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New application: EmComMap

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K6OAT's picture
New application: EmComMap

I'm pleased to announce the release of a new AREDN-ready emcomm application: EmComMap

This open-source application enables map-based real-time annotation, messaging, and file transfer.
It is designed for situational awareness while supporting communication, tactical calls, and operator
status/location sharing.



(sorry - I don't know how to make this bigger)



  • Live map-based annotations
  • Text communication with file attachments
  • Messaging specific to defined locations/incidents
  • Message filtering by location
  • Operator location and status tracking
  • Incident-based: filters messages by region and time
  • Export message logs to Excel
  • Load locations from text file
  • Predefined map markers for hospitals, fire, police, etc.
  • Distributed database (CouchDB)
  • No encrypted communication layers (Part 97 compliant), though they can be optionally used for internet deployment.

Instructions for deployment on Ubuntu Linux available on GitHub



EmComMap Homepage

Internet EmComMap Demo server (u: demo   p: k6oatdemo)

User documentation

Comments/suggestions/bugs to K6OAT (Dan Ruderman)

I am seeking developers who can contribute to adding features and the inevitable
bug fixes. If you are skilled with Javascript/HTML please drop me a note.


K5DLQ's picture
Nice one Dan!

Nice one Dan!

Since appears to be defunct, this may be a good solution to migrate to.


K6OAT's picture

Thanks. I had not heard of ticketscad, but did find a few youtube videos. Looks useful. Sorry it seems to
have vanished!

EmComMap is designed around how we typically deploy in ARES, and tries to stay pretty general purpose.
If there are standard forms, you can share them as attachments, but for the moment I'm not really thinking
of adding them to the user interface itself, which I gather is more what ticketscad had.

Thanks for the pointer!

k1ky's picture
Ticketscad no dead

One of our members reached out and ticketscad isn't dead.  Just experiencing some technical registration issues.  They will be back.

Arnie replied:

Andrew, no, definitely NOT out of service.  The site/domain thing has fallen between those famous cracks, So bear with us while we revise that -- ummm -- feature.

K5DLQ's picture
that's good to hear.   Our

that's good to hear.   Our ARES group has been using TicketsCAD for a few years now.

WU2S's picture

Very cool! Thank you for making this available.

EmComMap rocks!

We have had a chance to use EmComMap live during a recent Activity Day, with Dan showing us the ins and outs of this powerful app.  It was very intuitive to use and I encourage everyone to give it a try. Our traffic at ARES LAX is mostly forms like resource requests and status updates and being able to send those through the mesh is a game changer for EmComm, because it adds the larger file sizes, higher speeds and different file types to the mix.  At the same time EmComMap provides unprecedented levels of overview, filtering and granularity, thereby greatly expanding situational awareness. Paired with AREDN, EmComMap extends our capabilities as emergency communicators tremendously. 

AREDN has created an eco-system in which apps like EmComMap, MeshChat and many other apps can thrive. Thank you for that!

Well done everyone!

Oliver K6OLI

WU2S's picture
Almost got it running

I almost have a an instance running but am not able to login or see the maptiles I downloaded. Are the databases emcommap and emcommap_attachments supposed to contain any documents? 

K6OAT's picture

Wow. Great work!

The databases start out empty.

Did I put in instructions on setting up the usernames and database security? It's a
pain, but you need to go onto the couchdb console, create users in the _users
database, and then allow those users access to your two databases (emcommap
and emcommap_attachments). I think that if you don't set up any security to the
databases then everyone can attach to them, which might be a good way to get

I've found the best way to debug is to open up the javascript console on your
browser, since that's where cryptic error messages are likely to appear. Feel
free to post those, along with any screenshots. Or we can go offline if you
email me at

good luck!!

WU2S's picture
Got it running!

