All About APRS Maps

SUMMARY: There are four other important MAP README's.

MAPMAKIN.HTM describes the format of APRS maps and how to make them.
MAPSCD.HTM tells you how to make maps from the USGS CD ROMS. This is where all the action is.
MAPSHST.HTM covers how to drive around, save a track history, and then use that track to add to an APRS map!
MAPFIX.HTM describes how to use MAPFIX for editing and making maps APRS maps are DOS TEXT. Look at one!


The basic file contains the major regional maps that will cover the interstates and some major highways. The APRS distro disk also contains an additional for your region. APRS uses special MAPLIST files to tell APRS which map to use for any given cursor location and range. The default is MAPLIST.USA. Use the MAPS-CHANGE command to select the alternate MAPLIST for your area. To see the boundaries of all the maps in a given MAPLIST, use the MAPS-BORDERS command. I maintain all of the following MAPLISTS and distro files.

MAPLIST.USA World and regional maps
MAPLIST.EAS Virginia and north, and East of Ohio
MAPLIST.NEA Northeast (New England)
MAPLIST.MID Midwest Ohio through Illinois
MAPLIST.CEN Dakotas, NE, KS, TX to Wyoming & Colorado
MAPLIST.WES Idaho, Utah & Arizona and west
MAPLIST.SE Arkansas to east and south
MAPLIST.EUR European maps
MAPLIST.BOS Bosnia maps
MAPLIST.SA South American Maps
MAPLIST.AK Alaskan Maps
MAPLIST.MD Maryland maps
MAPLIST.UAE United Arab Emerites
MAPLIST.MS Mississippi
MAPLIST.JAM Boy Scouts Jamboree at Ft. A.P.Hill

OTHER DISTRIBUTION PACKAGES BY STATE COORDINATORS: There are numerous additional map distributions for many states which also have their own MAPLISTS. Look for them on your local area BBS's. Here are a few:

Alabama Maryland Massassachussetts
Arizona Michigan Pacific North West
California Minnesota
Florida Missouri
Georgia North Carolina
Hawaii Ohio
Illinois Texas
Iowa Virginia


The following list of individuals has either volunteered or been drafted as a point of contact for APRS in their area. All have demonstrated their acumen by having figured out how to make at least ONE APRS map.

KE4EER Bill Nolle Huntsville AL (lots of streets!)
N7QVU @K7BUC.AZ Tuscon AZ 602-492-2545(w)
WC7R @KB7FRV.AZ Prescott AZ BBS 520 778-9198.
KD6MKS Silver Lake CA
W7KKE @KA6EYH#NOCAL San Franciso CA Wrote Digitizer and CONV100!
WA4MEJ Jacksonville FL Lots of street maps by N2YGK! Counties of Clay, StJohns, Nassau, Putnam Baker and Bradford
KD4UYR Clearwater FL
G3ZFJ @W4DPH.#TPA.FL Tampa FL has digitizer
N4NEQ Atlanta GA Ralph Fowler
WH6YC Honolulu HI Dave DObbins (ex KB5UBW fm TX)
N9LCI IL David Chesser
WB4APR Maryland MD
KD1E @N8NNN.#SEMI Michigan MI
KU0G @KU0G#NWMO.MO Kansas City MO Lots of maps!
KC5AUG MS 601-325-8553
W4NMK Black Mtn NC
WB0WNX Nebraska NE
WA1VJH Keene NH digitizer
N2FET New Jersey NJ
G3ZFJ/W2 Long Island NY Bob
KB8JXO@W8CQK.#CMH.OH Columbus OH Did all of Ohio
KG8GE Narion OH wrote CAD APRS map program!
KD1HA @KA1RCI.RI Rhode Island RI (new england)
KN4IM @N4CII#CHS.SC Charleston SC 803-552-0654
KC5EJK Dallas TX
WB5DTW SanAntonio TX
N5JXS Houston TX
N5ZXD @N4QEP.#WTX.TX Lubbock TX good with Mapfixer! N4WJQ @
N4WZR @WD4MIZ.VA Norfolk VA Dan Valez
W8KVK West Va VA
KB4XF @KC4ASF#NOVA.VAFredericsburg VA Wrote MAKEMAP! and MK100K prgms!
W9LZQ Onalaska WI

