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    Overview
    Category Search Coordinate Search Special Searches Search Results
    Dossier Location LogTrip Planner
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    Overview
    One of the most useful features of the Locator is the ability to search the database by various categories and by latitude and longitude coordinates. The single search engine provides both of these features. To perform a search the user enters values in the various categories then clicks the "Search" button to search. After a search is complete the results are displayed below the form where you entered your values, with the results grouped by region. If there are no matching results you will see a message saying so.

    Overview
    Category Search Coordinate Search Special Searches Search Results
    Dossier Location LogTrip Planner
    Top of the Page

    Category Search
    There are seven categories in which you can provide search parameters...
    • Continent
    • Country
    • Region
    • City
    • Site Name
    • Aircraft Type
    • Scope
    The "Continent" and "Country" categories are self-explanatory. The "Region" category is used to provide a value representing a province, state or territory. The "City" category can be used for a major metropolitan center down to a neighborhood. The "Site Name" category is used to search for the name of a museum, a park or a legion hall for example. The "Aircraft Type" category is used to they aircraft model you are looking for, for example F-86, C-130 or Spitfire. The "Scope" category is used to indicate whether you want currently existing sites, or to expand the search to include closed sites or sites without aircraft.

    Continent: This is a drop down box with all of the continents in the database listed there.
    Country, Region, City and Site Name: These categories are all edit boxes where you only need to type part of the name to obtain a match. For example "Cana" will suffice for "Canada".
    Type: This category allows you to specify more than one type. For example if you wanted to ensure you were finding the locations with all variations of the F-86 you might enter "F-86, Canadair Sabre, CAC Sabre". You can look for multiple types in the same search, for example "CF-100, C-130, B-17".
    Scope: This is a drop down menu selection. The Scope option "Open" is used to specify only locations with aircraft currently displayed. The option "Closed" is used to indicate; sites which formally displayed aircraft, the previous names of a location when there has been a name change, and alternate site names. The option "Out" is for aviation themed locations which don't display aircraft, or include only gliders, missiles or space related artifacts. For example this might include a museum with artifacts but no aircraft. Another example could be a missile displayed in a park. The scope categories are compounded layers where a value of "Open" only finds the current locations, however a scope value of "Closed" includes locations specified as Open and Closed. Likewise a scope value of "Out" includes Open, Closed and Out specifications.

    To carry out a category search enter values in one or more categories and click the Search button. Values entered in multiple categories imply conditions which all must be met by a location to be listed. If your chosen options result in no listings by the search engine try elminating options to be less restrictive and search again. You may also want to click the Reset button after completing one search and before starting another. This ensures you start fresh and don't have any values in any of the catories left over which might prevent your search for executing correctly.

    If the search provides no results the scope value is increased in scope (Open to Closed, or Closed to Out) and the search automatically tried again. This automatic re-search is done until a result is obtained or until a scope value of Out has been tried.



    Overview
    Category Search Coordinate Search Special Searches Search Results
    Dossier Location LogTrip Planner
    Top of the Page

    Coordinate Search
    Geographic points on Earth are referenced using the measurements degrees, minutes and seconds in the north/south direction (lines of latitude) and in the east/west direction (lines of longitude). Lines of latitude run parallel to the equator. Latitude is measured between the poles with a total of 180 degrees. The equator is at 0 degrees, the north pole is at +90 degrees and the south pole is at -90 degrees. Lines of longitude run between the north and south poles. Longitude is measured around the equator in 360 degrees from -180 degrees, to 0 to 180 degrees. The line of 0 degrees longitude passes through through the U.K., Spain and North Western Africa. The line of 180 degrees longitude, the date line, passes through the North Eastern tip of Russia and the Fiji Island chain in the Pacific Ocean.

    The edit box labeled "Coordinates or Address" allows the user to specify a location by providing a latitude and longitude values in degrees, minutes and seconds, or with a degree value in floating point/decimal notation. The format strictly used by the Locator databases is degrees, minutes and seconds, for example 12 34 56.87 N 123 45 12.34 W, although you can enter coordinates in your preferred format. As you can see with the example, degrees and minutes values are specified by integers while seconds are floating point (decimal). All must be positive values only. Degrees of latitude can be from 0 to 90 and degrees of longitude can be from 0 to 180 (no decimal values for either). Minutes of latitude and longitude can be from 0 to 60 (60 minutes in a degree, no decimal values). Seconds of latitude and longitude (60 seconds in a minute, decimal values permitted) can be from 0.0 up to, but not including 60.0. The northern and southern hemispheres can be indicated by including N and S text, while the eastern and western hemispheres indicated with the E and W text. When executing a coordinate search you are actually looking for locations stored in the Locator which are near-by the location indicated by the latitude and longitude coordinates.

