From Geohashing

The notification program automatically e-mails users to advise them of each day's coordinates, or to notify them when the coordinates fall in a particular area of a graticule. Users can specify whole graticules or any centicules (hundredth parts) of graticules. It is very useful for people who don't have time to check the coordinates every day, but who would be interested in geohashing, given the right opportunity. It can also be very helpful in quickly identifying accessible hashpoints in graticules which have few of them.

This page is to describe the implementation and testing of the notification program. For discussion, please use the Talk page. Credit goes to Robyn on the original idea.

Alternative Notification Systems

There are a number of limitations with my system (the one on this page). It is harder to figure out how to sign up, and it can take me a little while to make sure people have been added. It also lacks some features (like globalhashes) that I haven't had the time to implement, and is just run on one of my home computers (so unscheduled downtimes can occur). Before taking the time to figure out how to sign up for this service, it might be worthwhile checking out the one(s) in this list first to see if your needs can be met with it.

Please feel free to add any other notification services to this list.

Quick summary

  • 1. Choose a number of "centicules" (there are 100 per graticule) that you're interested in, based on the table below. Centicules MUST be 2-digit numbers.
  • 2. This helpful map tool, made by the ever helpful relet, is a good reference to figure out what centicules you're interested in.
  • 3. EITHER
{| border="1" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0"
| 26 || -80 || 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09  || Comment
| ...
    • b. OR write some text in this format:
26 | 80 | 37 38 39 | | the mall

(the 37 38 39 are centicules you found in the table)

  • 4.Send an email to the geohashingnotifications email address with either:
    • The address of the wiki page you created in option a, and your email address; OR
    • The text in option b. (Aperfectring doesn't insist on that neat format. But be nice to him.)
  • 5. If you don't receive confirmation from the geohashingnotifications email address within a couple of days, send an e-mail to aperfectring through the wiki.

Current Implementation

The current implementation is based off of the tenths digit of the latitude and longitude for the area(s) notification should be generated for. This is your section ID. Take the tenths digit of the latitude, multiply it by ten, and add the tenths digit of the longitude.

e.g. If your coordinates were 26.026599°, -80.196111° then your "notify me" number would be 01. With 26.324963°, -80.845496° it would be 38.

You can also use this table as a reference. The coordinates for W-30 will all notify the same section ID on the same day, and the coordinates for non-W-30 will notify another (possibly different than W-30) section ID. The table is not intended to be placed on top of a graticule and give a reference for the coordinates. If you have any confusion on how to determine your section IDs, contact me.

Long *.9* *.8* *.7* *.6* *.5* *.4* *.3* *.2* *.1* *.0*
*.9* 99 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 91 90
*.8* 89 88 87 86 85 84 83 82 81 80
*.7* 79 78 77 76 75 74 73 72 71 70
*.6* 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60
*.5* 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 50
*.4* 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40
*.3* 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30
*.2* 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20
*.1* 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10
*.0* 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 00

The best reference, however, is this helpful map tool. Made by the ever helpful relet, it is an excellent reference to figure out what centicules you're interested in.

How to sign up

There are two options, the first is a wiki-based option, which is much more fully featured, the second is a much more manual (via e-mail) option.

Either way, the geohashing notifications e-mail address is those two words with no space

General information

You will get an e-mail about any matches. A Section ID of "*" will match any section for that graticule. You may include any number of Section IDs for a single line. When specifying multiple Section IDs, they must be whitespace delimited (amount or type of space between entries does not matter). It is only possible to put one comment per line, so if you want different sections to have different comments, they must have their own line.

I have to add all of these entries by hand, so allow for the fact that it may take me a couple days to get your entry in. Also, please ping me on my talk page so that I get some notification in my normal e-mail.

Wiki option

Note that this format does not require an email address posted on the wiki.

Users of this option will be notified as soon as the notification program can retrieve the coordinates for the day, and will be notified for all coordinates which the Geo::Hashing module is aware of at the time the current day's coordinates become available. The added benefit of this option is greater flexibility in changing what sections you are notified by, the downside is that anyone can see/edit your notification criteria.

I strongly suggest you watch your notification page for edits, and don't post any truly personal information anywhere on the wiki. The wiki pages will be downloaded at approximately 9AM US Eastern time every day, and notifications will go out as soon as the coordinates are available after that.

Any of the previous testers who wish to convert to the new format need only tell me of the page they wish to have their notifications placed on.

The steps to enable this option:

  1. Create a wiki page following the format set out here
  2. E-mail the geohashing notifications address with both your e-mail address and a link to the wiki page you created.

