the the SSA insiders club. What is hilarious is how poorly the SSAs tracking system is turning out to be (people, process, technology).

The SSA, IN SO MANY WAYS, needs to raise itself off the floor and to have some respect for itself and it's brand (a focus outside of the anti technology good old boy network that controls it).

The first step in improving Glideport.aero tracking for SSA contests is to REQUIRE contest organizers enter the tasks into Glideport.aero. I'm asking for two minutes day one, 30 seconds a day after). The second is that pilots ensure that their trackers are operating properly. The third is for the general group to actually give a **** and stop walking around in three day old clothes (so to speak).

Clean yourself up SSA! Have some respect for yourself and your investments.. Care enough to ask the organizers to use your own tracking investment.

LEADERSHIP. Where is it?

I should not have to submit a proposal. I'm not an officer of the SSA. These are simple table stakes. Are we inept or are we not?
  #66  
Old April 18th 17, 06:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Posts: 123
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

Next time an Australian race with trackers is on see if you can get nonflying friends or coworkers to sit through it. Let us know how it goes.
On Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 10:50:30 AM UTC-4, Sean Fidler wrote:
The SSA already requires prospective contest organizers to do several things in order to be sanctioned. Things such as writing a pilots kit, securing a CD, submitting a budget, buying Costello event insurance, following SSA rules and various other guidelines, etc. Trust me, this is not a very high bar for an organizer to get over. If they fail to do so the SSA will, I assume, refuse to sanction the event. For example: if an organizer used FAI rules (and ditched SSA rules), the event would no longer be sanctioned and an emergency SSA BOD meeting would be immediately called to order to deal with said blasphemy ... ;-)

So, SSA requirements exist. The FAI also requires certain standards to be met. Same for FAI SGP.

So the quality of the event is generally governed and maintained by the organizing authority thru these requirements.

Today, the SSA tracking investment is a miserable failure. In large part due to it not being managed by the contest organizers.

Moving forward, SSA contest organizers should be required to take the two (measly) minutes each day to enter the tasks into Glideport.aero per some new SSA contest guideline/requirement. Or required them to simply use the integration to push the task out of winscore. Or the SSA should designate someone enter tasks for all contests remotely (organizer is required to send that person an email each day with the task). SOMETHING! ANYTHING! It's simply not being done. It needs to be done consistently. Otherwise all the effort in developing Glideport.aero is a complete waste.

Adding this requirement would be a wonderful improvement for an SSA organization which (thru its apathetic attitude towards technology) has created (for itself) a sport with an average (and increasing steadily) age of the upper sixties (per almost zero focus on youth for decades now) and is therefore so obscure to outsiders that it's "sport" (are all TATs contests even a sport? Or are SSA TAT "socials" more of a pastime, like golf?) is almost impossible to follow, even for people who know exactly what they are looking for, even in today's modern world (well, that is to say modern outside the SSA)...

If the idea of requiring the SSAs tracking investment (Glideport.aero) to be used (properly) by contest organizers hilarious to you, I'm not sure what I can say to you. For me, what is hilarious (and sad) is how ridiculously low the contest organizer bar is being allowed to be. What's hilarious and sad is how poorly the SSA represents itself outside of the the SSA insiders club. What is hilarious is how poorly the SSAs tracking system is turning out to be (people, process, technology).

The SSA, IN SO MANY WAYS, needs to raise itself off the floor and to have some respect for itself and it's brand (a focus outside of the anti technology good old boy network that controls it).

The first step in improving Glideport.aero tracking for SSA contests is to REQUIRE contest organizers enter the tasks into Glideport.aero. I'm asking for two minutes day one, 30 seconds a day after). The second is that pilots ensure that their trackers are operating properly. The third is for the general group to actually give a **** and stop walking around in three day old clothes (so to speak).

Clean yourself up SSA! Have some respect for yourself and your investments. Care enough to ask the organizers to use your own tracking investment.

LEADERSHIP. Where is it?

I should not have to submit a proposal. I'm not an officer of the SSA. These are simple table stakes. Are we inept or are we not?


  #67  
Old April 18th 17, 09:09 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
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Posts: 385
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

On Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 10:50:30 AM UTC-4, Sean Fidler wrote:

Today, the SSA tracking investment is a miserable failure. In large part due to it not being managed by the contest organizers.


