[OZAPRS] Message Traffic and WX Alerts in Xastir

Geoff Gatward geoff at gatwards.org
Sat Nov 22 18:29:13 EST 2008

The Aussie shapefile DBF's have identical attributes to the US version -
that's the only way I could make UI-View work.. The only difference is the
Aussie ones may have an additional column or two that were inserted at the
end by the shapefile program I'm using.

So using the same indexes sould work - Our state codes were shortedned to
two letters - NSW = NS, so a valid zone warning would be  NSZ023 for
example.(NS_Z023 will also do the same thing I believe - they both work in

If once you get this going send me the dbfawk stuff and I'll post it along
with the shapefiles - but I'm hoping it's independant of the filenames, as
they will change occasionally)


On 11/22/08, David <djmunn at bigpond.com> wrote:
> Hi Andrew.....started Xastir in a terminal as you suggested...
> No DWFAWK signature for z_aus20no08.shp
> i presume that it would be in the /usr/local/share/xastir/config dir
> can i mod the US one or do i make a new one and how
> 73 David VK4BDJ
> Andrew Errington wrote:
>> Where I'm at. The sample file nwsc_ddmmyy.dbfawk contains exactly the
>>> same field sequence as c_aus20on08.dbf so I renamed it to
>>> c_aus20on08.dbfawk I did the same thing with z_aus20on08 and
>>> mz_aus13on08.
>>> The last two had extra fields which I removed as per
>>> readme.maps. I still have no polygons and I suspect it's due to errors in
>>> my dbfawk files.
>> If you start xastir in a console you'll see error messages printed if
>> xastir cannot find the .dbfawk file that goes with the shapefiles.  Also,
>> note that the .dbfawk files can go in one of two places, and their
>> location dictates how they are used.
>> I posted a link to Tom Russo's dbfawk howto already, but it seems to be
>> the same as your link to the dbfawk howto on the xastir wiki.
>>> There are two tools, dbfinfo and dbffields, in xastir but these have not
>>> compiled. Tom makes mention of compiling them separately, in the wiki.
>>> I've
>>> not had time yet to investigate this. Those tools enable one to compare a
>>> dbf file with a dbfawk file; guess I'll find out tomorrow :-)
>> dbffields is not a tool.  The tools are dbfinfo and testdbfawk.  It's not
>> strictly necessary to have these for this step as you can do one of three
>> things to get the list of files.
>> 1) less *.dbfinfo
>> Just dump the file to the console and look for a bunch of names at the
>> beginning of the file.  You'll know them when you see them.
>> 2) khexedit
>> Same deal, but a hex editor doesn't barf when you open a binary file
>> 3) QGis (most useful)
>> Since we are using Linux we can easily get this rather nice GIS program,
>> which will recognise and import shapefiles.  Once you have imported the
>> shapefile you can look it its properties.
>> * Start QGIS
>> * Select Layer|Add a Vector Layer
>> * Open one of your .dbf files
>> * Marvel at how quickly xastir renders the same file
>> * In the layers list on the left, right-click on the layer you just
>> created and select Open Attributes.
>> * Across the top of the table is the list of field names in order (ignore
>> the 'id' field).  This list goes into the dbfinfo entry in the .dbfawk
>> file (it is the 'signature' that xastir uses to match the .dbfawk file to
>> a particular shapefile *if* the .dbfawk file is in the
>> /usr/local/share/xastir/config.  If the .dbfawk files is in the same
>> directory as the .dbf file it should have the same name.  For example
>> foo.dbf and foo.dbfawk)
>> dbffields is not a program.  The dbffields list in the .dbfawk file
>> contains a subset of that list of fields, which are actually the ones you
>> are interested in.
>> I don't know for sure, but could it be that the attributes in the
>> Australian files are named in lower-case?  Maybe .dbffawk files are
>> case-sensitive?
>>> Despite no progress I feel I've made progress.
>> I can help a little, but I can't test it.  Or can I?  Can I get the
>> Australian weather alert APRS feed here in NZ?
>> 73,
>> A
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