    To indicate what is consider near, You must provide a range value with the units specified in the drop down box to the right as kilometres (km) or miles (mi). The search algorithm actually uses a square pattern with the coordinate value you provide at the centre of the square as opposed to a circle which the range value may imply, however the square pattern is considered good enough.

    If the search provides no results the range value is increased by 10 kilometres (or 6 miles) and the search is reattempted automatically. This range increase is repeated until results are obtained.

    Note that if you don't know have coordinates you can right click on any of the Aerial Visuals maps to obtain coordinates. Also the box used for providing coordinates will accept a street address if written in a standard format (123 Wayward St, Big Place, Ontario, Canada).



    Overview
    Category Search Coordinate Search Special Searches Search Results
    Dossier Location LogTrip Planner
    Top of the Page

    Special Searches
    As new specialized search features are added to the Locator the documentation of how to use them may be found here.

    Radar Search: No, this search does not actually use radar! (insert smile here) This is a search that looks for locations within a certain proximity of your current physical location, which is analogous to a radar station looking for objects within a range around the station. This feature works by asking your computer for it's IP (internet protocol) address, then uses that address to submit to a free geo-service which then converts that address into lattitude and longitude coordinates. By clicking the radar icon a Decimal Search will be carried out and the results presented. Keep in mind the process used to find your physical location is not precise (when tested it was off from the true location by 20 kms and for others using the same service provider it could be off by more). This should not be an issue for most people as an approximation is close enough, but to counter this noticable error a large range is used (100 km). After the search you can adjust the range and units of measurement (km or mi) to suit you and click the "Search" button to have the results readjusted. It should also be noted that if your IP address can not be obtained, or if the geo-service can't convert your IP to a physical location then the radar icon will not be displayed.



    Overview
    Category Search Coordinate Search Special Searches Search Results
    Dossier Location LogTrip Planner
    Top of the Page

    Search Results
    Search results are grouped by region. At the top of each grouping you will find the continent, country and region displayed on the left side. In addition a link is provided which performs a category search just for that region. If the search results represent the entire listing for that region a link is provided which allows the user the ability to contribute information for a location not in the database for that region. On the right side of this header is the completeness indicator "Region Coverage". A green value of good indicates that resonable effort has been expended to research the location of all aviation sites in that region. This is not a guarantee everything is listed, but the filling of potential gaps is where the contributions of the users come in. An orange value of "Needs Improvement" indicates dedicated research of this region has not yet taken place and gaps in the database are likely to exist. The grouping header is then followed a listing of locations where there is one location for each row and the data is

    The columns containing the information for each location displayed are described here...

    City: Up to five names in this column are displayed, separted by commas. The first name displayed indicates a major centre like Ottawa, working down to a borough like Kanata and finally a neighborhood like Shirleys Bay. Military bases and airport names will be included in this category.

    Location Name: The name of the museum or park or similar site. This column may be blank. In the cases of museums or oganizations with websites this name will be a clickable link to the respective website.

    Photos: If there is an Aerial Visuals photo album for the location, a link will be provided here. In the case of multiple albums, multiple links will be provided. If the photo album represents a single visit or a feature album containing multiple visits a icon is used for the link. The links may also be text based.

    Dossier: This section provides a link into the Dossier for this particular location. The dossier provides the details for the location. This part of the Locator is a work-in-progress and will eventually include aircraft serial number, a photo history of the aircraft at that location, etc. Right now the Dossier provides the various sites which make up the location which can be quite useful when aircraft are distributed wides at various sites (Lakeland AFB for example). For more details on the dossier, please refer to the dossier section on this page.
    The dossier links also indicate the accuracy of the aircraft locations on the maps contained within. They are described as follows...
    - The full bright green status bar indicates the dossier maps are considered exact, i.e. "X Marks the Spot".
    - The dark green partial status bar indicates the dossier maps are considered somewhat in question but reliable.
    - The dark red/brown mid-point status bar indicates the dossier maps accurancy are in question, i.e. somewhat of an educated guess.
    - The bright red low level status bar indicates the dossier maps do not necessarily indicate there is little confidence in the map reference provided (although this is often the case), but rather indicates the location may be a in the city/town/village where the map reference points.

    For more information about using the dossiers see the "Dossiers" section on this page.

