Notes About Using MAPFIX

MAPFIXxx.bas/exe is a very versitile program for drawing, building and fixing APRS maps. Each time you run a new version of MAPFIX, be sure to look at the first help screen for any changes.

MAKEMAP1.BAS is a very handy program written by Jack Cavenaugh KB4XF which automates the process for extracting 32 to 64 mile APRS maps directly in one step from the 2,000,000 CD ROM. Then you can use MAPFIX TASK-SCRUNCH command and other aids to get points below 3000. The original TASK-USGS process which had been in early versions of MAPFIX required many more steps. It was removed in MAPFIX31. See MAPSCD.HTM.

USGSMAP1.bas/exe Is a revision by W4NMK of MAKEMAPS so that it can work with data files downloaded via the internet instead of from an attached CD ROM. The internet address for these maps is below. This info is now 2 years old and may no longer be valid?{area of interest}
/{transportation/hydrographic/political/railroads}/ /

MK100Kxx.EXE is another very powerful program written by KB4XF which can now extract street level maps from the 100K USGS CD ROMS.



MAPFIX can build and edit APRS maps in a variety of ways:

FREE-HAND Good for filling in roads, but hard to make roads exact
CDROM Gets points from 2,000,000:1 and 100,000:1 USGS CD ROM. Both generate Mbytes worth of points that take a lot of time to filter down to a useable APRS size!
TABLET Connect a digitizer tablet and draw! BEST METHOD!
GPS DATA Replay any APRS GPS track history file and DRAW map lines over the track
CONVERSIONChange origin or scale on-line (old function of MAPCNVRT.bas)
IMPORTING Import features from other maps with auto-point conversion!
OVERLAY Overlay any map onto present map for comparison and fixing

Although MAPFIX is very versitile, manipulating points with a TEXT EDITOR is still possible, since all APRS maps saved in the normal format are in ASCII text. The COMPRESSED format is still ASCII, but the point values are unreadable. The new LINE FORMAT is the same but all points of a given feature are on the same line.

MAPFIX uses the normal yellow APRS cursor, and a White MapPoint which marks the next point to be processed. the EDIT MENU Keys allow you to MOVE the MapPoint to the cursor, ADD a new point at the cursor, or DELETE the MapPoint. The G key will GO to the MapPoint and conversly, the ENTER key will locate the point nearest the cursor.

BOUNDARY BOXES AND ORIGINS DISPLAY: First, you will notice that MAPFIX draws a few permanent and temporary boxes and markers on the map as follows:

YELLOW ORIGN The 0,0 point for pixels
YELLOW BOX MAX values. Extending from the ORIGIN to the right and down to show the maximum values for X (3599) and Y (1799). These values must not be exceeded if you want to use either the COMPRESSED or LINE formats.
WHITE BOX The RANGE limit around the center of the map. This is your working map range. It is used to limit the number of points during TASK-OVERLAYS and TASK-IMPORTS. It is also used by APRS and the file for deciding when to load this particular map. The WHOLE APRS screen must fit within this white box, before the map is loaded by APRS for use. The actual value of this white box in the map file, however, does NOT have any effect. Only the RANGE listed in is actually used by APRS.

NOTE: This WHITE box marks the LIMITS for the TASK-TRIM command and also for TASK-OVERLAY and TASK-IMPORT.

WHITE CROSS The MAP CENTER as to be listed in along with the RANGE for APRS to know when to load this map. Does NOT affect any map points or data. Only the CENTER listed in is actually used by APRS).

WHITE CIRCLE CURSOR Marks the current MAP POINT for editing...
APRS YELLOW CURSOR Simply a pointer for all functions.

HERE IS THE BASIC HELP SCREEN FOR MAPFIX: Notice that most common functions are all in the primariy menus. So most functions require two key strokes. The first selects the menu, and the second choses the function within that menu. For EDITING, you may LOCK in the EDIT MENU. This way the functions of ADD, DELETE and MOVE require only single key strokes while EDIT is locked on.

******* MAPFIX HELP SCREEN *******

The ORIGIN, CENTER and BORDER are shown (but only the CENTER and RANGE in the are used by APRS. Labels are right justified. Callsigns and OBJ names will be plotted left justified. Use the first letter of any command.

F- FILES      C- CHANGE  S - SETUP      E- EDIT        L- LABELS  T- TASKS
   MENU          MENU        MENU          MENU           MENU       MENU   
------------  ---------  ------------   -------------  ---------  ------------
D- Directory  B- BEEPS   A- AutoCentr   A- Add point   A- Add     C- Clear Pts
L- Load       C- Center  B- BOX ppd     C- Change Clr  K- Kill    G- GPStrack
O- Opn Dgtzr  O- Origin  E- END pts     D- Delete Pt   M- Move    I- Import
Q- Quit       R- Range   P- Points      L- LockEDIT    O- On/Off  J- Join
S- Save                  R- Redraw      K- Killfeature S- Show    O- Overlay
V- ViewMpLst             W- White RR    M- Move Pt                T- Trim
                                        N- New Feature            S- Scrunch
                                        S- SPLIT feature          B- Borders

DISPLAY COMMANDS POINTER MOVEMENTS USGS CD ROM CMDS DIGITIZER/MOUSE ------------------- ----------------- ---------------- ------------------ SPACE to draw map N- Next Feature U- USGA overlay F1- Move cursor ARROWS cursr (shft) P- Prev Feature @U- USGS Load F3, F4, F6, F7, F8 PgUP/DN (ctrl) G- Go to Pointer F10,shifted F1, F2 HOME map to Cursor + Move to next are all hotkeys HOME(shft) to Orign - Previous pt to begin that END to map center R- RESET to 1st Pt color line

CR or ENTER will search the MAP for the closest point to the cursor. There may be many points at a junction. Hit CTRL-ENTER to continue the search.

