Plotting your DX (carto)graphically, interactively – without Google Earth

2013dx_ae5xI’ve always appreciated the clarity that a graph or chart (or in this case, a map) gives to what otherwise would be a list of data points.

There are several methods by which DXers and contesters can use Google Earth to display the results of their efforts but I’ve always found Google Earth to be unwieldy in such applications. Plus, it isn’t interactive in the way that I want it to be.

Thanks to Jon K7CO for coming up with an alternative method. With this way of displaying logbook-as-map, not only is zooming preserved, but bands are displayed as well. Clicking on a contact opens a window containing other bands on which the station was worked, CQ Zone, Date, Time and signal report.

To see an example of the end result of the following explanation, here are the stations I worked in 2013.

There are three initial requirements to producing such a display – the latest version of Java on your computer, access to QRZ.com’s XML and a website to host the page.

Here are the steps to display your log as an interactive map:

1) Convert your log to adif format. There is a size limit and it seems to be around 2000 to 2400 QSO’s. Most of my stateside QSOs had to be deleted in order to display the map linked above.

2) Convert the resulting adif file to kml format. This is the format used to map the QSO to a geographic location and it requires/makes use of QRZ.com’s XML feed. The program that does all this is GeLog available here.

3) Upload the kml file to your website, making note of where you put it.

4) Create a simple web page in html with the following code with the yourwebsite and yourcall properly edited to describe the name and location of your kml file:

<html>
<head>
<meta name=”viewport” content=”initial-scale=1.0, user-scalable=no”>
<meta charset=”utf-8″>
<title>My DX Contacts</title>
<style>
html, body, #map-canvas {
height: 100%;
margin: 0px;
padding: 0px
}
</style>
<script src=”https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/js?v=3.exp&sensor=false”></script>
<script>
function initialize() {
var chicago = new google.maps.LatLng(41.875696,-87.624207);
var mapOptions = {
zoom: 3,
center: chicago
}
var map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById(‘map-canvas’), mapOptions);

var ctaLayer = new google.maps.KmlLayer(‘http://yourwebsite.com/yourcall.kml’,{ preserveViewport: true });

ctaLayer.setMap(map);
}

google.maps.event.addDomListener(window, ‘load’, initialize);

</script>
</head>
<body>
<div id=”map-canvas”></div>
</body>
</html>

And that should do it.

Thanks again to Jon K7CO for taking the time to explain/develop all this during a time of year when radio time is limited.

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  1 comment for “Plotting your DX (carto)graphically, interactively – without Google Earth

  1. December 25, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    If you have either a lat/long or grid square for your contacts, you can upload an ADIF file to http://www.levinecentral.com/adif2map/ and it will plot them in Google Maps. You can also pull down the KML file if you want to load into Google Earth.

    David – K2DSL

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