    Description: This is a flexible category. It is often used to provide some general comments (for more details you should look to see if a Comment Log has been created for this site). The description section will also provide a list of aircraft at each site where the number of aircraft is less than 30 airframes. For those greater than 30 the quantity is simply indicated. In the case of multiple sites each site will start with a letter (A, B, etc.) followed by a hyphen, followed by the number of aircraft and the listing. Aircraft quantities under 10 will indicate the exact number of aircraft and quantities over 10 will indicate an approximate number like 10+, 20+, etc. Not all airframe types may be listed, and if not feel free to provide information to complete the list by clicking the red or blue links. When there is more than one airframe type at a location this is indicate by the multiplication symbol. For example if there are two Sabres at a site you will see 2x F-86 in the listing. This column is also used to notify you of specific requests for assistance or information to help make the data for the location more complete. The requests are usually preceeded by the text "Need Help".

    Help: This column provides links to the Locator assistance/data submission form. Links to this form are provided via the red and blue icons. There is little difference between these icons. The blue icon indicates Aerial Visuals is assuming there is little more information that can be added to improve the information for this location, however the link is provided anyway since often users make unexpected contributions which greatly improve the database. In the case of there being a site where the map link is or the help link will be a which should help draw the userís attention to the fact that assistance is requested for this location.

    Tools: There are a number of utilities which are available to each location. These tools are explained here.
    Near Search: This tool provides a link to a coordinate search with a default range of 50 km (30 mi). The coordinates for the center of the search are the coordinates of this location. By clicking the link you are then provided with a list of locations near-by the original location of interest this of course includes the original location of interest. This feature is useful when you are visiting one location but are not aware of locations in surrounding area.
    Link Search/Generator: Each location has a link which performs a seach for that location only. This simply reduces the search results to this one location and includes the link to this location in the browser's address bar.
    Add to the Location Log: Each location has a log in which users can make entries so that all users may have the benefit of reading the log entries. This is intended as a way for users to share tips and knowlege about the various locations and aircraft at those locations. For a user to make a log entry they must be logged in (see the in the top-left corner of any Aerial Visuals page to log in). The link takes the user to a page where a log entry can be made. If the user has not logged in previously they will be redirected to the login page, then provided to the opportunity to return to their search results where they make click the link again.
    Read the Location Log: Any user can read the entries in a location log. This link takes the user to a page where the log entries entered by other users may be read. If no entries have been made there will be no link.

    For more information about making log entries see the "Location Log" section on this page.

    Search Results Map: The single most important feature of the Locator is the ability to provide users with maps to the various locations. The last section in the Locator search engine page is the map which plots all of the currently open locations listed in the search results. If there are no search results or no current open locations in the search results no map will be provided. These plots appear as location status bar markers using the same indication system as the status bars in the Dossier links (i.e. full bright green, partial dark gree, partial dark red and low bright red). A single click on the marker will provide an info window with some details of this particular location. The map is a Google Map and can be navigated and used in the same way any generic Google Map is used. Note the maps in Aerial Visuals can be used to obtain coordinates. To read how visit the Map Tools page.



    Overview
    Category Search Coordinate Search Special Searches Search Results
    Dossier Location LogTrip Planner
    Top of the Page

    Dossiers
    Location Summary: This is a general overview section providing much the same information as is provided in the Locator search results. This information is provided to identify the location of this particular Dossier.

    Location Map: This map plots the various sites of the location of this dossier. As with other maps the plot markers are accuracy indicators indicating the confidence level in the position accuracy of the markers. The markers are full bright green, partial dark green, partial dark red and low bright red. A high level of confidence is indicated by the full bright green while a low level of confidence is indicated by the low bright red. The map is a Google Map and can be navigated and used in the same way any generic Google Map is used. Note the maps in Aerial Visuals can be used to obtain coordinates. To read how visit the Map Tools page.

    Site List: This is a listing of the various sites at the location. Details of the sites are listed here.

    Coordinates: This section is used to provide the lattitude and longitude coordinates of the site. This feature is only available to registered users of Aerial Visuals who are logged in. To register simply login by clicking the "Login" Lancaster icon in the top left corner of any Aerial Visuals page. Registration is free.

    Error: The map icon, which is not a link, simply indicates the accuracy of the coordinates provided.

    Notes / Airframe Types: This section is used to provide the airframe quantity and types at this particular site. This is the same information as is provided in Locator search results.

