For direct access to the DrJack soaring forecast products — BLIPMAPs and BLIPSPOTs— you must "register" (which is free) by following the instructions at the Registration Sign-Up page. For more registration information, see the rest of this page.
What is "Registration"
I ask that users of the BLIPMAP and BLIPSPOT forecast products be "registered". There is no charge for registration. Registered users have direct access to all "Thermal Velocity" BLIPMAP forecasts, to all "Buoyancy/Shear Ratio" BLIPMAP forecasts, to all BLIPSPOT forecasts, and to all "Previous Day" BLIPMAP forecasts (for all parameters). These "free" forecasts are intended primarily for those just interested in staying aloft in local flights near the launch site. Unregistered viewers can only view "Previous Day" forecasts and will be sent to a "Visitor Access" page and be given the option of registering prior to any viewing. Users must also register before they can "subscribe" or make a donation. A registration UserID is intended for use by a single individual, not by multiple individuals or a club.
I want to be able to evaluate how forecasts are utilized and to know the total number of BLIPMAP users. The latter is important to me, because the primary satisfaction I get from the effort I put into providing these forecasts is the thought that I am helping other pilots - and the larger the number of people I know I am helping the better I will feel. So I expect that those who benefit from these services will demonstrate their appreciation for my efforts by obtaining their forecasts as registered users - else I will feel that I have opened a door for someone to enter yet not received a nod or thank you or acknowledgment in return.
What is "Subscription"
At one time subscription was required to obtain access to many BLIPMAPs. Currently, the only advantage to being "subscribed", which requires a financial contribution, is that you would show your support for BLIPMAPs and also receive any mailings I send to subscirbers. Since subscribers have shown their support for BLIPMAPs in a tangible way and contributed to their development, I regard them as being the audience to which I should address myself and consider in any future BLIPMAP changes.
How registration works
Registered users normally access the forecasts by obtaining a "cookie" for their browser (but a more complex "cookieless" access method is also available). When you register, a cookie containing your user information will be sent to your PC (assuming you have cookies enabled) and subsequent forecast access will immediately follow a mouse click on webpage links, bypassing the visitor screen. Normally you simply leave the cookie on your computer between sessions since the cookie is valid for one year. When it expires, you must "Logoff" (erase the cookie) and then "Logon" (get a new cookie) to obtain updated cookie. Please note that it is not necessary to Logon (or Logoff) before (or after) each session.
Multiple computers for a single user
Users of multiple PCs do not have to create a new Registration for each PC (and I would prefer that they not do so) but can simply "Logon" once from each different PC using the UserID and Password of your already existing registration to get a "cookie" for each. From a user point of view having a single account (and UserID and password) should be easier to manage and from my point of view means that forecast viewings from a single user are counted together. Please note that users of multiple PCs do not have to erase a cookie ("Logoff") on one computer to use another one. The registration system allows multiple cookies to exist simultaneously on different PCs.
How to Register and/or Get a Cookie ("Logon")
If you are not registered or if already registered are not logged on (i.e. have no DrJack registration "cookie" on that computer), you can do either the next time you access a forecast since you will first see a "Visitor Access" screen with "Register" and "Logon" options on the left-hand sidebar. Alternatively, you can choose to directly register using the Registration Sign-Up page. Or if already registered but do not have a DrJack registration cookie on your PC you can use the Logon page to obtain one. If you already have a cookie but wish to obtain a new one, for example if you think the existing registration cookie may have gotten corrupted, you can use the View/Change User Information page to first delete the existing cookie("Logoff") and then obtain a new one ("Logon"). Please note that it is not necessary to Logon (or Logoff) for each session since you can just leave the cookie on your computer between sessions. The cookie has a life-time of one year, so "normal" operation consists of a once-per-year Logon to get a new cookie and thereafter simply clicking on any desired forecast link.
What is my UserID ? my Email Address ? my Status ? Do I have a cookie ?
These questions are best answered by accessing the View/Change User Information webpage (see next section for more details). If you do not have a "cookie", the "Logon (Get new cookie)" screen will appear first to allow you to get one, since that is required for access. For registered users using cookies, your UserID, Email Address, and Status are also displayed in in the upper-left corner of all registration webpages.
