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Notes on Installing and Using UI-View

Invalid & Changed Items In Distribution File  | Windows Vista and Win7 IssuesAdd-Ons  |  Installing and Using Precision Mapping with UIview32   | Installing and Using PA7RHM Map Server | Using MapPoint with UI-View |   FAQ  
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All discussions below apply to the final 32-bit release of UIview (Ver. 2.03). They DO NOT apply to the older and much more limited 16-bit version (which will work with Windows 3.1 if anyone still cares!).  Note that confusingly, the 16-bit version has a seemingly higher version number (2.39).   Don't be fooled -- all the advanced plugins require the 32-bit Ver 2.03!

The 16-bit (Windows 3.x) version is totally freely downloadable and usable as-is without registration. The 32-bit version requires registration to acquire the key number needed to unlock install and run the program.  The registration, once a USD $15 charge, is now completely free.  See the UIview.org website for details.  Many of the more advanced add-ons, including Precision Mapping zoomable maps, will only work with the 32-bit version.

Note that the 16-bit version will not work at all with Windows Vista or Windows 7.  Along with support for the classic Windows .hlp  help files, Windows Vista and later have dropped support for any 16-bit programs. (This also includes many older supposedly-32-bit Win95/Win98 programs and hardware device drivers, that often contained chunks of 16-bit code recycled from their Windows 3.x predecessors.)
 

*** Important !!! ***

Roger Barker G4IDE, the author of UIview, died abruptly of cancer in later 2004.  At his request from his deathbed, the source code for the program was destroyed, making updates impossible.

The main UIview program has now remained unchanged for OVER A DECADE. It is an "orphan" frozen in time as of  14 April 2004 during the "Windows XP era". This is long before Windows Vista, 7 and 8 appeared

Even so, it is STILL the most fully-featured APRS client, and one of only three that can provide fully zoomable, scrollable dynamic mapping WITHOUT an Internet connection.  (The other two are APRSpoint, which appears to also be an orphan and that only has a tiny fraction of the capabilities of UIview, and YAAC which is under current development.)

Uiview can be made to work with Vista and Windows 7, either 32- or 64-bits, but it IS NOT a mindless  "just run SETUP and accept the defaults"  undertaking.  See Vista and Win7 issues below. 

An increasing number of out-of-the-box defaults and settings are outdated.  Fortunately, many of these can be changed after the initial install.     Here are some of the changes & updates you need to make after installing the program.

 

Undertow Software's  Precision Mapping 9.0 (discontinued as of April 2014 with no replacement apparent. Remaining stocks may be available.) is widely used for fully scrollable zoomable street-level maps of all of the U.S. and Canada inside UIview, using the Precison Mapping Server 9.0 plug-in for UIview.

Delorme Street Atlas, TopoUSA, Microsoft Streets & Trips, Garmin MapSource and other mapping programs WILL NOT WORK directly with UI-View for scrollable, zoomable maps.  However, they could be used as a source of screen capture images in GIF or BMP format,  to be calibrated for use as static (fixed non-zooming) maps.

The older versions of Precision Mapping (Ver 7.0 discontinued in October 2006, Ver 8.0 discontinued in April 2009, and Ver 8.1 discontinued in November 2011) will work with the older version 7.07 of the Precision Mapping Server plug-in. 

CLICK HERE For details on using the most recent Precision Mapping 9.0 with UI-View.

CLICK HERE For details on using the older (discontinued) Precision Mapping 8.0 or 8.1.

CLICK HERE for details on using the still older (discontinued) Precision Mapping 7.0.

 
Precision Mapping 9 can now provide scalable, zoomable maps OUTSIDE of North America using vector data from external sources.    Details here:

PMapEuroMapSamples\index.htm

 

Invalid & Changed Items in Ver 2.03 Distribution File

UIview Related FAQ

A useful FAQ (Frequently Ask Questions) for UIview is located on M0CYP's website here:

    http://www.apritch.myby.co.uk/faq_uiview32.htm

 

UI-View Add-Ons

Although the main program is unchangeable, Roger provided and documented an API (Applications Programming Interface) that allows external programs to exchange data with UIview.  Details on this interface and code samples are located in the subdirectory \DEVELOP, located under the main UIview32 directory.   As a result, add-ons for UIview to continue to be developed.  Some examples are:

These (and many other UIview add-ons) are located at:
     http://www.apritch.myby.co.uk/addon.htm  

These are only a sample of the add-ons available for UIview. Many more are described and linked from the main UIview.org website.

