SpotWalla.com will be upgraded on Monday, January 16, 2012 between the hours of 11:00PM and 1:00AM America/Chicago time. I don't anticipate this upgrade will take long - perhaps 30 minutes or less. Of course, if issues arise, it may take longer.
Here's what's in store for this upgrade:
- A new polling scheme will be used for all SPOT devices. The new scheme will allow those devices that are active to be polled every 10 minutes for new messages. The longer a device is inactive, the longer its polling interval becomes.
- You will be able to associate two picture URLs with any location - one URL to a small, thumbnail picture and another URL to a larger version. This will allow your trip, location, widget and family viewers to see pictures along the way.
- In addition to speed data, SpotWalla will now calculate each location's bearing from the previous location.
New Polling SchemeSo I'm excited about the new polling scheme for SPOT devices which will allow active devices to be polled at 10-minute intervals. The longer a device is inactive, the longer its polling interval becomes. For the purpose of this discussion an active device is one with new messages. An inactive device is one without new messages.
There are five different polling intervals:
- 10-minute: This is the polling interval for active devices. When a device in this polling interval is inactive for 24 intervals (~240 minutes), it moves down to the 20-minute polling interval.
- 20-minute: Devices in this polling interval are polled every 20 minutes. When a device in this interval is inactive for 10 intervals (~200 minutes), it moves down to the 30-minute polling interval. When a device in this polling interval becomes active, it moves up to the 10-minute polling interval.
- 30-minute: Devices in this polling interval are polled every 30 minutes. When a device in this interval is inactive for 12 intervals (~360 minutes), it moves down to the 40-minute polling interval. When a device in this polling interval becomes active, it moves up to the 10-minute polling interval.
- 40-minute: Devices in this polling interval are polled every 40 minutes. When a device in this interval is inactive for 16 intervals (~640 minutes), it moves down to the 60-minute polling interval. When a device in this polling interval becomes active, it moves up to the 10-minute polling interval.
- 60-minute: Devices in this polling interval are polled every 60 minutes until they become active and move up to the 10-minute polling interval.
Whenever a device's configuration is changed in SpotWalla, the device moves into the 10-minute polling period.
Locations & PicturesYou can associate two picture URLs with each location. A small, thumbnail picture URL such as this:
And a URL to another bigger picture such as this:
When a location on a map has associated picture URLs, two things happen. First, a small camera icon appears next to the location. Second, the small picture is displayed in the pop-up window when the viewer clicks the icon. If the small picture is clicked in the pop-up window, the larger picture is displayed in a new window/tab.
It's important to note that, at least at this point, SpotWalla is not storing your photos. This functionality simply allows you to associate images that you've stored somewhere on the web with your locations. You can store the photos anywhere, but we're fans of the good folks at SmugMug.com.
Location BearingA location's bearing is essentially your direction of travel. It's measured in degrees from true north and will be a value between 0° and 359°. It's measured by drawing a line between the current and previous locations and measuring the angle of that line from true north - think of a line that runs straight up and down from the north pole to the south pole. The bearing calculation also has a directional component that helps identify the North, East, South, and West direction. For instance, if you're traveling straight north, your bearing will read 0° N. If you're traveling in a south westerly direction, your bearing may be 225° SW.
Bearings calculations, like speed calculations, are performed at some point after the message arrives in SpotWalla. The time required to perform the calculation could take as little as a few seconds or as long as 15 minutes. For the next 30 or so days, SpotWalla will be making historical bearing calculations on the 4 million plus messages that already exist in the system. So please be patient while this process churns through the data.