Posts tagged aprs

APRS Live 1.4 Beta

There is now a beta version of APRSLive for 1.4.  If you have purchased APRSLive then the install zip file should be available for download on your account on the web site.  If it isn’t there let us know and we will add it.  Contact us at

This is still a beta but it has been tested by several users in the field.  If you find any problems or have ideas for enhancements email

Some feedback from a customer in Maine

Our ARES/CERT Communications group used the Depiction software this past weekend for the first time. It is amazing. The ability to go from topographical, street and satellite imagery is amazing. We were able to track our groups along tree lines and in fields as they did their search. In Maine we had a girl about 20 months old that disappeared during the night. Her father says that someone took her but there was no evidence to support that. The police have done multiple searches for her but have had no luck. There was someone in the home town where the girl disappeared that had seen a car at a business that was closed and he had reported it to the police. They did not search the area where he saw the car. He asked for our help and we responded to his needs. We spent about 5 hours searching an area about 100 to 150 acres. The software along with our Byonics  All in One Trackers was a great mix to allow for accurate viewing of the search and the ability to post positions of interest that we came across. We used Depiction along with APRS Live to accomplish this. There are a few things I would like to see changed for search and rescue use but it is way better than anything that we have had until now.

Thought you might like to hear about our use of your software. Keep up the good work.

Thank you

Bob Gould

Oxford County ARES/CERT Communications

Oxford County IMAT

Maine Communications Unit Leader

APRS Live now available!

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

Two ways to use Depiction over RF

There are two very cool recent developments that enable Amateur Radio users to send and receive data to and from copies of Depiction, without touching the Internet

First, the APRS Live add-on, which allows APRS packet information received over RF via your radio and TNC to be displayed in Depiction, is now in its second beta and will be released in May. The add-on, built by a third-party developer, will cost $39.95, but you can pre-order it today for only $34.95. Click here to download the brochure (pdf) and learn more. If you are currently enrolled in the beta for APRS Live, there is no need to pre-order, but please do spread the word!

Second, Depiction user Gary Takis has put together a document that outlines the steps for using Depiction’s Live Reports feature with the global Winlink2000 (WL2K) system and the Paclink interface client program, allowing users to send and receive map elements and alerts without Internet access. Click here to download Gary’s document (pdf).

Depiction on the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast

Thanks to Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK, of the Amateur Radio Podcast for highlighting Depiction in his recent podcast about APRS. He notes that Depiction, with the APRS software add-on, brings APRS data in from the Internet similar to and, but in a more functional and robust environment.

But we’ve also got something else on the horizon. A third-party developer has just released the second beta of an “APRS Live” add-on for Depiction, which brings APRS data that is received by a radio and transmitted to a computer directly into Depiction. In the next few months, this will become publicly available–register here if you want to hear about it first.