APRS viewing via the Internet
APRS viewing via the Internet
So you've got your APRS gear all set up, you've got the ability to see keep track of everything that's going on around you. How are you going to share that with the rest of the family? It's probably a pretty steep hill to climb to try and teach the better half, or other family members how to install and run APRSISCE/32 just so they can keep track of your travels.

There's a much easier way to get the family members visibility into your favourite part of the ham radio hobby. There are a number of web based sites that can display information from the APRS network. The arguably best site out there is aprs.fi, a site based out of Finland. Any APRS packets that are captured by the APRS-IS stream will be available on the aprs.fi website.

Tracking a Station

Getting your target audience tracking your travels is as easy as giving your target audience a simple URL. To track Lynn, the full URL is simply http://aprs.fi/KJ4ERJ-12

This will bring up a webpage which will show a screen somewhat like the image below. Feel free to click on the hyperlink above to see for yourself.

Default Maps

The default map type used by aprs.fi is a GoogleMap. This gives some really good background mapping for just about everywhere in the world. But what happens if your travels take you off the beaten path? What if you like to hike around in the hills, away from the regular road network? Well, aprs.fi has a number of different map types available.

The above map gives you the standard aprs.fi roadmap centered on an area just west of Las Vegas up in the White Rock Hills. Not much for
detail, just the Oak Creek Canyon road and Red Rock Canyon road petering off to no where.

Terrain Maps

If you select the terrain option, you will get a topo style map. Still only has the same roads on it, but you can see the terrain, which in
this case includes a nice sized hill between the two roads.

Satellite Maps

If you select the satellite option, you'll get a nice colour photo from a high altitude, which can show quite a bit of detail, but there
are no roads on it.

Hybrid Maps

Hybrid adds the roads to the satellite photo, but still just the stubs petering off to nothing.

OSM Maps

If you select OSM maps in this area, you'll see something similar to the first roadmap option, but the data comes from OSM, not Google. The
OSM community have added in a hiking trail called White Rock Loop. There's no hypsograhic information in this view, but these maps are
fully editable by YOU. You can go out on a trail that doesn't show on a map, and capture the trail with your GPS. When you get home,
download the trail information from the GPS to the computer, and upload the track to the www.OpenStreetMap.org website. Once there you
can edit the GPS track and make it a permanent part of the map database. Over the next couple days, the maps will update, and the new
trail you added will be available for anyone to use.

Add Your Own Data

Have a look at this map below which includes a bunch of walking trails around my sister's house that I have mapped over the last couple years
while visiting.

You won't find those trails on ANY other map. I captured them with my GPS, and drew them in. Anyone in the area can look at the map and see
the trails, and use the maps for whatever purpose they desire.

So great you say, how do I get to see all these fancy maps? You can change between all of these views at aprs.fi using the map style drop down box located in the upper right hand corner of the map. The box will say Map, Satellite, or OSM depending upon the currently selected style. When in Map style, there's a check box for adding terrain data. When in satellite, there's a check box for labels which adds the roads to the satellite. Try it in any of the maps embedded in this page!

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