Viewing and Changing User Information
Registered users who wish to view or change their current user information, such as their email address or password, must first have a "cookie" (i.e. be "logged in") and should then go to the View/Change User Info page - don't forget to click on the "Update" button if you make any changes, so that they will be recorded!. A copy of your new User Information will be emailed to your registered Email Address. At this time user information cannot be changed without having a cookie, so if you do not normally enable cookies in your browser you must first enable them, then get a cookie using the Logon page and then when the "Logged On" screen appears click on the "View/Change User Info" link in the left-sidebar - then after making your changes and clicking the "Update" button to get to the "Your information has been updated" screen you can click on the "Erase cookie" link and again disable cookies in your browser.
Forgotten Password and UserID
First, note that you can "Logon" using either your UserID or your Email address, should you forget one or the other (but you will need to know your password!).
As with all computer login systems, you are expected to remember the UserID and Password you chose when registering. You can also find your User Information on the confirmation emails sent at the time of a new registration, a subscription, and a any change in User Information - hopefully you have kept those. However, if you have forgotten or lost that information, you can have it automatically sent to your registered email address by clicking on the "Send Forgotten User Info" link in the left-sidebar of any registration page (such as the "Visitor Access page") or by going to the User Information Recovery page. Please note that those with overly aggressive anti-spam filters might find that email at their "questionable spam" mailbox instead of their regular mailbox. Other than that possibility, if the email does not arrive it is because the address at which you are expecting it to arrive at is not the email address specified in your User Information!
It is also possible to get that information from your own computer by examining the DrJack registration "cookie" used by your browser, assuming your browser allows viewing of individual cookies (which most do, excepting the new IE7). The cookie will be for Domain "drjack.info" with Name "register". The fields of the cookie Content/Value are separated by an "&" ala "myid&mypassword&myemail&...". For those using the Firefox/Mozilla browser, you can view your cookie information by following "Edit" "Preferences" to "Privacy" "Cookies" and click on "View Cookies" to open the "drjack.info" "register" item - in older version, use "Manage Stored Cookies" and "Content" instead (more detailed information about Firefox cookie settings is available at the Browser Cookie Settings webpage). For MS Internet Explorer prior to IE7, I am told that one follows "Edit" "Preferences" to "Receiving Files" and "Cookies" to get a cookie list, then after finding the cookie with the proper Domain and Name clicking "View" to display the cookie Contents (my understanding is that IE cookies are stored in a "cookie folder" and could also be viewed with a text editor, but I know nothing further - if an IE user sends me additional information I will post it here). For the "beta" IE7, it is not possible to view or control your cookies (perhaps that will change when the final IE7 is released). For IE users, a free utility can also be used to view the contents of any individual cookie. For Opera, follow "Edit" "Cookies" to open the cookie display window, then find the correct domain and cookie name (expanding the tree by clicking on "+ boxes" when needed) and read the cookie "Value". I don't know what procedures are used for other browsers.
Your final option is to send an email providing enough information to identify yourself to However, that requires manual investigation and response so a reply time of a week is not unusual.
Special case: Public Access
My present policy is to provide free access to all BLIPMAP forecasts from a "public access terminal", meaning a computer available to and used by multiple users at a gliderport/airport. I do ask that this be done by using a UserID and "cookie" created specifically for that computer, using the following procedure:
(1) use the "public access" computer to access the Registration Sign-Up page, then create a unique UserID registration for that computer. This will be a special UserID used for the "pro bono" public access only and is not intended for individual use. Important special procedure: when entering the required email address, use a "@@" in place of the normal "@" - using this special email address will allow you to also have a separate individual UserID which uses your normal email address, with its single "@". (This procedure is necessary because all UserIDs must have a unique email address - the "@@" will be converted to a "@" for any email notices sent to the special "public access" UserID account.) Note: a new DrJack registration cookie will sent be to the computer, so its browser must have cookie processing enabled. Also, if for some reason there should be an existing DrJack registration cookie already be on the computer, you will get an "Already Registered" message for the UserID associated with that cookie - you must then use the "Erase cookie (Logoff)" link to delete that cookie before you can proceed with registering a new UserID and getting its cookie on the computer.
(2) email a request to asking for that UserID to be given access as a "public access" terminal and providing a brief description of the circumstances under which that computer is used.
I will then give that UserID "unlimited" access allowing any pilot using that computer to view any forecasts they desire. Please note that such a "pro bono" account is not intended for personal use by anyone from any location other than at the "public access" terminal itself - especially, its UserID/Password is not to be given out to all members of a club to use! This access is valid for a year, at which time the registered email address will be sent an expiration notice - you can then request that it be continued for another year (I do want to find out whether such access continues to be actually used!).
