Ok, so now the cat is out of the proverbial bag, so what can I actually do with ShapeFiles and what should I see?

First, you need to follow the instructions at WA8LMF's excellent page at WA8LMF Shapefiles. He has links to the pages with the .ZIP files for the US NWS ShapeFiles, but you may also want the Australian ones from Australian Shapefiles Download the .ZIP fies and unzip them all into a single new directory where ever you want to put it. Note: it is *MUCH* easier if you just dump them all into a *single* directory! (Links to the currently valid NWS shape files are also maintained at

Once that is done, you need to tell APRSISCE/32 which file(s) you want it to use. Be careful with the US NWS ones as they've got pending revisions on two of them that aren't actually valid yet. Pick the ones whose date has past, not the ones whose date is in the future.

Use Configure / Shapefiles / Add File and pick each of the .SHP files that came out of the .ZIPs. The corresponding, same-named .SHX and .DBF files needs to be in the same directory for this all to work. As each file is added, the Open File dialog re-appears to add additional file(s) as needed. When all desired files have been added, hit Cancel.

Once you have the shapefiles enabled, you'll probably want to enable receiving alerts from your local NWS office (or CWA - County Warning Area). You can get your county's code at NWS County Codes just pick your state from the drop-down and scan for your county. Or you can center the map at the point of interest and hit Configure / NWS Shapes / ShowMe. APRSISCE/32 will pop up a MultiTrack window for each zone that the point is within. Some of these zones will start with a 3 character code that is the NWS office (CWA) responsible for that area. Once you have your CWA, use Configure / NWS / New Office… to enable it in APRSISCE/32. You can add as many offices as you need to cover your area of interest.

After that, you wait….and wait…and wait…for bad weather to happen. Or just Configure / NWS / New Office… and add * to get weather for the whole world (ok, at least as much of the world as is pushing weather alerts into APRS-IS). Within 15-30 minutes you should have stuff popping up in Australia. They've consistently had alerts running for me.

If you want to see useless "callsigns", check Screen / Labels / NWS Calls. These labels are a concatenation of the 3 character Seq and the 6 character county/zone of any given alert. Quite useless if you ask me, which is why they're suppressed by default.

Ok, with that all done, you should be able to pan and zoom around and see just how closely the shapefile boundaries match the underlying OSM map tiles. Freaky if you ask me!

Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32

PS. WE7U is now feeding ALL NWS alerts into FireNet servers for display via APRS clients. To access this stream, you need to reconfigure your APRS-IS feed to come from instead of an APRS-IS server. All APRS-IS data is available through FireNet and MORE!

Configure / Ports / APRS-IS
Click Device
Change the DNS or IP to "" (without the quotes)
Keep your port the same (14580, most likely)
Ok and Accept and APRSISCE/32 will switch to the new server.

If you don't like all the water stations that you'll start getting, add "-s/w" to your Configure / General / Add Filter string (again, without the quotes).

Note: if you already have a -s/ element in your filter, just add the w to the first part.

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