North American Overlay Mapping

A Guided Tour of the Overlay Mapping System

This tour provides a quick guide of the facilities. For full instructions on how to use the Global Mapper, click HERE. This tour is designed to be read whilst looking at the NAOMI Mapper Screen. Open both windows on your monitor, or print out (Control-P) this topic before opening the NAOMI Mapper.

Start NAOMI by clicking on its icon. The startup page that opens shows registration and version details, and lets you choose the correct display resolution for your monitor. Choose one of these from the links bottom right, and the mapper will load to show the Map Navigation page, where you can choose which one of the 47 small-scale or two large-scale maps you wish to visit.

Move your mouse over the navigation map, and the moving frame show the maps that will load when you click on that spot. For the purposes of this tour, choose the one that covers San Francisco, and click. The map will be loaded, and a new toolbar above it. In the block of nine background overlay buttons, the centre 'State' one is illuminated, as the options are currently set to show this when a new map is loaded. Try clicking one of the others around it, and watch the background change. Note that only one background can be on at a time. Click one of the Foreground overlay buttons - these are the larger ones, grouped in 2 rows to the right. You can have as many foreground overlays on as you like - the one that is currently on top is indicated by the colored bar between the buttons. To bring an overlay to the top, click it off then on again.

Move your cursor on to the main map below. Note how the Status Line at the bottom of the screen shows a variety of information relating to the current position of the cursor: Latitude and Longitude, Maidenhead Grid Locator, and the distance, bearing and long-path to your registered home position. The format of the display, currently decimal degrees and statute miles, can be changed to one of a number of formats and options using the 'Options' tool, but don't do this right now. Instead, try clicking on the main map. A map pin will appear, and its position will be noted in the Message Box on the toolbar above. Click on the pin, and it will disappear. Try clicking in different positions on the map - you can have up to 8 pins on at any one time.

What can the pins be used for ? Well, they provide reference points for many other tools and features of NAOMI. Lets see one of them right now. Assuming that you currently have 2 or more pins on the current map, click on the 'Tools' button above, and from the popup box that will appear, choose 'Pin Distance'. Click on one or more of the '?' marks in the box, and lines will be plotted on the map, showing the path and distance between the pins. Experiment with the different colors and widths - you can close the box at any time by clicking on the 'X' in its top right corner.

Next, click on Tools > Pin Calculate. The Calculate page opens, and your pins are shown on a large scale map. Below the map, the pin details are given, with distances and bearing between the pins shown below. The details panel, below the map, tells you that each pin was added with a map click - although it knows the position, it can't tell anything else about each one. Click one of the pins on the small map, and instantly you will be back to the map you were looking at; this time though, the pins have been re-loaded, though the distance lines were not.

We'll now add some pins at known positions. Click the tiny map on the upper toolbar to take you back to the Map Navigation page, and in the 'Select Map by Locator' box, type 'DM18aa' and click the 'Go' button. We are back to the same map again, and a new pin has been added at the point specified: see the details in the Message Box above. Move your cursor to the base of the new pin, and see how the Status Bar reports the correct position. Turn on the Grid Locator foreground overlay, and see that the pin is in the bottom left of the DM18 box. Turn the Grid Locator overlay off, and the LatLon overlay on. Note how the position corresponds to the details in the message box, then click the 'Grid' button to turn on the first of the graticules, the decimal one. You can click-and-drag it over the 1 degree LatLon overlay for better interpolation.

Click the tiny map again, to get back to the Map Navigation page, and in the 'Select Map by Name' box, choose 'USA State Capitals' in the upper select-box. When you do that, a list is loaded in the lower select-box; from this list choose 'Sacramento, CA'. See how a small red outline appears on the map above, showing the borders of the state in question. Click the 'Go' button in the 'Select Map by Name' box, and this time, when our Northern California map is loaded, a new pin has been added in the correct position for Sacramento. Turn on the 'Major City' foreground overlay, and see the pin is correctly located. Sacramento has a red dot to mark its position - this shows that it is a state capital. Major Cities are those that have a population of 50,000 or greater. Turn on the 'Minor City' foreground overlay and you'll see cities in two different colors: one bolder, one weaker. The bolder color shows cities with a population of between 10,000 and 50,000. The weaker color shows cities with a population less than 10,000.

Click on Tools > Pin Calculate again. The Calculate page opens again, but this time we can see that it knows the type and location for the latest pins. Click one of the pins to return to our Northern California map again. Try some of the other pin tools: Pin Position and Pin Identify. Try Pin Rings, which lets you draw range rings around any pins on the current map.

