A Shareware Satellite and Topographical Map Browser with GPS support for Mac OS X
Terrabrowser is an internet browser for satellite photos and topographical maps which are obtained from the Microsoft Terra Server web site. The map data is provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and therefore only covers the United States at this time (although expansion to other map servers may occur in the future). Although a GPS receiver is not required to enjoy Terrabrowser, using one opens up more extensive features such as bookmark transfer, tracklog and route display, and live tracking*. Includes extensive bookmarking support, tracklog/route rendering, image cache, address search, region download, and many other features!
Terrabrowser features built in support* for serial based Garmin GPS receivers, and also supports Magellan receivers when combined with the freeware program MacGPS Babel). Download waypoints from your GPS to display on the maps, edit them, upload new waypoints to your receiver.
Terrabrowser aims to be compatible with the rest of the GPS world, so it uses the XML based GPX file standard which allows easy exchange (file, copy/paste) with other GPS programs for Macintosh, Linux, Windows, etc. which support this format. The NMEA standard protocol is also supported* which allows for a "live tracking" mode to display the user's realtime position on a satellite map (cached or not).
Terrabrowser is shareware. The development time for this software has become great enough that some reimbursement is now requested although the non registered version is not disabled aside from the startup delay. If you like this product and would like to support further development of it (bug fixes, new features, etc.), please make a donation of $15 or more to receive your very own registration number. This number will be good for updates in the foreseeable future, and if we decide to charge again sometime down the road, you will receive a discounted price. Thanks for your support!
The book "Mapping Hacks: Tips & Tools for Electronic Cartography" by Schuyler Erle, et. al mentions Terrabrowser!
1/2006 - Garmin is now planning to offer Mac OS X Tiger support for their GPS units!
Click on an image below to view a larger screenshot.
These features apply to version 1.5 beta (although they are not all fully supported yet).
Features which are still being finalized include:
- GPS Connection routines - download, upload, and live tracking.
- Printing (just take a screenshot for now)
- Three map types:
- Color satellite maps (large urban areas only)
- Black and white satellite maps
- Topographical maps
- Map is draggable with the mouse or controllable via keyboard.
- Distance calculation option (hold down option and drag).
- Date of photograph and human readable location information provided (note that dates may be inaccurate since the date is only fetched for one of the map tiles, not all of them).
- Basic AppleScript support.
- Ability to save maps to a JPG file.
- Bookmarking ability for waypoints
- Image cache maintained on local hard drive
- Coordinate entry in Degrees Minutes Seconds, Degrees Minutes, Decimal Degrees, or UTM.
- Search for locations based on zip code or address.
- Offline browsing mode (uses cache only)
- Scale bar
- Customizable toolbar
- Current mouse position read out
- Many different zoom levels
- NMEA Protocol Support
- development still in progress...
- Garmin Protocol Support
- these features are still being developed and are not complete
- waypoint upload and download
- tracklog and route download
- Support for GPX: the GPS eXchange Format
- this is a standard file format which is compatible with many GPS programs.
- display of waypoints
- display of routes
- display of tracklogs
- Ability to send currently selected waypoints to third party web sites
- user defined web site.
- Waypoint Editing Window
- edit any field
- add or delete waypoints
- find waypoints
- copy waypoints and paste them into another window/program
- Printing Support
- coming soon...
Ideas for Future Enhancements
(In no particular order)
- Drag and drop support for saving images.
- Proxy support.
- Improved GPX file support
- Support for more descriptive fields
- Improved GPS support (Magellan, NMEA, etc.).
- Allow import/export of routes from GPS receivers.
- Printing support.
- Option to display lat/lon lines
- Add more options to the download by region feature
- Add various other features that users have suggested - too many to list here!
(If you have a suggestion which doesn't appear above, send us an email.)
- May not work with newer GPS receivers which use a USB interface.
- Some GPS units which work with GPS Connect may not work with Terrabrowser. Check your unit before donating!
- See the beta notes for more details.
- You may find solutions to some questions by reading through the Chimoosoft FAQ.
- GPS connection support is not complete in version 1.5 beta. View the FAQ for more details on workarounds.
If you are having problems connecting to your GPS with Terrabrowser or GPS Connect, we suggest that you try the free open source program called MacGPSBabel which downloads waypoints and tracklogs from Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers. Save it as a GPX file and then you can use it in Terrabrowser. Note: make sure you download the version listed as "PPC" and called MacGPSBabel, otherwise you may have problems.
Thanks to the many people who have written in with feature requests, bug reports, or just to say that it "works." Also thank you all the beta testers, and of course to all the people who are now registered users. Your donations will help make the next version of Terrabrowser happen.
If you think that your name belongs in the credits for Terrabrowser, please email us and say so. ;-)
Developing software takes time and effort. If you like our products and would like to help support future versions, please consider making a donation! Donations of all sizes are appreciated. For other methods of supporting Chimoosoft, visit our donations page.
You must donate at least $15 to receive a registration number (since Terrabrowser is shareware), however any amount will be appreciated! To register Terrabrowser, visit our donations page and donate at least $15. A personalized registration number will be emailed to you shortly. Note that this is a manual process, so over a long weekend or holiday it may take a few extra days to get back to you.
Terrabrowser isn't perfect yet - bugs still remain, and not all anticipated features have been implemented (or completed). Your donation will encourage future work on this product! Please read our disclaimer before donating. Thanks for your support!
If you are waiting for a registration number for Terrabrowser and still haven't heard from us after a week or two, consider sending your snail mail address, and we will mail you a registration number. Some people have experienced problems related to their SPAM blocking software which has prevented our emails from getting through to them.