Last week, I released D-RATS 0.1.11 with preliminary GPS support. This meant parsing the NMEA GPS strings that are broadcasted by ICOM radios, calculating the distance and direction from current, as well as a temporary way to plot known stations on a Google Maps map. This was a stunning visualization of the data being sent across, but it only works in the presence of a (good) internet connection.
Since then, I’ve been working to integrate a map viewer that can do most of what the fantastic Google Maps application can do, but with local data fetched from OpenStreetMap.org. The result is 0.1.12 with integrated station mapping capabilities that can be operated completely offline:
I wasn’t aware of the OSM project until I had a need for access to free map data without the Google terms of service (which only allow the data to be used by free and public web sites). I was surprised by how well the OSM stuff worked and applaud the group for their efforts. I’ll be offering up my CPU cycles to help render map tiles soon.