Now lets connect to the outside world, and see some of the range of services you can access with NAOMI. Make sure you have at least one pin showing on the map, then connect to the Internet in your usual manner. Click Tools > Weather > Weather Radar, then when the tool box opens, click one of the colored spots that represent the pins currently on your map. The tool will locate the 5 nearest radar stations to your pin - choose one by clicking on the icon of an aeroplane. A new browser window will open, with the latest radar image for that location downloaded from the National Weather Service.

Close the radar browser, then click Tools > TerraServer. When the toolbox opens, click one of the colored spots there. A new browser window will open again; this time an aerial photo of the exact location of your pin will be shown. If you still have a pin over Sacramento or another larger city, try changing the 'View Type' to 'Urban Areas' - this will show a color photo of that point, and let you drill-down on the TerraServer window to a resolution of 0.25metres per pixel, enough to show cars and trucks quite clearly !!

Close the TerraServer browser, then click Tools > Pin Clear to clear the map of pins and graphics. Next, click the 'APRS' button, and in the first section (All) click the Load button once. Wait a few seconds whilst the FindU server is contacted, and an overlay will start to appear that shows icons for all current APRS stations on that map. Rather crowded ? Perhaps you want to see just one station, and where they have been. Choose a callsign, then scroll down to the 'Line' section and enter the callsign into the Callsign box. Click Load, and you'll see the tracks for the time specified. To see calls of, say, just the weather stations on the map, scroll to the 'Plot' section and enter 'CW*' in the Callsign box. Click Load, and only those stations who's callsign starts with the letters 'CW' are plotted on the map.

Whilst we have the Weather Stations still on display, lets see another of the major features of NAOMI. Click Tools > Plot Lists, and in list-select box right at the top of the window, choose 'User List 2'. Click on the 'Plot' button, and some points are plotted, with labels that correspond to some of the CW numbers from the APRS overlay. What's going on here ? Well, in addition to the pre-prepared lists you can use to load a map, such as the 'USA State Capitals' that we tried earlier, there are also 3 'User Lists'; lists that you can use to store positional details of club members, friends and relations, beacons and repeaters, whatever you want. The three user-lists have been pre-programmed to contain some examples to let you experiment with the possibilities. No.1 contains all the current ARRL section managers, no.2, as we've seen, contains all the weather stations at the time of production for the Northern California map, and no.3 contains a variety of mountains. You can plot any or all of these, with or without labels, and in a variety of colors.

You can also reference User-List entries to the position of any pin. To do this, click on the map to place a map-pin, then click Tools > List Position. When the box opens, choose 'User List 2' in the top list-select box, then click on the colored spot corresponding to your map-pin. A list appears showing the position of each entry in the user-list, and the distance from and bearing to the pin in question.

You can also use the user-lists to place pins on the map themselves. Click the tiny map on the toolbar above to return to the naviagation page, then in the 'Select Map by Name' box, choose 'User-List 1'. From the lower select-box, choose 'EB-NJ6T', and a new pin is placed where the section manager of the 'East Bay' section has his QTH. You can now use that position to locate bearing and distance relative to any other entry in any other user list.

To edit the user-lists, a special tool is provided. Click Tools > Edit Lists to get there; the explanation of how to use it has its own section in the Help and Information guide. For now, click on the tiny map to get back to the Map Navigation page, then click Tools > Table Viewer to see another of the major features of NAOMI.

Whilst the normal way of viewing map data and positions is via a map, there can be times when its useful to see the same information, plus a bit more, in a tabular form. This is where the Table Viewer comes in. Pre-loaded with 130 tables, the Table Viewer lets you view a variety of information, as well as providing tools for searching and sorting. In the 'Select List' box, choose any of the tables available. The table will load automatically, along with a heading-bar of table titles. Try scrolling the table down the screen - the heading bar will always move itself back to the top. Click one of the titles on the heading-bar, and the list will sort numerically or in dictionary order, as selected in the 'Sort-Type' and 'Sort Direction' boxes. Enter a word (case specific) in the 'Search' box and click 'Go' - the list will be scanned, and any match will be mentioned in the Message Box on the toolbar. The line where the match was found will have its colors changed too, for easy identification.

OK, you've reached the end of the introductory tour. For more information, explore the rest of the pages in this Help & Information Guide. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me - the address is on the Contact Page.