ARRL

News

Surfin’: Mappin’ Your Hammin’

06/25/2010

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ reveals the mother lode of online map sources.

Wednesday evening, the little woman was curious about Betty White’s new television series. I was clueless, so I Googled it.

Turns out that the show airs Wednesday nights at 2200 UTC on our TV channel 106, so we stayed up past our bedtime to watch it and we both were sorry that we did (the loud and frequent canned laughter enjoyed the show, but we were not amused).

Since the laptop was already in my lap, I distracted myself by poking around Wikipedia looking for new ham radio entries of interest. I turned up a list of APRS nodes and scrolling down through the worldwide list, I found mine -- WA1LOU -- as the solo node in Connecticut.

Can that be correct? Is mine the only node in the whole state?

The validity of the list became suspect, but I continued to peruse the list and noticed that the station coordinates were linked and also had a globe icon in front of the link.

Pointing at the globe, a pop-up message says “show location on an interactive map.” Pointing at the coordinates, a pop-up says “Maps, aerial photos and other data for this location.”

Being a fan of maps, I was interested.

I clicked on the globe and a WikiMiniAtlas map of the west side of the northern hemisphere pops up with a red dot indicating the location of the coordinates. Zooming in displays map labels and clicking on a map label opens a Wikipedia entry that describes the label. That’s how I discovered that there is an AM radio station (WPRX) broadcasting from the antenna farm up the road.

Next, I clicked on the coordinates that open the GeoHack Web page for those coordinates. The GeoHack tool accesses a one-stop source for Internet maps that cover a particular location. It provides links to road maps, satellite maps, weather maps, aerial maps, topographic maps and many other maps that sprinkle various locations on the Internet. It is a great tool for locating your next hilltopping expedition or next ARRL Field Day site.

GeoHack has been around for awhile and I have encountered it in the past, but it seems to me that its contents are more extensive than the last time I visited it. You can spend hours visiting its various map links while waiting for the next laugh on Hot in Cleveland.

Until next time, keep on surfin’.

Editor note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, likes unused treasure maps. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.



Back