    Future Features: The Dossier is a more detailed description of the Location and the aircraft it contains. In cases where the information is known a Dossier provides model and serial numbers of the aircraft. It is hoped in the future there will be links to individual aircraft histories and perhaps a photo history of the airframes where Aerial Visuals users can submit photos for others to view. If you would like to make a suggestion of a feature which could be added contact Aerial Visuals.



    Overview
    Category Search Coordinate Search Special Searches Search Results
    Dossier Location LogTrip Planner
    Top of the Page

    Location Log
    Locator users have the ability to post messages that other users may view. These postings are entries in logs, one log for each location. As described above you can view and/or contribute to a log by clicking the or the icon links.

    When viewing the log you can choose to make an entry simply by clicking the "Make a Log Entry" button. Also when viewing, and already logged into Aerial Visuals, you can choose to edit one of your previous log entries by clicking the "Edit" link for that entry.

    You have the ability to be notified of any new postings in a Location Log. You first must be logged into Aerial Visuals. When you see the red mail box this means you are currently not on the email distribution for that log. If you then click that mail box it will change to a green mail box . This means you are now on the distribution for that Location. Click on the green box again and it will turn red again indicating you have been removed from the distribution.

    When viewing the log the messages are arranged in order of oldest first (at the top) to the most recent at the bottom. When you are making a log entry the order is reversed so the most recent posting it closest to the edit box. When you are finished writing your log entry click the "Submit" button and you will then be able to view your entry in the location log.

    If you would like to see a listing of the latest postings to all of the Location Logs visit the Location Log Forum.



    Overview
    Category Search Coordinate Search Special Searches Search Results
    Dossier Location LogTrip Planner
    Top of the Page

    Trip Planner
    The Locator Travel Planner (TP) is a suite of pages that work with the Locator database. The purpose of the TP is to provide the user the ability to select a number of Locator locations to visit then allow them to plan a road trip route providing the ability to alter suggested routes, insert additional objectives (this feature was created with our spouses and children in mind) and publish the route on the TP Community page so you can share it with others. The TP provides you with distance and timing information for each leg of the trip along with a map. Details of the objective and way points and a map are also provided when the necessary information is available. In addition any of the community trips and your own private view trips may be printed so you can take them on the road with you.

    To view routes planned and published by other users go to the Locator then click on the link for the Travel Planner Community link in the Locator navigation bar. At the bottom of the page you can view a list of the planned trips and you have the ability to filter and alter the order of the listing to suit your purposes.

    The following are the steps you can follow to plan a trip...

    #1: Log in to Aerial Visuals. To do so click the Lancaster icon in the top left corner of any page on this site. Your email is your username. If you have not logged in previously you can create a password at this login page or have it emailed to you.

    #2: Go to the Locator search page to start.

    #3: Each Locator page has Locator navigation menu just below the header graphic at the top of the page. You should be able to see the options Travel Manager and Travel Planner Community. Click the link for the manager.

    #4: Start your first trip by clicking on the "Create New Trip Plan" button.

    #5: Change the name of the new trip to something like "Aviation Odessy - Day 1". Keep it hidden for now, i.e. don't make it public until you have finished planning the route and you consider it presentable. When you are done planning and are ready to share you can come back to the manager page and make it public so it may be viewed in the community page. Click the Save Changes button.

    #6: If this is the first trip you have created it will be selected in the "Add To" category. If you create more than one trip you need to come to this page and select the trip you want to add locations to then click the Save Changes button.

    #7: Go back to the Locator search page by clicking the Search Now link at the top of the page or look for the Locator link in the site navigation menu along the top-left side of the page.

    #8: Carry out a search as you normally would to find your locations of interest. For assistance with this read the sections "Category Search" and "Coordinate Search" above. I recommend searching a state or province to start with as it give you many possibilities to choose from and the map helps you envision a route.

    #9: In the search results for each location displayed you will see something like a shopping basket with a small map icon in the basket. Click the icon and you will see a pop-up which indicates this location has been added to your trip. The pop-up should close on it's own, but some browsers need help with this.

    #10: Try clicking the location markers. When you click these markers a dialog will appear with a link which indicates you can add that location to your trip. This is the recommend method of adding location to your trip as it is more intuitive. In addition to the Locator search results and the map markers dialogs the Dossiers also have the shopping basket link.

    #11: Surf the Locator. Add the locations you would like to visit BUT ALSO CONSIDER ADDING LOCATIONS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO VISIT BUT MAY NOT HAVE THE TIME, ETC. These can remain as Points of Interest and will appear in leg maps to remind you of a secondary objective in the area if you happen to have time to spare.