Hey Dan,
I got it running. It took another couple of passes of reading your docs slowly and carefully. Needed to start the docker command in the folder with my maptiles- solved problem 1.
Needed to look at java console to see why I could not login. Read you PDF again for that advice. Saw the CORS error "Access-Control-Allow-Origin" missing. Then changed the CORS origin domains to a valid entry.
All is well. 
Now, just need to spend time reading the rest of your PDF yet again, and learning how to use the application. 
Thanks again for your valuable work!

K6OAT's picture

So glad it worked out. Please keep me posted on how it works for you!


K5DLQ's picture
(sounds like we need a docker

(sounds like we need a docker-compose file to define every microservice and bring them all up at once.)

K9CQB's picture
Can we publish our AREDN nodes this map?

I've been looking for the best way to keep a service on our mesh network that lets people who join our network know where our nodes are. Especially if the Internet goes away and 'AREDN Live Map' is no longer available. Also we know current nodes may move and many other nodes will pop up and we need a tool to allow everybody to see where these nodes are so we can do network planning/troubleshooting. 
If you guys think this would be a good tool for that, then we'll get the added benefit of having a map-based 'situational awareness' tool that will rival some of the other systems I've seen.

nc8q's picture
allow everybody to see where these nodes are

<p><a href="">https://www.arednmesh... />
Published mesh service. Updated hourly.<br />
and gelm dot net slash meshmap</a></p>

K5DLQ's picture
or, you could periodically

or, you could periodically download the map.kml from aredn and load it locally to Google Earth.   (no internet required)

k1ky's picture
KG6WXC "Live" Map

If you are up to it, you can dedicate a Linux (or possibly RPi box) to run your very own "live" map.  Check out the KG6WXC Github area or contact Eric direct for information on setting up your own map for your system.

kc0wkp's picture
Started working with the

Started working with the program to see the capabilities, and how we could use it. In using it for some exercises, overlaying some of the data from a recent flooding incident, I found that not being able to edit the locations' location or even delete the location from the incident could be problematic. Maybe I am missing something but it did not appear that this is possible. Otherwise pretty cool, and seems to be in a lighter package than other CADs.

K6OAT's picture
Re: deleting locations

Right - there isn't currently a way to delete locations. My thinking was that since messages can be tied
to a location, you don't want locations going away since those messages will no longer make sense.
There is a notion of locations that are tied to a particular incident (meaning region and time range) so
you won't see them after the incident ends (or before it starts). Think about an ICP or a gathering point.

Can you give me a sense of how you might want to use a location that is delete-able? I can try to thin
it through and see what could work implementation-wise.

K5DLQ's picture
perhaps having the ability to

perhaps having the ability to hide locations would suffice and preserve the message history.

kc0wkp's picture
I like the idea of hiding the

I like the idea of hiding the location for instance in a recent flooding incident, sand bagging operations was handled by our ARES group. For several days the operation was in one location and then the next few days it moved. Eventually it was shut down however we were still operating in a different capacity. There were also traffic control points that we could label on here, these tend to move as conditions change. These checkpoints/traffic control points could be manned along with levy and dam monitoring, 

So I like the idea of maybe hiding it or making it inactive, then it could be filtered from the map for visibility sake, but retained for record keeping. The ability to move a location I think would be more important. While I think it is nice to identify fixed locations I think it will help our served agencies more being able to identify event/incident locations that can change as thing progress, maybe this would be done by making the old one inactive and starting a new one but may referencing the old one to document the move.

K6OAT's picture
This makes perfect sense.

This makes perfect sense. Maybe there could be a toggle for active/inactive. Then on the map you can
turn the visibility of inactive locations off so they don't clutter things visually. For operations that move
(say, an ICP), one could name the first location ICP (not anticipating it was going to move), and then
when it moves create a new location called ICP_2 or something and inactivate the old one. As you say,
by keeping the old one around, you still have the record of that location being at a particular position so
there isn't any confusion about what happened or where operators were in reference to a given location.

Thanks for the suggestions!

