Rob Smyth

Saturday 5 January 2008

CFA Incidents RSS Feed - Is There A Suitable Reader?

During summer I like to keep track of CFA incidents, especially on high fire danger days. This is part of our bushfire plan and a couple of years ago I wrote a simple a web scraper to notify me at work of any brushfires in our area. In the last week I've noticed that the Current Incidents page has an RSS feed. Great!

But then I started the search for a suitable RSS reader. This application is a little different from most RSS applications in that it is real time, we need notification within minutes, and only a portion of the incidents are of interest. The feed, and the web page, list incidents for all of Victoria. So for it to be of any real use I need a feed filtered at least by out local region. Incidents hundreds of kilometres away will flood any alarm system I may use.

So what I think I need is a reader that will:

  • Check for updates every 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Filter incidents by region, town, and type.
  • Email filtered incidents.
Thing is I have not been able to find any service or software that can do this. Most readers can filter but only do this as a manual keyword search and often are unable to handle text like "Region: 13". The colon is a killer. The filtering services seem to only check for changes every 10 minutes or slower.

I'm still looking. My notes on readers I'm testing are kept here.

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