    #12: When you are done choosing locations to visit go back to the Travel Manager page and click the Edit button for your trip. You can always return to the Locator search engine to find and add more locations, then return to editting your trip.

    #13: All the locations you have selected so far (assuming you have done no editting so far) will appear in the Unallocated drop down box and are also known as Points of Interest. The locations remain as Points of Interest until they are promoted to the Star Point, Objectives, Way Points or the End Point.

    #14: You can also create additional Points of Interest, which then may be promoted, like shopping malls, etc. This is where consideration for your travel companions comes in. To do so look at the Create New Point section. Enter the latitude and longitude coordinates or street address under Address or Coordinates box. Give it a name in the Name or Description box. Click the Create button. You will then find your new point created as a Point of Interest. The Trip Planner uses Google Maps to convert street addresses to latitude and longitude coordinates, so most street address formats are accepted. Well known restaurant and hotel names, etc. may also be accepted.

    #15: The first step is to create a start point. Aerial Visuals suggests you don't use your home address or any other private information as you may wish to make this trip public. You can pick a local mall or other public place to create a Point of Interest to then promote as a start point or just pick one of the Objectives as a start point. Once you have decided which Point of Interest will be your start point in the Unallocated Points list (Points of Interest list) select your start point and click the Promote button. You will then see the point appear as the Start Point as the first point in the trip.

    #16: If you don't like your choice of a start point you can return it to the Points of Interest list by clicking the Demote button for it in the order.

    #17: You will see that your start point has an Arrival Time. This is really the start time for the trip. When you add other points you will not be able to edit the arrival time as these are determined for you. The format is hours:minutes. The initial start time is just a best-guess, 8 AM, so you will need to change it to suit your needs. To do so simply edit the value in the box maintaining the same format and click one of the Save Changes buttons.

    #18: Each point you promote to the order after the Start Point will have an On-Site Time. This is an estimate based on the number of aircraft at that location. Way Points assume initial values of zero, however you can change these values if you would like to add some buffer time to your trip. Perhaps you are building in a stop for lunch and you need more time, etc.

    #19: Each Point of Interest you promote to the order will appear as the next point to visit. This holds true until you promote a point as the End Point (a hotel, restaurant, camp grounds, etc.). After you add an End Point you can still promote Points of Interest to the order as Objectives but the Trip Planner will need to make a best guess of where in the trip you intended to place the Objective. You may then to move the point around in the order to suit you.

    #20: To move points in the order change the No Move value in the drop down box to an up or down value then click the corresponding Move button.

    #21: If you make any leg description, start time or on-site time changes, you can save these changes by clicking Save Changes button. Clicking the Move, Demote, Create and Promote buttons also save changes before taking the appropriate actions.

    #22: All routes are initially chosen by Google Maps. Now let's say you don't like the route Google Maps has given you and you would like to alter it. Perhaps it has directed you down a toll road and you would like an alternate route. To do this create one or more Way Points along the route you would like to take and you can do so by zooming in on the map and right-click a point in the road you would like to pass by. You will see the familiar coordinates, but also a link to include that point as a Waypoint. Click the Waypoint link and voila! This feature is intended for use after you have specified an End Point. If you use this feature before you specify an End Point the Trip Planner will simply add your Way Point to the end of the order which may not be what you had in mind. You can also add way points in the reviewer. To do so click the Trip Review button. You will be taken to a page where there is a map for each leg. Find the map for the leg where you want to insert a Way Point and follow the same right-click process already described. This method will ensure the Way Point is insert in the leg you wish thus removing the old leg and creating two new legs on either side of the new Way Point.

    #23: You will notice that as you add points to the order and move them around in the order, the distances and timings are automatically recalculated. If you are planning trips pay attention to sunrise and sunset times so you don't arrive at a site and it is dark and you are unable to take a photo or two. You could also set an arrival time at a museum well before it opens or after it closes, so verify these details with the websites of such museums.

    #24: When you think you are are done planning this trip click the Trip Review button. You can review the routes to be taken in a much more visual way in in the Reviewer page. Feel free to go back and forth between editting and reviewing. You are never really done editting until you are in your car and driving down the road.

    #25: Don't forget when you are finished editting to return to the Travel Manager page and make this trip public so it can be viewed in the Travel Planner Community page by others.

    If you have any questions please Contact Aerial Visuals.



    Overview
    Category Search Coordinate Search Special Searches Search Results
    Dossier Location LogTrip Planner
    Top of the Page


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