GPS_LOG map creation utilities


DAFIFtoMAP program description

This is a companion program to GPS_LOG WinCE family. It uses data provided by National Geospatial Intelligence Agency to create GPS_LOG WinCE maps of Special Use and Controlled Airspaces. It runs on a Windows PC and is part of the GPS_LOG Win32 distribution package. Read the "DAFIFtoMAP readme.txt" file included in distribution package for special data configuration details.
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency stopped providing data and this utility is pretty useless

ESRItoMAP program description

This is a companion program to GPS_LOG WinCE family.

 It takes files in ESRI shape format and converts them into map files readable by GPS_LOG WinCE. Since it runs on a Windows PC it is part of the GPS_LOG Win32 distribution package. Shape format files are available for sale from several data sources or you can make up some free ones on the ESRI map server. How long this is going to be a free service I have no idea. ESRI data source:

For the United States and maybe some other places try

When you open a shape file two windows will come up. One will show only one map object at a time, the other will show all that you added to map. You can change attributes of the object to be added by using controls on the right of the program window. Program is relatively simple to use so no detailed instructions are provided. It should be self explanatory to any one knowing about GPS_LOG WinCE map format.

Two buttons may need clarification: clicking [Find Next] looks for the next shape that matches (case insensitive) displayed data field and legend (you can type the legend to find what you want). Clicking [All] results in adding all shapes in the file to map. This can be optionally filtered to match the database field and legend currently displayed.


DEMtoMAP program description

This is a companion program to GPS_LOG WinCE family. Since it runs on a Windows PC it is part of the GPS_LOG Win32 distribution package. This format files are available for sale from several data sources or you can make up some free ones on the DCW map server

This program can be used to generate GPS_LOG WinCE type maps from ARCInfo E00 data files or from Digital Elevation Map files. The former function is identical to the E00toMAP utility, while the latter is an extension of DEMtoBMP utility that generates maps for Flight Display program which is also part of this program.

Elevation data for this program can be obtained from the following URL:
For more information look at the GLOBE project page at:

You should get data in the freeND format for a PC. *bin and *hdr files are needed. 

Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (  ) elevation data are available at  You need the DEM and HDR archives. These data are more accurate than those of the Globe project. Downloadable files are large and with fixed boundaries. They have extensions of *.dem or *.hgt.

If you are using Internet Explorer (or other non ftp program) to download digital elevation data for DEMtoMAP, please make certain to remove the TXT extension appended by these programs to file names.

The E00 ArcInfo data files are available from DCW map server

Digital elevation data file manipulation:

[Extract] button - You can extract data from a large file and create a new one of the size you require.
[Create] button - You can create a "blank" file of specified region for further manipulation (see [Insert] ).
[Insert] button - You can copy data from an input file to an output file. The output file has to have "bin" extension and has to exist. This allows you to create a file that spans several other non overlapping files.

Digital elevation data to map file conversion:

In order to create maps from digital elevation data select *.bin type file for input. If you do not check the "Threshold" checkbox a color coded bitmap of elevations and a corresponding *.flt calibration file are created for Flight Display. If you check it, you get to chose the elevation for which you want to create an isoline map. Program creates two *.plt files with names based on the name of the input file. These files are written in HPGL plotter format. Later you choose which file to convert into a *.map file. At that time you get a choice of which color to asign to the filled isoline polygon. The *up.plt file corresponds to the outlines of areas in which elevation may be higher than isoline. The *down.plt file corresponds to areas of elevation lower than isoline that are contained within the *up.plt file. After converting to * and * files, you should collect the isolines you want to display into a single *.map file by first listing the * files in increasing order of elevation followed by * files in decreasing order of elevation. e.g.:


Note that in this case there is no ? as in this set there were no areas with elevation below zero.

When *.plt files are created, program is creating three temporary bitmap files (they can be very big). You can choose to preserve them or delete them automatically by using the "Delete bitmaps" checkbox. The "Corner continuous" checkbox controls whether diagonally continuous points of low elevation are treated as being parts of the same region or not. At the moment this checkbox is mostly irrelevant due to less than perfect performance of raster to vector conversion.

Conversion of *.plt file to *.map file requires the same header file as was used to convert *.bin file to *.plt. If you do not change the automatic names provided by this program these files are found automatically. The first shape in a *.plt file defines bounding rectangle of the map and together with header information defines the scale of map being created. If you use other software (e.g. CorelTrace) to convert bitmaps to HPGL files make certain that the bounding rectangle (bitmap edges) is present.

ArcInfo E00 format to map file conversion:

This program is not guaranteed to work on all files. The E00 format is very poorly documented (ESRI holds it a secret). Operation of this program is file name sensitive, so do not change names of the E00 files you download. If you get files from some other source that does not adhere to the same convention as DCW, program may not work. 

You can generate arbitrary fill colors, and the colors persist from one time you run the program to another.

Polygonal shapes in E00 files come rather fractured. Program can attempt to combine them for fill purposes.  Force filled polygons that happen to lie on output boundaries may come out looking a bit strange.

You can reduce the size of files you create by using the simplify option. When using it, you control how far a line can deviate from its original.

Special case files:

DEMtoMAP  is not a stand alone program. It requires various system dynamically linked libraries. If you are running GPS_LOG Win32 then you have these files. Install GPS_LOG Win32 program, DEMtoMAP is part of the installation package. 



Using these programs you can easily generate map files that are a) extremely detailed, b) take forever to draw on a handheld. I strongly suggest that you edit resulting files manually to eliminate unnecessary detail.

Have fun.

Other Soaring Pilot Software programs:

  Flight Display GPS_LOG,  and  Magellan GPS to IGC track format converter, Geoid

For other things see the home page