Monday, June 1, 2009

Adding some polish

Now that the main features of VisualQTH seem to be working, I have time to tweak a little bit.

The app currently looks like this:

This shot is taken after manually entering a few stations that are dotted around the world enough to have the map automatically zoom out to essentially its fullest extent. A station in Australia, North America and the UK was sufficient to do this.

Previously, if no station image (QSL card) had been obtainable via QRZ, then the contact would have appeared mostly blank in the contact stack to the right of the map. This isn't much fun, yet many stations have not registered a station image of any sort with the QRZ database. So, in this case I have opted to display the station country's flag - if this can be obtained via geocoding on other available fields. There will still be cases where no country code can be determined from QRZ information, and in this case the log record could be used, or I could encode the callsign prefixes for all countries (an obvious step really), but getting this data together and formatting it may take a little while. In the meantime, the lookup from other QRZ fields seems to be working very well (it's possible the country field is always filled when a callsign query is made against the QRZ database too - I haven't bothered to verify this though).

Image aspect ratio is now preserved for downloaded images. Before this, images were stretched to fit the standard QSL card aspect, which doesn't work with a surprising number of images I've found in the QRZ database!

In this screen shot, you can also see the beginnings of the stats information in the lower portion of the display. So far there's only a simple pie chart for contact counties, but given time there should be other stats. I'm thinking of adding "most distant stations" and "contacts per hour", being metrics that are possibly of interest to observers during field day operating.

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