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Surfin': Locating a Radio Destination

05/14/2008

Spring is here and the time is near for hamming outdoors.

Whether you are looking for the best site to plant a new repeater, operate Field Day, the VHF contests or just hike in the woods with your favorite portable radio in tow, you probably will consult a map before doing so.

Itinerant backpacker, Jeffrey Nast, KC0MKS, alerted me to a tool that he and his family use to scout "the best trails and vistas now that TopoZone has gone the way of commercialization." KC0MKS's son, Ted, KC0MKU, found a very intriguing substitute called World Wind.

A product of NASA, World Wind "lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there."

World Wind is an open source program, runs on Windows 2000 or XP and requires a 3D graphics card installed in the computer. The complete list of system requirements and downloading links are on the World Wind Download & Updates Web page. An amazing list of available plug-ins is on the World Wind Wiki Add-Ons Web page.

World Wind Java SDK is also available for software developers who wish to embed World Wind technology in their own applications.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, is still having "Dayton withdrawal" and is bummed out big time. To communicate with Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog. By the way, every installment of Surfin' is indexed here, so go look it up.

 

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor



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