Maybe you misunderstand the purpose of the tracker.

I think there is a lot more interest on seeing at a glance who's still flying, who's landed (& where) than watching bug races. The really excellent thing about the tracker as is is that it takes takes one link that works anywhere you happen to be. Very cool & well done Lane and Pedja.

best,
Evan Ludeman / T8

  #68  
Old April 18th 17, 09:42 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

On Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 10:50:30 AM UTC-4, Sean Fidler wrote:
The SSA already requires prospective contest organizers to do several things in order to be sanctioned. Things such as writing a pilots kit, securing a CD, submitting a budget, buying Costello event insurance, following SSA rules and various other guidelines, etc. Trust me, this is not a very high bar for an organizer to get over. If they fail to do so the SSA will, I assume, refuse to sanction the event. For example: if an organizer used FAI rules (and ditched SSA rules), the event would no longer be sanctioned and an emergency SSA BOD meeting would be immediately called to order to deal with said blasphemy ... ;-)


Sean,

In just your latest, admirably brief (relatively speaking--I'm not in a strong position myself on this point) post, you managed to insult or disparage the following 11 groups of people. And I could have missed a few. Some could be instrumental in helping you accomplish what you wish to do. I've certainly had plenty of frustrations regarding rules and policies over the years but I have learned that talking down to people isn't a reliable way to win them over. You make some good points. I don't agree with all of them but I think your objective is to effect change, not achieve uniformity of opinion. Just a suggestion.

1. SSA Board of Directors.
2. Contest organizers.
3. Anyone who doesn't agree that Turn Area Tasks (TATs) should be eliminated completely.
4. Anyone who flies contests partly because of the social aspect.
5. Golfers.
6. SSA members over 65.
7. SSA leadership.
8. Anyone associated with the current SSA tracking system.
9. Anyone who doesn't agree that the future of the SSA turns on technology.
10. Any SSA member who walks around in 3-day-old clothes (whatever that means).
11. Anyone who doesn't agree that watching glider races on an electronic tracking system is a fascinating way to spend time for pilots and non-pilots alike.

Chip Bearden
  #69  
Old April 19th 17, 01:40 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Posts: 111
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

RAS is rapidly becoming "The World According to King Sean."

I am getting tired of it. Sean competes (and pretty well, so kudos.) But he consistently disparages everybody that does not compete, insults anyone with a different opinion than his and insists that "The SSA" use its limited resources to satisfy his demand that "Real-Time Tracking" be required at all contests. Fine, but why does the 98% of the SSA membership have to fund this for the benefit of the 2% that fly contests?

His statement that, without real-time tracking at contests, the effort that went into development of Glideport.aero was "wasted" is an insult to anybody (including myself) that uses Glideport.aero to check on the status of some pilots I know are flying, crews and loved ones that are concerned with the whereabouts of some of our friends during the flying day. This is especially important as the day winds down and there hasn't been any radio contact for a while.

And he needs to realize that his assertion that the development of Glideport.aero was "wasted" is an especially egregious insult to the actual developers of the system. Sean may think it was developed solely as a contest aid, but somehow I doubt it was. In the real world, (i.e. non-competition) it is a valuable tool and convenience for the majority of pilots and crews who use it during daily (i.e., non-competition) flying.
  #70  
Old April 19th 17, 04:21 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tom BravoMike
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Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

"Fine, but why does the 98% of the SSA membership have to fund this for the benefit of the 2% that fly contests?"

Sorry, but using the same logics, why do 99.999999% of Americans have to fund the outer space research for the benefit of the 0.000001% that actually get launched from Cape Canaveral?

One of the answers is: Because it drives progress in so many areas of the modern technological civilization. In a similar way competitions that are broadcast live (almost) have the potential to attract some new fans to the art of soaring, and also help bring together people from the global village, who share the same passion.

I, on my part, support Sean's idea about the logging equipment provided by the SSA to competitors and declare that I would accept an increase of the annual membership fee to achieve that goal, if necessary. How about saving some funds by going totally digital with the "Soaring" magazine?

My understanding of Sean's message is: Let's move on! Let's not give up! Something can be done - let's try it! (((or, if you prefer, "Let's make (soaring in) America great again!)))

Tom BravoMike

 




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