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March 5, 2003


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How to make Precision Mapping's Quick Finder CD work with WinAPRS

MacAPRS and WinAPRS are registered trademarks of and copywrited by Mark Sproul and Keith Sproul.
APRS is a registered trademark of and copywrited by Bob Bruninga.

Update: The Cosmi program sold under the Swift brand name as "Travel Maps USA" WILL NOT WORK in WinAPRS, their other product "Precision Street Maps USA" will work.

Due to the recent availability of inexpensive "Quick Finder" mapping CD's, and the shortage of Precision Mapping Streets 3.0 for use by WinAPRS, many hams have asked on the APRS mailing list how, exactly, can the files from the Quick Finder CD be made usable by WinAPRS?

It's very easy.

You must have Windows95, because to interface the Quick Finder maps with the WinAPRS program, you need to use the Precision Mapping OCX which will only work with Windows95.  You also need enough room on your hard drive to copy several layers of map data files, depending on which states you want to see.

First, find a copy of Precision Mapping's Quick Finder.  These have been found since 1997 produced by a company called "Cosmi" under the brand name "Swift", and are packaged as "Precision Street Maps USA".  Recently I found a slightly newer version by a company called "Trius" under the brand name of "Expert Software", and packaged as "Easy Maps."   I have both programs, and I found that the "Easy Maps" program had slightly newer map files than the Cosmi program.  I don't have a "real" version of Precision Mapping Streets 3.0, so I cannot tell you what the difference is between the two products, except that Quick Finder seems to be an "extract" of Precision Mapping Streets.

Take a look at Easy Maps at the Expert Software web site at   http://www.expertsoftware.com/easy_maps.htm   Notice the screen shots of the product as you scroll to the middle of the page (you can click on any of those screen shots to enlarge them). They all have a control panel on the right side of the map with an outline of the USA with arrows surrounding it, and six function buttons under the USA outline, and finally a picture of a globe under those six buttons.  If you find any other mapping software products that show these same screen shots on the box, chances are it's a Quick Finder CD.

Once you get a Quick Finder CD, and have installed WinAPRS on your computer, you need to download and install the Precision Mapping OCX for Windows95.  Get the pmap_ocx.zip  file from the Rutgers site at ftp://aprs.rutgers.edu/pub/hamradio/APRS/WinAPRS/ .  Follow the instructions for installing the OCX files from the Win/MacAPRS documentation page:   http://aprs.rutgers.edu/WAPRSdoc.htm#PrecMap

Now, make a directory on your hard drive named Pmap30, and create sub-directories in the Pmap30 directory named Data1 (that's Data-one), Data3 and States.  Copy all of the files from the CD's Data1 and Data3 directories to the corresponding sub-directories on your hard drive.  Don't bother copying any files to the main Pmap30 directory, WinAPRS won't use them.  Check the filename extensions in the Data1 sub-directory, if any of the filename extensions are .zp3, you will have to change the extensions to .zpx for these files to work.

Next, copy the files from the States directory on the CD to the corresponding sub-directory on the hard drive.  You don't need to copy all of the state files, only the ones you are interested in.  Again, look at the instructions at  http://aprs.rutgers.edu/WAPRSdoc.htm#PrecMap for a list of the state files to use for your particular states.  After copying these files to the hard drive, change the filename extensions to .zpx

Note:    I have heard from two hams that they have successfully recopied the Pmap30 directory, will the three sub-directories and renamed files, back to a writeable CD Rom and been able to use it in WinAPRS by selecting the CD Rom Drive.

Now start WinAPRS and open a Precision Mapping Window.  Click on the "Precision Mapping Options" button and change the letter for the CD Rom Drive to "C" or whatever the letter is for the hard drive onto which you copied the Quick Finder files.

You should be getting your maps.  Please contact me, Dave Chapman, KC6UWP,  dchapman@pacbell.net  if you find another Quick Finder or Precision Mapping Streets program by any other company than the two companies listed above.  I'm keeping a list of WinAPRS compatible mapping products and will update this page when new products are located.


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