VK4TAB Brisbane Austrailia (digitizer)
VE3SVE Ontario ON @ 905-792-7890
Mike Tyrrell England


INDIVIDUAL MAPS: If you make a disk or FILE with individual maps in it, send it to your state map coordinator and include a piece of paper with the exact LAT/LONG/RANGE and insertion instructions so that he can edit it into his MAPLIST. Include instructions on where to insert the new map(s) in the heirarchical list.

NEW IN VERSION APRS793! Now you can include SUBdirectories in your MAPLIST files so that all of your maps can be in a single dubdirectory in the MAPS directory. WIll make for faster loading and easier maintenance... Note, that is is not backward compatible, so please label your new distro package distnictly..

STATE MAP COORDINATORS: Please, DO NOT modify MAPLIST.USA, or any of my standard distribution MAPLISTS. Their integrity is my responsibility. Also, do not make any changes to MY maps without CHANGING the map name. When users unzip your files, there should be NO FILES in your files that can unknowingly replace my original distro files. I WELCOME your changes to MY maps, but send them to me (with a unique name) so that I can be the one to make the change to the distribution copy...

ALL mapnames should begin with your two letter STATE abbreviation. Your distribution files should contain ONLY YOUR maps, and NO OTHERS for which you are not responsible.

Build your MAPLIST.XX to include your XX state maps and all larger maps that contain your state all the way up to Use my MAPLIST .USA as the beginning point and add your MAPS to it. This is so that users of your maplist can still zoom to other areas of the country and still see the detail of the USA distribution without having to load another maplist..

All XX state map distribution packages should be named consistently as, where VV is the version number. Everyone can use that list to see the extent of your efforts and responsibility. The version number lets everyone know whats new, and lets BBS SYSOPS know whats OLD and can be deleted.

Distribute interim UPDATE files as This file will contain all of the NEW maps and changes for state XX, AFTER version VV.

FINALLY, to build your zip file, perform the following steps:

  1. Create a temorary file (lets call it MYMAPS)
  2. Make MAPS and MAPLISTS subdirectories
  3. Copy all of YOUR maps in to the MAPS subdirectory
  4. Copy your MAPLIST.XX into the MAPLISTS directory
  5. Then use PKZIP -rp to zip up your package.
This way the directory structure is preserved and when the user uses PKUNZIP -d, he will get the MAPLIST and the MAPS in the right places.

If we are all consistent in our distribution packages, then the users will have a lot less troubles...

CAUTION: When adding MAPS to any file, the location of the map in the list is VERY IMPORTANT. Your new map must go AFTER any other larger map covering the same area, and BEFORE any smaller maps which overlap or may be included in your map. THis includes the edges of surounding areas and states. Use the MAPS-HEIRARCHY or MAPS BORDERS command to see the effect..

I HAVE WRITTEN A PROGRAM CALLED MKmapLST.bas which will scan a given directory and will BUILD a maplist from the data in the files. This list will NOT be in the proper heirarchical order, but can be used with an editor to cut and paste together a list for your area. This program will only be useful to dedicated map makers. It reads the map CENTER coordinates in the various MAP files and builds a simple list of them. If SOMEONE would like to add to this program to give it the intelligence to properly overlap the heirarchical structure, PLEASE DO SO!

COMMERCIAL MAP MAKERS: I would encourage anyone that has the time and the energy to consider going into business making APRS maps for hire. Since APRS maps are intended for the public domain, do not expect to get per-copy fees or royalties, but there should be many HAM clubs or groups that might like to HIRE you to make a map for them. If you are going into this business, please contact me. John Baum KB8JXO in Columbus Ohio is making detail street maps for acomparable contibution, see his 2 mile map around my house. 3909N 07636W.

SEE ADDITIONAL FILES on how to make maps listed at the top of this file.

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