Using The PA7RHM Mapserver for UIview

Chris van Gorp's PA7RHM mapserver automatically captures and calibrates maps from Microsoft's Expedia on-line mapping service for use with UI-View. You can zoom out to regional or country level or zoom in to street-level anywhere in North America or Western Europe.  The appearance of these maps is almost identical to images produced by the local programs MS Streets&Trips (North America), MS Automap (Europe) and MS MapPoint for both regions.   It can produce views elsewhere in the world but these will be simple outlines of national borders and provinces with cities shown as simple point objects.  No roads or hydrographic features show.

Normally the "RHM Mapserver is downloaded from PA7RHM's website at:

     http://pa7rhm.nl/ 

Look for "Downloads" in the left-hand column menu. Normally a separate rather clumsy "Updater" utility is used to download & install any or all of his offerings. This automated first-time-installer/updater gives you NO choice of install location. It forces you to use the default /Program Files hierarchy which presents problems in Vista and Windows 7 systems, as described above, especially on 64-bit systems.    You can bypass the "Updater" and directly download the Mapserver's own installer (which DOES give you the choice of install location) by going to:

     http://www.pa7rhm.nl/downloads/setup_pa7rhmsvr1014.exe

Operation with a live Internet connection, is very straight-forward.  Just install the program from the downloaded setup file, and then select "Map Server by PA7RHM" from the UIview "Load A Map Dialog."    Configuring it to capture maps for use off-line (i.e. without an Internet connection) is a bit more involved.

The mapserver saves captured maps in UIview's optional "Extra Maps Directory".  It won't save any maps until you define such a directory in UIview.  The original intent of this optional directory was to allow the storage of large archives of static (non-zoomable) maps on a CD-ROM instead of filling up the UIview "\maps" directory on your hard disk.   For application with the PA7RHM server, this directory has to be on a hard disk (or other writable device such as a USB flash drive) since it needs to be writable.

  1. From the Windows File Explorer, create a directory for additional maps. It can be located under the main UIview directory, or somewhere else you prefer on your hard disk. Since you will want to edit files in this directory and delete unwanted views, it may be convenient to place this directory directly off the root of the drive instead of nesting it inside many layers of subdirectories. 
     
  2. In UIview (not the map server) pull down "Setup, Miscellaneous Setup" and locate the "Extra Maps" box at the bottom of the screen. Click the "Browse" button and navigate to the directory you created above .
     
  3.  Every time you zoom or scroll the PA7RHM server screen, a new pair of files (GIF image and INF file) with matching random-looking alphanumeric-string base file names will appear in this directory.  These random-looking names will now show up in UIview's "Load A Map" dialog after you do "Map, Refresh Map List".
     
  4. The names that show in "Load A Map" are not the file names. They are text strings contained INSIDE the .INF file for each map. Open the .INF file with Notepad or other basic text editor, and edit the third line to something more descriptive such as "Denver Metro Area" or "Westside - Street Level".  The string is completely arbitrary and can be anything you like. When you refresh the map list, you will now have more meaningful map titles.
    .
  5. You can quickly accumulate hundreds of maps, since you get a new map-and-inf pair every single time you zoom or scroll. You will probably not want to leave the "Save Map Copies" mode left turned on in the PA7RHM server very long. You will also probably also want to select just a few views to keep,  and delete the rest.  Use an image-management thumbnail-and-viewer utility such as IrfanView to preview and delete files. Or as a last resort, open the GIF images in your web browser for a quick view.
     
  6. To use the stored maps, you don't run the server at all. Once they are captured and stored, the maps are just like any other static map, such as the ones that came with UIview.  Just do "Map, Load A Map" in UI-View and select one of the stored static maps. If you have captured several maps that cover adjacent areas with some overlap, and UIview is set to track a particular station, UIview will automatically try to select the map with the best view of the station's current location as the station  moves.
     
  7. The Expedia maps, like maps generated by MapPoint, are projected on a non-rectangular grid to minimize distortion when the earth's curved surface is displayed as a flat image.   The disagreement between UIview's simple rectangular x-y grid "non-projection", and the curved, projected view generated by MapPoint, is insignificant at city, county or district level.  You WILL see significant error in the placement of APRS symbols, away from the map center, when the map is zoomed out to beyond 75 miles (120KM) or so.
     
  8. An alternative to the 'RHM server, that WILL produce rectangular-grid "non-projected" maps that align perfectly within UIview,  is the Universal Maps Downloader tool reviewed here on my web site. This program can capture satellite or street maps from Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, Bing Maps or Open Street Maps at a wide variety of scales.   Note that you WILL have to do some simple math to convert the coordinates produced by this program in degrees-and-decimal-degrees to the degrees, minutes and decimal minutes format used by UIview. 

