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20010324: MCGUI presentation of upper air station name on widgets (cont.)



>From: alan anderson <address@hidden>
>Organization: St. Cloud State
>Keywords: 200103232054.f2NKsZL14821 McIDAS-X Fkey MCGUI sounding

Alan,

Alan,

>Looks fine to me.  Anything that allows a more complete listing,
>especially the pairing of  ID#  and city, even if the city is not well
>known (e.g.  chanhassen).

OK.  The objective of the bubble help is to quickly show the info
for a station when a user moves the mouse cursor over the selector button.
One can always see the full list of station information by clicking on
the selector button.  In a previous version of the list, I did not
include all of the information, but I have changed that recently.
A snippit out of the station information file looks like:

72365 KABQ   Albuquerque           NM US   35:02:30  106:36:53  1631
72376  ----  Flagstaff             AZ US   35:14:00  111:49:00  2192
72381 KEDW   Edwards Air Force Ba  CA US   34:55:00  117:54:00   702
72387 KDRA   Mercury               NV US   36:37:14  116:01:40  1007
72389 KFAT   Fresno                CA US   36:46:48  119:43:10   101
72393 KVBG   Vandenberg Air Force  CA US   34:45:00  120:34:00   112
72402 KWAL   Wallops Island        VA US   37:56:26   75:27:47    12
72403 KIAD   Washington DC         VA US   38:56:05   77:26:51    95
72426  ----  Wilmington            OH US   39:25:00   83:49:00   317
72429 KDAY   Dayton                OH US   39:54:22   84:13:07   307
72440 KSGF   Springfield           MO US   37:14:23   93:23:23   386
72451 KDDC   Dodge City            KS US   37:46:22   99:58:11   790
72456 KTOP   Topeka                KS US   39:04:21   95:37:33   268
72469 KDNR   Denver / Stapleton I  CO US   39:47:00  104:52:00  1626
72476 KGJT   Grand Junction        CO US   39:08:02  108:32:19  1481
72489  ----  Reno                  NV US   39:34:00  119:48:00  1463
72493 KOAK   Oakland               CA US   37:43:10  122:14:07     1

This list can be generated at will by each user from the interface.  The
routine that creates the list includes only those stations for which there
are upper air reports.  This process is nice and general, but it takes
more time than I think the user is willing to spend routinely.  It could
also be generated by a cron process at some time after the observation
hour (like 14Z for 12Z data, etc.).  The information included in the list
comes from the master station database, so the informational field (the
column containing items like 'Albuquerque', 'Flagstaff', 'Denver / Stableton I')
is kinda fixed.

>What about a table that shows:  ID#  City (comment)  + balance of info
>now listed where (comment) could reference the larger city that the
>station is near.  and example would show:
>
>                         72649 Chanhassen (Minneapolis) .....
>                         
>or                       72649 Chanhassen (KMSP)  .....
>
>This might not be useful for foreign stations, but would be fine for
>the US.

Unfortunately, the master station database does not include things like
a reference to a better known city proximate to the RAOB station.  In
order to include this, one would have to generate a table that includes
each upper air station in the world and then make a judgement call about
which larger city should be listed for the reporting station.  This might
be not so hard to do for the US stations, but it could be very hard for
international ones.

Since the full station listing contains the STate and COuntry information
for the station, do you think it would be useful to include that in
the button label also?  What I have in mind is:

           +----------------------+
           |   72469 KDNR CO US   |
           +----------------------+

or, perhaps something with more formatting:

           +----------------------+
           |  72469/KDNR (CO US)  |
           +----------------------+

           +----------------------+
           |  68328/FBTS (   BC)  |
           +----------------------+

The inclusion of the STate and COuntry information would at least tell
the user approximately where the station is IF they can figure out the
two letter codes for STate and COuntry (this information is available
from the interface, but in a different location).  The bubble help
would give a quick look at the station's information field, latitude,
longitude, and elevation, and the list box of all stations would show
the same for all of the stations that are available.  The good news in
the list is that the WMO station IDNs are assigned in a manner that
contains information on where the station is located.

By the way, this kind of input from you (and others) _really_ helps
in designing a useful interface.  Please keep telling me how the
present MCGUI should be improved!

>I am checking out for the day.  Going home and build a fire.  Thanks

I think that we will be going out for a hike in a little while.  Talk to
you more on Monday.

Tom


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