What is GXmap?

GXmap is a small virtual globe and map program. Apart from showing an ordinary globe view of the earth, it can also generate Azimuthal equidistant projection maps suitable for amateur radio use.

In the amateur radio mode ("Ham"), your QTH (location) is in the center of the map. The directions (0..360 degrees) indicate which direction you would point your antenna, and the distance rings measure how far away the destination is. For example, when transmitting from Sweden to Alaska, there's no point in pointing the antenna to the West. Pointing it North is more correct.

Map coordinates are displayed both as latitude/longitude and using the Maidenhead locator system.

GXmap is Free Software, released under a BSD-style license. GXmap is written in C++, using the GTKMM UI toolkit.

The default map is downloaded from http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=7119, placed in ~/.gxmap/images, and additional map tiles are downloaded on demand from OpenStreetMap, and cached in ~/.gxmap/maps.

How to use it

Building from source:


Documentation for the latest release can be found here.
In particular, the User's guide may be of interest.


For stable releases (source code only, no binary releases), please go to the Sourceforge download page.


The TODO file, containing a list of planned items to work on, can be found here.

For unstable development versions, and development notes, please go to http://gavare.se/gxmap/.


2009-09-27:   GXmap 1.5 is released.   [Download]


  • The OpenAerialMap tile layer is now changed to a static NASA 5400x2700 pixels jpeg image.

2009-06-05:   GXmap 1.4 is released.   [Download]  [Full release notes]


  • The default map layer is now a hybrid of OpenAerialMap and OpenStreetMap.
  • A Day/Night indication layer has been added, which shows which parts of the Earth that can be reached by rays from the Sun.


  • Using $PREFIX to install the program at a custom location should now behave in a more consistent manner.
  • A destructor bug has been found and fixed, which caused random bugs when exiting the program.
  • Before rendering the high-quality antialiased pass, a medium resolution pass (where 1 pixel = 1 ray) is now also rendered. The antialiasing/supersampling in the high-resolution pass has been increased from 3x3 rays per pixel to 4x4.

2009-05-28:   GXmap 1.3.1 is released, replacing 1.3. There was a bug which prevented the program from being built without libgps. It should be fixed now.

2009-05-27:   GXmap 1.3 is released.   [Download]  [Full release notes]


  • Separation between General and Ham (amateur radio) modes; the application now starts up in General mode, which shows only the 3D globe. There is a new menu for switching modes.
  • GPS integration (via gpsd/libgps). The last known GPS coordinates are displayed as green crosses in the map visualizations. At the first detected GPS fix, the QTH is set to the GPS coordinates.
  • OpenAerialMap and OpenStreetMap are now used as the main map layers. Tiles are downloaded on demand, and cached in ~/.gxmap/maps/. (This requires that curl is installed.)
  • Map layers can be configured without recompiling the application, either via the Edit menu, or via right-click in a map visualization.

2009-05-16:   GXmap 1.2 is released.   [Download]  [Full release notes]


  • Rudimentary Undo/redo support.
  • The mouse scroll wheel can now be used for zooming.
  • Starting QTH is now guessed from /etc/localtime.
  • OpenMP is used to speed up rendering on multi-processor (or multi-core) machines.
  • Doxygen source code documentation is included in the documentation.
  • Map images are now read from ~/.gxmap/images instead of ~/.gxmap.
  • A .desktop file is included, so that GXmap appears in e.g. the GNOME application menu.

2008-10-11:   GXmap 1.1 is released.   [Download]  [Full release notes]


  • Sessions can be saved and loaded (as XML files).
  • The azimuthal equidistant project and the globe projection can be rotated by holding down the left mouse button and dragging around the mouse cursor.

2008-09-28:   GXmap 1.0.1 is released.   [Download]  [Full release notes]

  • Initial release!
  • Shortest paths are calculated, and displayed on all map views.
  • I18N: One translation, in addition to English: Swedish.

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Send feedback/comments/suggestions to gavare@gmail.com, or visit the #GXmap channel on the Freenode IRC network.