    (A separate tool that converts between all three coordinate formats is downloadable from my website.Download Hyperlink for DegreesMInutesSecondsConvert Utility)  

Using Microsoft MapPoint with UI-View

UIview can pass it's received position reports to Microsoft MapPoint (either the North American or European version) via the UI-Point "middle-ware" plug-in. Launching UI-Point from the "File" menu inside UIview causes an application that is actually MapPoint minus some of it's toolbar buttons to appear. This modified version of MapPoint, with all of it's normal menu pulldowns replaced with new ones, operates along side of UIview.   Note you must have MapPoint installed before UI-Point will work. MS Streets & Trips or Autoroute will not work with UIview. Click here for more information and details about MapPoint.

The maps displayed in MapPoint are independent of any maps running normally inside UIview.  UI-Point plots standard UIview icons on the MapPoint display, but alphanumeric overlay characters that appear on top of the base icons on maps inside UIview don't show on the MapPoint display.  None of the other UIview plug-ins or enhancements that add track lines, range circles, weather alerting zones, overlay objects, etc to maps inside UIview will have any effect on the UI-Point/MapPoint display.

Note that APRS position reports received from the APRS Internet system (rather than off-the-air from a radio/TNC) don't appear by default.  Pull down "Options, Traffic Filter" from the UI-Point menu bar. Clear the check box for "Don't Display Internet Traffic". 

MapPoint is a large, resource-sucking, rather slow program. When UI-Point was first released years ago, the author was concerned that the typical PC used by hams wasn't fast enough to keep up with the flood of data from the APRS Internet system, while running the sluggish MapPoint. As a result, he defaulted Internet display to off.  (The over-the-air data rate is only 1200 baud and is no challenge for even slow PCs to keep up with.) Today, with fast PCs with hundreds of megabytes of RAM on broadband connections with port 14580 selective filtering (Details Here) of the Internet stream, UIview and UI-Point have no problem keeping up with the Internet data.

 

Displaying Stations Tracked in UI-View on External Mapping Programs. 

Although UI-View can only use Precision Mapping internally for scrollable, zoomable maps, it is possible to pass very limited amounts of data to any external mapping program capable of working with a standard NMEA GPS device. 

The obscure UIview plug-in Pos2NMEA (click here to download) will grab the incoming position data for any single specified callsign+SSID in UIview, convert it into generic NMEA format, and then output it to a virtual COM port. 

In turn, the external moving-map program is "fooled" into thinking it is connected to a standard NMEA GPS device in a moving vehicle.  Only position data (and altitude, if it was included in the original APRS posits) is passed to the external program. APRS symbols, comment fields, callsign, etc WILL NOT appear on the external map; only the same kind of cursor and bread-crumb trails that the program produces normally with an attached GPS receiver will show.   This setup works very well to display a balloon with an APRS tracker on a Delorme TopoUSA relief map as it drifts into mountainous terrain, while following it in UIview.  Examples of the track in both UIview and TopoUSA are here on this website.

Since both UIview and the external program have COM ports trying to talk to each other, you need a virtual null-modem (i.e. simulated serial cross-over cable) to connect the two.  The MixW "Serial Port Bridge" does exactly this in Windows 2000 or later, and is downloadable here.  The Serial Port Bridge was originally intended to allow MixW to act as a software packet TNC to external programs (it works perfectly with UIview). However, the Serial Port Bridge (which installs as a virtual hardware device in the Windows Device Manager) will work to connect any two serial-port-using programs in the same computer to each other.

Changing the callsign, whose data is to be passed out of UIview to the external program, requires hand-editing the .ini file that controls Pos2NMEA with a text editor like Windows Notepad. (Pos2NMEA was a quick unfinished hack of a program without a full user interface. You can't change the callsign from a pulldown menu inside the running program.) You can make editing the .ini file more convenient by adding the edit function to the UIview "Files" menu.   Open Windows Notepad and  copy/paste the following four lines into it:

Pos2Nmea_Edit
"C:\Windows\Notepad.exe" Pos2Nmea.ini
False
True


Save the file as
 Pos2NMEA_Edit.xtr . A convenient entry to edit the Pos2NMEA file will appear in the UIview "Files" menu the next time you start UIview.    .XTR files (short for eXTeRnal) allow commands to run external programs to be added to the UIiview menus.  [If your Windows installation is located on a drive other than C: , edit the path above to match.]  An XTR file to run Pos2NMEA is created automatically when the program is installed.  This added XTR just makes editing the  Pos2NMEA.ini  file more convenient.