Enhanced WPXLOC Data Format

Release Notes
Future Plans

This file was last updated on 15 August 2006 by Jim Reisert AD1C

This is a specification for an enhanced WPXLOC data format. This data file is used by amateur radio DX packet spotting software such as AR-Cluster, CC_Cluster and DX Spider. Others are allowed to use this format as well. The proposed file name is WPXLOC.DAT.

Improvements over the original format:

  • elimination of duplicate information
  • support for both prefixes and callsigns

The new format is not backwards compatible with the old format. However, the following decisions were made to maintain backward-compatible functionality:

  • File layout essentially the same
  • All entities tagged with WPXLOC "id" number - these will remain the same

To see a sample of this file, click HERE


Here is a sample entry:

GJ Jersey-GJ       64 EU 27 14   0.00 49 18 N   2 12 W

The entity fields are as follows:

  • Primary Prefix (GJ). This prefix must be treated by software as one of the prefixes for the entity
  • Entity name and Primary Prefix (Jersey-GJ). No spaces are allowed (will appear as '-'). Primary prefix must be at the end, joined to the name by a '-' character.
  • WPXLOC id number (64). Not all numbers are used, and new numbers will be assigned starting with next unused number after the highest used number.
  • Continent (EU) - valid are AF, AN, AS, EU, NA, OC, SA
  • ITU Zone (27)
  • CQ Zone (14)
  • Local time offset from GMT (0.00). Format is [-]HH.mm. East of Greenwich is POSITIVE, west of Greenwich is NEGATIVE
  • Latitude degrees (49)
  • Latitude minutes (18)
  • Latitude N/S (N)
  • Longitude degrees (2)
  • Longitude minutes (12)
  • Longitude E/W (W)

Note that latitude and longitude are specified as NSEW to avoid sign ambiguity (is east negative or positive?)

If the entity has more than one prefix or callsign associated with it, the other prefixes/callsigns (other than the primary one) are listed on subsequent lines beginning with '&'. There is guaranteed to be at least one space between the '&' and the first prefix/callsign. Multiple prefixes/callsigns are separated by commas. Callsigns are prefixed by '='. There is no guarantee of order, however, most likely prefixes will be listed first, then callsigns.


A region specifies a subarea of an entity. Examples include Canadian Provinces and Russian Oblasts. Here is an example of an entity and a corresponding region:

VE Canada-VE       197 NA  9  5   4.00 45 18 N  66  6 W
VY0 NU-Nunavut-VE  197 NA  4  2   4.00 63 45 N  68 30 W 
A region is defined very much like an entity. Important notes:
  • The region name will contain the entity's primary prefix at the end ("-VE")
  • The WPXLOC id for the region will match the parent entity

Software should be written so that "SH/D VY0" prints the zone/geography/time offset for the region, not the parent entity. For filtering purposes, the region acts just like the entity (i.e. if entity VE is rejected, calls beginning with VY0 should also be rejected).


  • Fields are delimited by one or more spaces. Entity/region names have been munged to convert spaces to "-"
  • Prefixes and callsigns are comma delimited. There may or may not be spaces before or after the commas
  • There is no fundamental limitation on line length. However, will try to keep lines to 80 characters or less for display purposes.
  • The first occurrence of an entity name is considered the canonical entry for that entity. Ordering of entities is not guaranteed.
  • Any line that does not begin with an alpha-numeric or & is considered a comment line (and can be ignored). Comments will usually begin with "!" to be consistent with the original format.
  • A special entity with the primary prefix VERSION is included. The entity name will be the file date, so that SH/D VERSION or SH/H VERSION will show the database version in-use.
  • The file will contain a CVS "Id:" string at the top of the file inside a comment.
  • WPXLOC id 666 is reserved for bogus callsigns:
QQ Pirate-Ctry-QQ  666 NA   0  0   0.00  0  0 S   0  0 E
&    0,10G,1B,50V,MAJ,Q,SSB,T0,X5,X8,ZC6

Open Issues

  • Do regions take care of all the various zone overrides present in the contest (CTY) files?

    I think they do, except for possibly Zone 2, since this would be a sub-region of VE2/Quebec.  I could create two Quebec regions, one for Zone 5 and the other for Zone 2.
  • WPXLOC.RAW can have the same prefix associated with multiple entities. This allows a user to SH/D CE0 or SH/H VP8 and see all the entities associated with that prefix. Do we want to keep supporting this functionality?
  • Because of the previous bullet the "most likely" entity for a given prefix must be listed earlier in the file, since it's more likely that a spot will be for that entity. For example, ZK1/South Cooks should be listed before ZK1/North Cooks. If the previous requirement is eliminated, then the file does not need any special ordering. If the requirement holds, the following prefixes must be listed at the end of the file:

    KC4 - Antarctica (default should be USA, 4th call area)
    KG4 - Guantanamo Bay (default should be USA, 4th call area)

Revision History

30 July 2006

  • Added Continent field for entities/regions

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