[aprssig] Re: APRSPOINT

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Thu Mar 15 14:42:32 EDT 2007

cedwards at trane.com wrote:
> We are starting to setup for our annual June Triathlon here in Macon, GA. I
> was looking into whether or not my APRS+SA would do what I need it to do for
> the race and I ran across APRSPOINT. Any body use that program? It would
> make me bail out on Delorme Street Atlas by having to purchase another
> mapping program, but I wondered if it would be better for what we need to
> do. 
> Please contact me if you have some experience with this program. Thanks! 

I am a licensed user of APRSpoint as well as APRSplus and UIview.   Some 
random comments and observations follow.

1)  APRSpoint   DOES NOT  support the standard APRS symbol set.  It only 
uses the generic Microsoft MapPoint "push pins". Symbol overlays are not 
supported at all.   Modern digipeater symbols using the secondary symbol 
set with overlays don't show at all.   The symbol set is embedded inside 
of MapPoint. There is no way to replace/update the symbol set.

 [NOTE:  It IS technically possible to pass external symbols into 
MapPoint.  The UIpoint add-on for UIview is able to plot standard APRS 
symbols stored externally to maps generated by MapPoint.   See my update 
downloads below. Apparently the APRSpoint author chose not to implement 
this capability.]

2)  The rather thin outlines of the generic "pushpins", along with their 
subdued colors make them hard to see against the complex and highly 
colored backgrounds of MapPoint maps.  

To maximize the visibility of MapPoint symbols in APRSpoint, switch the 
map display mode from the default  "Road Map" view to the "Political 
Map".  This renders the background in several shades of a pinkish/plum 
coloration that makes the symbols stand out bettter.   It DOES NOT 
suppress the display of roads. 

3)  APRSpoint DOES NOT support KISS TNCs, thus ruling out the use of 
modern low-cost KISS-only TNCs such as OpenTracker 2, TNC-X or the 
forthcoming TinyTrak4.

4)  Messaging does not follow the proper decaying algorithm.

5)  If you are going to use it mobile, APRSpoint does not implement 
smart beaconing or Mic-E format compressed posits. It does transmit 
standard APRS-format posits. 

6)  APRSpoint does work with Kenwood D700/TH-D7 included the shared 
GPS/Data on a single serial port mode.

7)  I find the lack of terminal monitor windows, such as both APRSplus 
and UIview feature, to view raw data streams from the TNC, Internet and 
GPS while debugging equipment setups a real disadvantage of APRSpoint.

8)  Note that APRSpoint requires the use of Microsoft MapPoint. It will 
NOT work with the nearly identical  looking (but far less expensive) MS 
Streets & Trips.    

The major difference between Streets and MapPoint is that MapPoint 
offers an extensive API (Applications Programming Interface) to allow 
external programs to pass data to MapPoint to be displayed.

9)   MapPoint DOES do a good job of tracking  multiple mobiles.  It will 
draw track lines connecting multiple successive position reports (as 
APRSplus can) without add-ons, and can track each unit in a different 
color and/or line weight  if desired.

10)  It does implement PHG range circles.  

11)  If you acquire MapPoint as part of the APRSpoint package, you get 
get a fully functional standard copy of MapPoint that can be used 
standalone with a GPS for non-APRS moving map navigation.  This copy of 
MapPoint can also be used with UIview via the UI-Point plug-in.    

12)  If you get the (now outdated but CHEAP) 2004 edition  of MapPoint 
bundled with APRSpoint, you can update it to the clatest 2007 road data 
by purchasing a copy of MS Streets & Trips 2007 ($29.95  out the door at 
Wal-Mart with no rebate nonsense).  MS MapPoint and MS Streets use the 
identical database format. Just copy the new Streets data from the CD or 
DVD on top of the corresponding data files in MapPoint.  You don't even 
need to install the Streets program. 


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com  --OR--   http://wa8lmf.net

NEW!   World Digipeater Map

JavAPRS Filter Port 14580 Guide

"APRS 101"  Explanation of APRS Path Selection & Digipeating

Updated "Rev H" APRS            http://wa8lmf.net/aprs
Symbols Set for UI-View,
UIpoint and APRSplus:

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