We’re excited to announce today our first third party add-on–APRS Live. APRS Live is an add-on for Depiction that enables amateur radio users take real time data received by a radio using the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS), and bring it in to Depiction, combining it with all the maps, data, simulations and imagery you have combined there. Because the APRS data is all being received by radio, this can all be done offline!

Here are a few key paragraphs from our news release this morning:

“Depiction is a powerful tool for the integration of multiple types of data, including images, spreadsheets and GIS files,” noted the add-on’s creator, Brian Smucker. “The ability to receive APRS data in real time via radio, and to visualize it using the advanced tools that Depiction provides is a powerful new capability. Now hams can do things that used to only be available to big corporations and large government agencies.”

APRS Live is the first Depiction add-on built by a third party. “We are very excited about APRS Live, both because it provides our customers with exciting new capabilities, and because it is the beginning of what we expect to be a wide range of third-party products that work with Depiction,” said Depiction, Inc. President and founder Mike Geertsen.

APRS is a digital communications protocol for exchanging data between multiple radio stations across a region, including position information, telemetry, weather data, short text messages and more. APRS is used by amateur radio users for position tracking, gaining situational awareness during emergencies, coordinating large-scale public service events such as bike races and marathons and more.

The add-on allows APRS packet information received by a radio and transmitted to a computer using a terminal node controller (TNC) connected to a serial port to be displayed within Depiction as simulation elements. For example, search and rescue workers can be tracked alongside a simulation of an eight-foot storm surge, or bike race volunteers can be tracked along race maps. APRS Live also enables the sending of short APRS messages from within Depiction.

APRS Live data within Depiction