Manual option

This option will be notified at 10:30 AM US Eastern time for the same day for locations west of W30, and for the next day for location east of W30. If enough people bug me, I may add the features from the wiki notification to this one, but that is unlikely. The added benefit of this option is (more) privacy, the downside is that you have to wait for me to make changes or to be removed from the notifications list.

  1. Send an e-mail to the geohashing notifications address with the following information.
  • Latitude of the grat.
  • Longitude of the grat.
  • Section ID(s) (described above)
  • E-mail address
  • Extra notes to include in the notification.

It would be nice, though not necessary, to put it into this format:

26 | 80 | 37 | | the mall

26 | 81 | * | | home grat

26 | 79 | 15 16 | | sister's house

Requests for those participating

All of these rules are not hard and fast laws, but more of I would really appreciate you to follow them.

  • Notify me (email or IRC) if you see any notification problems. These include:
    • Getting a whole lot more information in your e-mail than what is listed below.
    • Getting a notification when the coordinates don't match your section ID.
    • Not getting a notification when the coordinates do match your section ID.
    • The coordinates in the e-mail do not match the actual coordinates for the day.
  • Make suggestions on improving the system. If there is a quirk of the system which you don't like, let me know!
  • Please don't blame me if the coordinates in the notification send you a non-official location, and you do not ensure that the coordinates are valid before venturing to the wrong location. DO, however, blame me/the code about the initial erred coordinates, and make sure I am aware of the error.

I have done my best to try to make sure the coordinates will be correct. However, I am but a human, and could easily have made a mistake.

How many people are using it?

As of 2009-06-09:

Currently there are 18 people, including my debug registration, registered for the preferred wiki format.

There are also 19 people, including my debug registration, registered on the static list.

This makes for 35 actual people registered for notifications.

How to contact Aperfectring in case of questions or issues

Below is a list of the best ways to get a hold of me, in order from best to worst:

  • Post your question or issue on this page, or on the talk page (discussion tab above).
  • I am in the #geohashing channel most evenings US Pacific time. Pop in and ask, or send me a MSG if you prefer.
  • Send an e-mail to the geohashing notifications address. I try to check it a couple times a week, but sometimes it is less often.
  • Send an e-mail using the "mail to user" setup on the wiki.

Testing Effort

I wish to thank all of the people who participated in the testing effort, and especially to those who provided suggestions for improvement.

Future Enhancements

Implemented Enhancements

  • Notification for the whole weekend as soon as it becomes available.
  • Status: Implemented only for the wiki format. --aperfectring 01:22, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
  • It's slightly annoying that after I have received Friday, Saturday & Sunday notifications on Friday, I get Saturday and Sunday again on Saturday and then Sunday again on Sunday. I can see cases where this would be the desired behaviour, but ideally I would like to be able to turn this off with a notify of weekend coordinates once vs. notify of weekend coordinates each day option. -Robyn 17:54, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
  • The complexities with this come with holidays. For the weekends it could be implemented by me just not running the program on saturday or sunday mornings. --aperfectring 13:43, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Most days I would be perfectly satisfied reeiving double notification on Dow Holidays, just not receiving the extra notifications on Saturday and Sunday, but you'd need to make sure that someone who joined on a Saturday still got their weekend points. And some people may still prefer to get the daily mail. -Robyn 22:46, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I would like to prevent the multiple notification on all accounts if possible. I think it would be acceptable to not notify people until monday if their request gets processed over the weekend. The main reason being that it is still a manual process to add people to the list, and many times I forget to check on weekends. If I make a way to automatically process requests, I will set it up to immediately send all available coordinates starting with the current date (by server time) to the user only before adding them to the list. --aperfectring 23:07, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I have implemented this option. --aperfectring 20:45, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't get any notifications except for the current day. This last weekend, I didn't get anything until I got a message on Sunday. Jiml 20:17, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
  • The weekend at once option is only for users of the wiki format. --aperfectring 20:45, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Requests for future enhancements