Similarly, if there is some "once-per-year" public event which affects a large group of people, for example a contest, I will provide an individual associated with that event free access for the purpose of forecasting for that event (for a temporary period of two weeks). For this option, that individual must send me an email request at the time when he wishes the temporary access to begin containing information about the event and the UserID for which temporary access is requested.
Special case: Websites using "Hot Links"
"Hot Links" refers to images which are displayed on one website but which in reality are produced by, and belong to, another person's webpage. [These are not regular website links, which lead to the website to which the images belong.] Webmasters who use "hot links" should be aware of the ethical and legal issues that such usage entails - many people do not like their images being displayed on other websites and consider it piracy, particularly artists who display their artwork on their own page (in any case, good ethics requires attribution of the image source of any hot link). In addition, this practice means that the download bandwidth is charged to the original site not to the linking site, which is why it is sometimes referred to as "bandwidth stealing".
My present policy is that hot links to my images are allowed if a request is sent to me and if a special UserID is established for that purpose. This procedure allows everyone who looks at your webpage to see BLIPMAP forecast images - they do not need to be "registered" (their use will be credited to UserID you set up). Those webmasters creating multiple parameter pages should consider those as providing a local synopsis feature (but should not be intended to provide all soaring forecast parameters to everyone who browses that webpage).
To enable hot linked BLIPMAPs for your website, follow this procedure: (1) register using a unique UserID specially for that website (not your personal UserID that you use to get your own forecasts!). IMPORTANT: Immediately after registering, when you get the "Registration Completed" screen, click the "Logoff" link on the left-sidebar to erase the "cookie" created and then get a new cookie using your personal ID, otherwise your personal accesses will be considered website accesses! (2) email me your request and include the the UserID you created and the URL of your webpage(s) which will contain the embedded image(s). The "hot links" will not become active until I have received and responded to your email. So far at least ten webmasters have hot links successfully enabled on their webpages. Note that in the above procedure the images links in your webpages will not contain the UserID and password that you created - the access will instead be enabled by me for your particular website. I am specifically requesting that no webpage be created which contains registration UserID and password information - the method described above should instead be used.
Special case: Cookieless Access
Complete examples are:
For a regional RAP BLIPMAP page:
For the RAP/NAM univiewer:
For an individual RAP BLIPMAP:
For an individual RAP BLIPMAP data file:
For an individual NAM BLIPMAP:
For an individual NAM BLIPMAP data file:
For an individual BLIPSPOT:
Note that a non-blank password is required for this method to work! To use this method immediately in a browser, rather than via a bookmark, you must add the user info to the end of the URL showing in the URL window and then reload the page with that information (usually by hitting the Enter key). Finally, I request that those websites which employ "Hot Links" of BLIPMAP images to utilize the method described in the above Hot Links section rather than this method.
For the paranoid
To achieve the goals given in the "Why" section, at registration I will be asking you to state the type of user (pilot) you are and I will be counting each later forecast request. However, my interest is in global statistics not in individual usage. The registration process also asks for an email address - this is for your convenience, first because logon access can be obtained through use of either your UserID or email address, so if one is forgotten then the other provides a backup, but more importantly it allows for automatic emailing of your password to you should you forget it. In addition, if there is a problem traced to your account then I can communicate with you about that. [For the record, I do not plan to make big bucks by selling this email information to anyone!] The truly paranoid could enter a false email here since they are not verified.
This system also requires users to remember, at least once a year, their UserID and password. I suggest writing them down [as an Internet user I also tire of needing so many access account userids and passwords so I love my Firefox browser's ability to remember and automatically fill-in usernames/passwords for different sites - but I still write them down!]. But an easier way is to simply keep the confirmation emails sent to your registration email address when you register or change your UserInfo - those emails contain both your UserID and your password.
And while I have spent considerable time (many, many days!) massaging the present procedure to make it as painless as possible, there will be glitches and problems which will have to be resolved and thus access will never be as smooth as would occur for a simple static webpage.
If you have a question then likely others have similar question, so please use the Blipmap Forum to ask it. If you have a problem gaining access or registering please see the Problems section below.