F1 Temporarily re-defines Digitizer click to move cursor vice ADD point F3 (SHFT) Mark mapfile to be saved in COMPRESSED format F4 (SHFT) Mark mapfile to be saved in ASCII format F5 Slow GPS overlay so U can see chronologically F8 (shft) Adds MARKER to map. Useful for re-calibrating MOUSE F9 Init Mouse (Microsoft serial mouse only) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MOUSE MODES: Recent versions of MAPFIX support a mouse. Use the mouse to move the map cursor and the left button to ADD a point or the right mouse button to LOCATE a map point.

If the MapPointer and FeatureName get out of sequence, the RESET command may fix them, but you should save the file immediately and check it with an editor.

The TASK-TRIM command is sort of the converse of IMPORT. It TRIMs all points outside of the white RANGE box. It keeps at least one point of each line outside of the box, and may need a little clean up at the edges. If any single points remain, they will be seen as straight lines to the origin. Use the TASKS-CLEAR command to clear them.

The FILES-MAPLIST command shows your file; and the SETUP- MAPLIST command displays the MAP borders of all maps listed. You may use F3 and F4 keys to select smaller or larger map borders to draw.


To aid in creating accurate maps, W7KKE in Calif wrote the TASKS-GPS module to overlay GPS Track Histories into MAPFIX. Use this to build and fix your own maps based on your driving.

After you have loaded your map, type TASKS-GPS and enter the history filename. This will overlay the track history file as pink points. You may then use the normal MAPFIX editing commands to move map segments and add so that the map will agree with the GPS data contained in the track history file.

CAUTION: Since GPS data is only accurate to 100 yards due to the effects of Selective Availability, I would avoid using GPS data explicitely below about the 2 mile range. For this reason, I make the size of the GPS positions expand below the 2 mile range to roughly approximate the size of the 100 yard error circle.

Note that you can START a NEW map from scratch by just typing NEW instread of a MAP filename when starting up the program.


MAPFIX.bas can also accept the serial data from a digitizer tablet or table thanks again to W7KKE. THIS IS THE MOST ACCURATE WAY TO BUILD MAPS!

To use a digitizer, first you must hit the FILES-OPEN command to open the COMM PORT for the digitizer and calibrate the map scale. From this point on, the digitizer mouse, or PEN is the same as the EDIT-ADD command. Points will be added AFTER the current map point. To start a new map feature, use the EDIT-NEW or EDIT-BEGIN commands.

DIGITIZER HOT KEYS: F4, F6, F7, F8, F10, shftF1, shftF2
These keys begin a new line of the appropriate color without having to enter a feature name and select a color. This makes it much easier for one handed operation while using the other hand on the digitizer.

To speed up the screen during editing, MAPFIX only draws the new line segment. While editing points, the old line remains until you draw a new map. (Hit space bar).

Use SETUP-REDRAW to toggle on and off the RE-DRAW feature. With RE- DRAW off, you can rapidly DELETE points, but you cannot see the effect of the deletion until you hit SPACE to redraw the map. Hitting space turns REDRAW back on. The new SETUP-AUTOCENTER command will force a re-draw of the map whenever the MAPPOINT moves off the screen. Very useful when stepping through the points with the +/- key.

You may add, kill, and move labels. When you add a label you also must indicate the RANGE at which the label should begin to appear. If you hit ENTER, then the currently displayed range will be used. TO MOVE a label, move the cursor near a label, then press L. To MOVE, hit the M key and then move the cursor to the new location. Hit ENTER to place the Label at the new spot.

This command scans the entire map file and eliminates single point lines. THese are seen on the map as lines with one end at the map origin. Do this repeatedly until you hear no beeps.

Using the IMPORT command, you can IMPORT features from many smaller maps into one larger map, or you can take points out of adjacent maps and put them into yours. IMPORTANT: Only the points that fit in the current WHITE center-&-range BORDER will be imported. Use the CHANGE-RANGE and CHANGE-CENTER command to change the size of the white box.

The OVERLAY command allows you to temporarly overlay map features from one map onto the current map. This is only temporary, but allows you to compare maps, or to sketch over data from one map into another. Useful for fixing bigger maps from smaller ones without having to bring in all of the detail points. The format of this command is identical to the IMPORT command, except that points are only displayed, not added to existing map.

FILES-SAVE prompts you for the map to be saved in either the NORMAL, COMPRESSed or LINE FORMATS. A compressed map saves about 50% in disk space and loading times by storing X-Y points as only 3 ascii characters instead of two 3 byte integers. To make this work, map X-Y values must be less than 3599 for X and 1799 for Y. No negatives. The yellow box shows these limits so you can choose an appropriate map origin and PPD scale. In MAPFIX31 the new LINE FORMAT further compresses the size of the mapfiles by eliminating the CR-LF for every point and also by eliminating the FEATURE names. THese names are meaningless anyway on most maps unless typed in by hand on hand made maps. If these feature names are important to you, then always keep a copy of the original map file with an extension of .ORG.

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Mail comments/corrections on content to Bob Bruninga and on HTML formatting to Steve Dimse