  • Automatic processing of notification request e-mails so Aperfectring doesn't have to code them by hand
  • Status: If a requester uses the wiki format, they can add or remove notifications without any interaction by me, beyond the initial inclusion of the e-mail/wiki address combo. If they use the other format, and provide it in the requested syntax, then it requires minimal effort for me. --aperfectring 01:22, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
  • A cool interface (or any interface) to help determine (and submit?) notification requests.
  • Note: Working with Zigdon and his mapping tool would probably be the best approach here. --Aperfectring 03:57, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Note 2: Rhonda is working on a prototype, but it is gone in July 2010. -Robyn 17:54, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Note 3: JesseW has written one; it's now under the "cent" link on all graticle pages. JesseW 11:17, 9 May 2012 (EDT)
  • Automatic way to remove notifications once you no longer want them.
  • Status: Implemented only for the wiki format. --aperfectring 01:22, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
  • "Only tell me if it's also a Saturday" option.
  • A way to query the system to find out what notification requests the user has on file.
  • Note: If this is intended as a way of confirming if the notification was mistakenly not sent, then there are some assumptions which can be made: 1. If using the wiki option, all notifications should be out by 10AM US EST, usually before, the older format, 10:45AM. The notification program typically runs fairly quickly, only taking a matter of seconds to parse through the whole list of notifications, which contains over 100 test entries for myself. --aperfectring 01:22, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
It was intended as a way of remembering "did I already set up a notification for Steve's place?" -Robyn 04:22, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Note: I have a way to manually get this info by logging into the account, and checking the sent mail. It also should be trivial enough (when I get to it) to dump the email addresses receiving notifications into a file.
  • A link in the e-mail to the peeron app or to Google maps with the day's coordinate marked.
  • Request globalhash notifications, with a user-defined threshold parameter of number of kilometres or graticules from a user-specified graticule, and a distinctive subject line. -Robyn 03:21, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Current work

  • I don't have a current work item, but I think my next one might be to add a link to either google maps, or the peeron map in the e-mails. It might also be the globalhash implementation.

Source Code

The source code is available as a part of the pygeohashing module.

Bug reports

Please report any bugs to the github code repository.

Fixed Bugs

It's Friday, but I received only one notification today. I was expecting three. -Robyn 18:17, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. I only got one day's worth of notification as well. I have an idea of what happened, though. Perhaps the June 20's DOW opening was posted a little later than June 19's. If that happened, when it went to go look for the next day's coordinates, it saw they weren't there, and assumed it was just a weekday, and exited. I will try running the notification program manually when I get home, to see if the problem persists, if so, that theory is wrong, if not, then I will assume that was the problem, and code in a workaround for it. --aperfectring 18:28, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
It looks like the problem was the nut loose behind the wheel. When I added someone's data in, I put in a bad address, and the program would hang. I have fixed the bad address, and will try to think of a way to prevent it from happening again. --aperfectring 15:46, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I received a notification with no data today. It read:

Notification for the location 49, -123
These coordinate fall in section: 0
Message: your coordinates

The coordinates are not at 00. --Robyn

I got the same error. I think this may have been caused by the coordinates not being available at the time the notification program ran. My test program, which runs an hour later, picked up the coordinates just fine. I will push the first program back by 30 mins to help prevent this from happening again. A future fix might be to automatically delay sending out any notifications if it detects that the coordinates aren't available yet. --aperfectring 00:48, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Myself, I'd rather get them earlier but very rarely null, than later but almost never null. -Robyn.
I plan on working on a solution to the problem this weekend, and using it officially in about a week. So making the notification later is just a stopgap until that is done. Since I am still testing out my wiki-parsing algorithm, I would really like to have the good coordinates sent. As it stands now, the coordinates should be sent out approx. 1 hour after they are available, and if I get this fix in, they will be sent approx. the same time as the map. --aperfectring 02:01, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
The fix was to add error checking to the coordinate retrieval. The flat-file format will be notified at 10:30AM US EST, the wiki format, as soon as the coordinates become available. --aperfectring 22:08, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm in Australia, so East of -30°. My emails give me the correct geohash coordinates, but the map shows me the previous days -30° geohash. I'm not sure if it's always done that - certainly has all this week. Ged3000 15:13, 14 January 2013 (EST)

I think I found the issue. The link was excluding the date, and that probably caused the server to assume its local time. I included the date in the link, and hopefully that will address the issue. I will keep an eye on the logs over the next couple days, but I would appreciate if you would as well and let me know if it looks fixed on your end (assuming you get an e-mail before I move this to fixed). --aperfectring 21:17, 14 January 2013 (EST)
I checked the logs the last 2 days, and it appears that the image links being sent point to the correct locations. I am moving this to fixed until someone says otherwise. --aperfectring 23:52, 16 January 2013 (EST)

I am in the Pacific time zone of the USA. My notification today (2015-08-21) reports centicule 40, but all other sources point to centicule 78 for locations west of -30. (East of -30 is in centicule 98.) - Bravissimo594 (talk) 11:16, 21 August 2015 (EDT)