Moving Map Basics

The moving map is one of two main “in flight” screens of SoarPilot. (The other is Final Glide screen)

The screenshots show what the moving map looks like on a HiRes DIA (320×480) Color Palm on the left, a HiRes (320×320) Colour Palm on the right, and a LowRes (160×160) B&W Palm below. As you can see the HiRes DIA has more labels on the bottom and also shows two command buttons to select a new waypoint and to switch to Final Glide screen.

HiRes DIA Colour (eg: Tungsten T3) HiRes Colour (eg: Tungsten T)
LoRes B&W (eg: Palm 500)


Almost everything visible on the Moving Map can be controlled via the Map Display Settings screen.

  • Displays Special Use Airspace (SUA), fully configurable via SUA display config screen.
  • Displays various type of waypoints 1) with user configurable number of characters.
  • Displays two configurable range rings
  • Displays distance and direction arrows to target waypoint.
  • Displays flight parameters at bottom of screen
  • Configurable map orientation for both CRUISE and THERMAL mode.
  • Optional zoom in when thermaling for easier centering in a thermal, and displaying a coloured track that indicates the strong lift.
  • Optional zoom in to waypoint when task is active to facilitate rounding the waypoint in the correct zone
  • Display task lines and sectors
  • Optional display a “bread crumb” Track Trail
  • Optional wind arrow showing wind direction and speed
  • De-clutter option to switch off waypoint names when zoom scale is over user configurable value
  • Tapping the glider symbol will create a temporary thermal waypoint.
  • Colour/Hi-Res Palm only:
    • The SUA, Task and Sector line colors and thickness are user configurable
    • Waypoints that are within reach are plotted in green, only just in reach are orange, and out of reach are red.
    • Additional flight parameters @ bottom of screen
    • Large buttons Select Way and Final Glide for easy switching to waypoint selection and final glide screen

Even with a terrain database installed, the moving map screen does not show a coloured terrain map. This is to keep the display as clear as possible and maximize the contrast for readability in strong sunlight.

Button Functions

Button Function
Calendar Create a new wayoint at your current position. By default these are named WP0, WP1, Wp2 etc but can be renamed later from the waypoints list
Phone Allows for toggling between the thermal zoom and orientation mode map settings and the normal map zoom and orientation
Page-Up Increase the map scale
Page-Down Decrease the map scale
To-Do Increase the current MC value
Memo Decrease the current MC value

Active Screen Areas

Tapping the top left corner (Waypoint Bearing) will take you to the Waypoint Sector screen for the currently active task waypoint.

Tapping the top right corner (Waypoint Distance) will take you to the Task Edit screen for the active task.

Tapping the glider symbol at the center of the screen records a Thermal Waypoint.

In addition, many of the values in the bottom label boxes are active and can be tapped. See the details below.

Flight Parameters

Near the bottom of the screen, the moving map will display some flight parameters:

Label Description
Cse: Current course. Tapping this label will load the Waypoint List,
which is identical to the Select Way and/or Calculator button
Spd: Current speed
STF or RGS Speed To Fly suggestion, or Required Ground Speed
RAlt Altitude for target waypoint, can be R.ALT, D.ALT or A.ALT, explained here.
Tapping this box changes the mode
Alt Current Altitude.
Tapping this box cycles thru the altitude references (MSL, AGL, FL, QFE)
Scale: Map scale and orientation (Track, Course or North Up).
Use the hardware Up and Down buttons of your PDA to change the zoom scale.
Tapping the label rotates to the next orientation mode.
HiRes Palm PDA‘s will also display:
MC: McReady value. This label will also show some arrows, explained below.
On LoRes Palm’s the MC: label and arrows are drawn inside the map area 2)
FGA: Final Glide Around waypoint. See Final Glide Display for details
Lft: Current Lift/Sink (Vario)
AVG: Average Lift/Sink
Tlft: Average Thermal Lift

Above/Below Glideslope Arrows

Arrows Description
Above 2 Times the Safety Height
Between Safety Altitude and 2 Times the Safety Height
Between Zero A.Alt (Arrival Altitude) and the Safety Height (marginal final glide)
Negative A.Alt

The current average glide angle is also shown under these arrows.

Orientation Modes

The orientation modes are:

Mode Description
T Track Up, the glider symbol is stationary and the map is rotated in the direction you’re flying. This requires the most CPU power, but the map is always showing what is “in front”
N North Up, the magnetic North is at the top of the map and the glider symbol is drawn in the direction you’re flying
C Course Up, the currently selected or task waypoint is at the top of the map. If no target waypoint is selected, this mode is identical to “North Up”

The default orientation mode can be setup for both Cruise and Thermal mode in the Map Settings and can be changed by tapping the Scale: label.

Waypoint Types

The various waypoint types (see Waypoint Edit) are displayed as follows on the Moving Map:

Type Example Description
Airport An airport with a runway, displayed as a circled dot
Turn A turning point, displayed as a dot (same for Start, Finish and Home types)
Land “Land-able”, displayed as airport but with noticable smaller circle
Mark For compatibility with the Cambridge format, has no special function in Soarpilot
Thrml Temporary thermal waypoint, displayed as circled T
Area Area type waypoint - Used in Assigned Area Tasks
Ref Pt See Waypoint Edit for details.

The highlighting of reachable, landable and airports is in the table below to help to distinguish between the types of waypoints and if they are within gliding range.

Waypoint Type Colour Palm Black & White Palm
Reachable Waypoints Green Bold
Reachable Landing Places Green + Bold Bold + Uppercase
Reachable Airports Green + Bold + Uppercase Bold + Uppercase

Waypoints that are “just” reachable (arriving just above the safety altitude) are displayed in orange.

In addition to the above displayed waypoint representation, the current selected target waypoint will be displayed with a small circle around it.

The screenshots of the waypoints in the table above where made using the Palm simulator, without GPS input, and thus all waypoints are displayed in ‘red’ (not reachable)

Distance & Direction Arrows

The course and distance to fly to the target waypoint is displayed in both numeric format as with the familiar direction arrows as can be seen in the next table:

Direction Arrows Meaning
More than 10 degrees off course in the direction of the arrows
Between 5 and 10 degrees off course in the direction of the arrows
Less then + or -5 degrees off course
Between 5 and 10 degrees off course in the direction of the arrows
More than 10 degrees off course in the direction of the arrows

mapdist.jpg The distance to the target waypoint is displayed in the upper right corner.

Also, when the Next Waypoint Info is displayed this is shown as smaller numbers with a small direction arrow. next to the main waypoint bearing and distance.

Other Information

At the top and bottom of the moving map screen. Other information will appear to indicate certain items.

For Example:

  • “Temp” at the top of the screen if you have selected a temporary waypoint during a task.
  • If a reference waypoint is set, the program will display at the bottom of the screen the Bearing or Radial and Distance to the waypoint independent of an active task or selected waypoint.
  • If Start Task Rules are being used, then the time to go to the start will be displayed at the top of the screen.
  • If Minimum Task Time rule is being used, this will show your estimated Time On Task vs. the minimum time set.

Example SUA

This screenshot shows an example Special Use Airspace as displayed on the Moving Map 3)

Wind Arrow


In this case it shows a head/cross wind coming from the right, with a speed of 10 wind units 4).

Detailed wind information is available on the Wind Info screen.

Panning Around the Map

If you goto the Moving Map screen without a GPS input, you will see 4 arrows at the edges of the screen and a RESET button at the top.

If you have an active task you will be in the task preview mode. Otherwise, you will be able to pan around the map using the 4 arrows. Tapping the RESET button restores you to your “Home” waypoint.

1) provided “Use SoarPilot Waypoints” options is checked in Final Glide Settings
2) see screen shots at top op page
3) for clarity only SUA and waypoints without names are selected
4) The wind units (knots, mph, kph or m/s) are selected on the Units Setup screen
soarpilot/movingmap_basics.txt · Last modified: 2010/04/13 02:15
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