Mention PAT in Comments, please.

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Jun 22, 2022, 1:31:17 PM6/22/22
to pat-users
Dear PAT community,

please mention PAT in the form comments. Here's why:

We recently conducted a SoCal Shifting 2022 exercise.
The focus was on GIS enabled forms (DYFI, Check-in, Field Situation Report, Check-out).

We noticed some key differences in message handling between WLE and PAT generated messages:

1. PAT initiated messages do not generate a mappable FormData.txt as far as we can tell.
2. Due to 1. PAT messages will not be mapped in WLE, nor exported to CSV or KML, making the messages unavailable in summaries and postprocessing dashboards unless they are manually added.

With exercises and drills generating large traffic volumes, for example, 370+ messages in this relaxed exercise, it is understandable that net controls/traffic stations/served agencies use the WLE mapping and CSV export as an aggregator tool.

That also means that there is an increased chance that PAT generated messages are overlooked, which is something no agency or net control or traffic or sending station wants.

So please, may I suggest that you mention PAT in the Form Comments. 
Net controls/traffic stations can do some post processing if they know what to look for.
To a net control/traffic stations PAT generated messages look identical to WLE (unless one checks the attachments of each and every message) but they do read the comments, so a heads up in comments helps.

Thank you for your attention and keep up the great work.

73 de Oliver K6OLI

Jun 22, 2022, 4:21:14 PM6/22/22
to, pat-users
I wonder if you have tested with most recent version?
I don't have issues with Winlink users seeing my messages but I don't use the forms tool often.
Can you point to a ticket on Github for Pat for this issue?

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Jun 22, 2022, 5:10:09 PM6/22/22
to pat-users

It is not a technical issue, it is an operational one.

PAT originated messages show fine in Winlink Express Viewer. 
Also, the DYFI JSON, for example,  is read and parsed by USGS and VCCOMM, for example, without any issue.

The challenge lies with more and more net controls using the GIS capabilities in WLE to aggregate GIS enabled messages. And there being no FormData.txt in PAT generated messages, as far as I can tell, there is a chance the messages will be overlooked - just like there is a greater chance that messages without LAT/LON are being overlooked.
This will not matter to hobbyists and occasional users. But it will matter when stations are trying to provide ground truths during disasters, where data aggregation is widely practiced.

By simply typing "PAT" in the comments in any GIS enabled form, for example, PAT users could alert any traffic station/net control to take a second look and to make sure the message is handled. In our exercise we were lucky that the station stood out - positively - for other reasons and we looked more closely at his traffic. 

I only want to give PAT users a heads up to make sure that their messages are received and read when they are taking part in large exercises/events and the when the receiving side is aggregating GIS forms. That's all it is.
73 de Oliver K6OLI

Wiley Sanders

Jun 23, 2022, 2:01:24 PM6/23/22
to pat-users

I have had no problems getting my forms accepted by the Winlink Thursday exercises. Or at least they show up on the results maps, which is all we are allowed to see. Maybe you can check to see what the Winlink Thursday people are doing? 

Wiley KF6IIU

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