Registration provides direct access to the following forecasts:
BLIPMAP: thermal soaring forecasts based on RAP model predictions
BLIPMAP: thermal soaring forecasts based on NAM model predictions
BLIPSPOT: thermal soaring parameters at a single geographic location
More Information on Cookies
Upon "logging on", a "cookie" containing your UserID and password is sent to and saved on your computer, so it later can be sent upon request from your browser to the drjack.info website (and only to that website!) to identify the user. For normal access to DrJack forecasts a valid DrJack cookie must be found by your computer's browser (though more complex "cookieless" access is also available). The following links contain more information about "cookies":
What is a cookie? (short)
Do cookies compromise security? (more details)
Cookie Frequently Asked Questions (very detailed)
Cookie Info from the U.S. Government (summary at top)
Note to the paranoid: while there are many real dangers on the internet, cookies passively store information and cannot be used to run a program or virus on your PC. They are not a security concern. However, their usage can create privacy concerns as from advertising sites conglomerating user data from different sites through "third-party" or "foreign" cookies, which provide information to sites other than the originating webpage site - but my cookies are "originating site only" cookies, so their information is available only to my website.
Abuse of this website will be dealt with as seems to best fit the individual case. Abuse circumstances include repeated requests for webpages at unrealistically short intervals, promoting server overload. [In the worst case to date, a user was automatically requesting the same 8 forecasts once per minute throughout the day!]. Abuse responses can including banning of a user or IP from website access, but that will be done only after notice is given to the abuser (if possible). Also, at present I consider requesting more than 300 forecasts per day to be overuse of the system, but that value was chosen somewhat arbitrarily so I'm ready to listen to anyone who thinks they need more forecasts in a single day.
PROBLEMS with Browsers, Access, or Registration
I know that folks have successfully used Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE5, IE6, IE7), Netscape, Mozilla, Konqueror, Opera, Safari, and BlackBerry browsers with this registration system. At present there are over 4000 registrations with no known unresolved problems with browser access, so you should be able to resolve any difficulty you experience. Please note that while I will correct any errors on my website, I cannot act as a personal computer assistant to help you solve problems occurring at your end - if you need such help, find a computer-savvy fellow pilot or friend or relative. If you experience a problem in displaying the forecast maps here are some suggestions - since there are many ways for things to go wrong, it's probably best to first skim the list looking for something most relevant to your problem. (If you have an additional suggestion you think should be included, send it to .)
I will solve difficulties which appear to be related to the Registration system. But there are currently no known problems with the Registration system so any problem you experience is much more likely to lie in problems at your end , e.g. settings of your browser which do not allow cookies to be accepted, lack of a valid cookie, etc. I cannot be everyone's personal computer assistant or teach you how to use your browser or computer - instead, personal acquaintances who are "computer savvy" are your best source for figuring out how one's own browser or computer, for example those you fly with who can successfully view the forecasts on their own computer.
While I would like to help those who have genuine difficulties and who have made a good faith effort to figure them out themselves but were unsuccessful, I have gotten somewhat jaded regarding user reported "problems" since some have turned out to be as trivial as not scrolling down a webpage to find its forecast links! More commonly, many people do not want to be bothered spending their time reading the provided information and instead want me to spend my time leading them step-by-step through anything they do not understand.
My position is that you should take the time to do some reading and/or investigation on your own before asking for help from others. If you want more information about the operation of the Registration system than is provided by this Registration page, you can post a question to the DrJack Forum. By using the Forum, any answer you obtain will also be available to other interested users. You can also post problems to that forum to try to obtain help from other BLIPMAP users. I do monitor that Forum and may provide feedback, but that depends upon evidence indicating that you have already spent time on your end attempting to solve the problem and your providing enough information to allow me (and others) to understand the problem you are experiencing. Unfortunately, my experience is that many are unwilling to make the effort needed to provide sufficient details about their problem, expecting others to instead spend time considering all the myriad possibilities that might have occurred - in which case my feeling is that if they can't bother to provide detailed information, then I can't see why others should bother to help them.
If you believe a problem exists in the DrJack Access or Registration system:
At this point, after years of successful system use by thousands of users, the registration system is unlikely to have a newly discovered bug (and I extensively test any alterations I do need to make). But stuff can happen, so if you seem to have what appears to be a registration system problem, rather than a problem with your own browser/computer, then report it by sending an email with a description and associated details to . You should indicate: