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How to use COSMI "Precision Street Maps USA" or "Precision Mapping Quick Finder 3" with WinAPRS.

First, the bad news....

If you got the COSMI product , this is NOT Precision Mapping - Streets program you should have bought. It's another product called Quick Finder repackaged to make it look like Precision Mapping - Streets. IMHO, it's a case of bait and switch. This has been available in CompUSA for $9.99 in the discount software bins.

Now for the good news... with a bit more work, you can get the same type of maps and most of the functionality out of this product. Once again, the power of the APRS SIG came through; all these answers came from the group in one afternoon.

First of all, do not install the software. It does not need to be installed, but I guess you can if you wish. But, the install process will install to the wrong places and it will leave the map data on the CD without moving it to the hard drive. If you need a mapping program, go for it. Otherwise, don't bother.

I'll take you through the install steps, one by one. If you wish, keep reading for the batch file that will do the steps for you. Some things that might surprise or confuse you: Nothing gets installed in the WinAPRS directories. Also, you don't need much from the Quick Finder CD. Just the data in the subdirectories. The space used on my install was 571 MB. I installed all the states, so if your space limited, select only the states you need and you might be able to get by with less space. 

Make a directory tree as follows on your hard drive:


Transfer the files from the CD-ROM to each directory. There is no /DATA2 on the CD-ROM, so that directory on your hard drive will be empty.

The next step is best done from a DOS prompt. Open a DOS window.

Go to the drive where you have copied the data, for example, your D Drive
Go to the Data1 directory
Rename files
    ren *.zp3 *.zpx
go to the states directory:
Rename files
    ren *.zp3 *.zpx
If you're really lazy, copy the following to a batch file and run it. Replace the d: with your hard drive and the e: with your CD-ROM drive. You can use the Windows Cut and Paste function to copy this to a batch file using Notepad. Edit the drive letters as needed. When you're done do a File, Save-As and call it MOVE_QF.BAT. When you have saved it, double click on it in Explorer to run the batch file.

copy e:\pmqf30\data1 d:\pmap30\data1
copy e:\pmqf30\data3 d:\pmap30\data3
copy e:\pmqf30\states d:\pmap30\states
ren *.zp3 *.zpx
ren *.zp3 *.zpx

As it runs, look for errors. If everything looks positive, hit the space bar when it gets to a pause. That will make it move to the next section. If a section failed, see if you have the file's locations correct. Did you have enough drive space? Do you have a typo?

Now... we have to tell Windows about this program.

This is where you'll need the .OCX file.

First, you need the files.

Surf here to get the OCX kit:   (updated 2/27/01)

First, read his information in the readme.txt Just remember that some things are different since you're not using the real PM files. Where our information differs, use this information. Now, to install the OCX and DLL files, use the bactch files that are in the ZIP.  This will work in Win95 or Win98 systems where windows is installed on c: This batch file moves the MAPOCX.OCX and OC30.DLL to your Windows system directory, then tells your Windows registry about them.

Here's the same thing, but ready for use in a WinNT system. The difference is where the Windows system files are kept.

copy Regsvr32.exe c:\winNT\system\Regsvr32.exe
copy MAPOCX.OCX c:\winNT\system\MAPOCX.OCX
copy OC30.DLL c:\winNT\system\OC30.DLL
cd \winNT\system

When you have correctly run the batch file, you'll get a message saying your registry was updated. This is a good time to re-boot the computer. Close everything and restart Windows.

Now, start up WinAPRS. Click on Windows, then New Map Prec Mapping. See the boxes on the right edge? Click on the 7th one down. It's Precision Mapping Options. Where it says CD-ROM Drive, don't enter your CD-ROM drive letter. Instead, enter the hard drive where you made the PMAP30 directory. This is where WinAPRS will look for the PM map data. You may have to restart WinAPRS to get it to look in the right place. Once you see these colorful maps, you'll never want to go back to the old maps. They also load MUCH faster than the other APRS street level maps.

Problems: One quirk I've noticed: When I first open the PM window, I can't seem to zoom down. But if I hit the zoom up button, then zoom down, it works. My right edge buttons 7-10 are blank. I suspect the icons would have come with the real PM CD. They all seem to work except for the find by phone number. I assume that's one database that doesn't come with Quick Finder. To see what each button does, hover your pointer over the button. You'll see the button name at the top.

Much thanks to AB0GD, N0SMS, and everyone in the APRS SIG for the help on this work-around.

Written by Ray J. Vaughan, KD4BBM, March, 1999.   Any ham can use this information, however, it is provided as-is  If you wish to republish it, please do not delete the credits.


Except for portions owned by others, Copyright: Ray Vaughan, 2008