I've started to look into

I've started to look into this and initial view is exactly what I'd like to use.  Has anyone successfully built this on a pi?  I'm looking to use it on an offline mesh battery powered so ability to run on a pi would be perfect.

Thanks for the help.

K9CQB's picture
Me too

I'd also like to run this on a RasPi B3+ if it'll work. I won't have time to try it until I get back from traveling next month.
-Damon K9CQB

@K6OAT still under dev ?

@K6OAT still under dev ?

It is really an interesting piece of software, just what is needed for comms only management.

K6OAT's picture

Hi @VA2XJM. I am not actively developing, but am collecting a list of
issues and feature requests to prioritize when I get started again. I'm
currently looking for feedback and to see how much interest there is.


Roger that! I do have

Roger that! I do have interest. I'll keep an eye open for it.

K6OAT's picture
Test implementation available

@VA2XJM the release is available to download or I can give you access to a testing implementation hosted on Amazon Web Services. Feel free to contact me directly at and I can set you up.


K9CQB's picture
I would love to try running this in an exercise.

I would love to run EmCommMap in an exercise to see if our guys would want to implement it.
I'll email you directly to get a the latest software. I'm hoping I can set it up and demo it to develop interest for our guys in Northern Virginia to possibly pick it up. We don't have a centralized management system like this, much less with geolocation/mapping functions, except at the local gov't EOC's (and those are controlled by IT guys who are normally very inflexible). I would hope more folks would want something like this. Some organizations pay big money for systems like this. Thank you for putting it together.

-Damon K9CQB

APRS intergration

In awe Dan of your amazing work.

One thing I have missed from working on one of the uniformed agencies EOC is they often use asset tracking. I have not seen any of these sit awareness apes integrate with say Xastir stream to show where actual assets are, status and the like - I guess it would come down to ingesting the data stream and then convert that to the maps.. Just an Idea.


K6OAT's picture
Asset tracking

Wade, that's a great suggestion. Input like this from those who have deployment experience
is invaluable.

At the moment, the (suboptimal) solution would be to create locations for all the places
where resources could be deployed and list those resources within the location status
area. But this is not ideal because you want to be asset-centric, and not have to sift
through locations to find the assets. Perhaps if text search were added, then finding standardized
text (e.g. asset names) would be easier.

Now that I think about it, you could think of operators as a form of asset: they have a location
and a name. So maybe building on that code infrastructure could be useful. Also you could
imagine equipment assets as eventually being able to send and receive messages just like
operators do (e.g. giving automated status reports and being given control instructions).

APRS integration also a great point (and already on the list!)


I say "asset" but that could

I say "asset" but that could be Wade's car -9 or his handheld -7 etc. people are the asset I mean when tracking etc.  but yeah I get your drift. 


K6OAT's picture

Oops - read too quickly and misinterpreted assets as resources. APRS would be a great
way to do this. Would be straightforward to get info from via RSS feed or the like, if
internet connection is possible. Otherwise hooking up an APRS receiver to a computer on
the mesh and writing a bridge to put that info in the database would be another option. I'm
not well versed, so no idea how hard that would be.

I can try and get you a

I can try and get you a capture of the packet data from a software TNC like direwolf that you could parse the data to check it for usablity.  Direwolf ( a super popular tnc) exports the data as kiss format on a defined port - so should be easy to suck in, thats how systems such as XASTIR - the map and gui side of things, use it.


K5DLQ's picture
Mark (N5MDT) has done

Mark (N5MDT) has done something similar for our TicketsCAD system (ie. integration with local APRS data)

Forgot to mention. An asset -

Forgot to mention. An asset - say vehicle could contain multiple operators (callsigns) yet it's self has a callsign.  

vehicle 1: contains wade VK1MIC 
vehicle 2 aka command vehicle or com1 contains Matt VK1MA and Andrew VK1AD etc

a message could be for VK1MIC, VK1MA or COM1 aka both or either VK1MA or VK1AD. 

am I over complicating things ? 

K6OAT's picture
Place to collect suggestions

BTW, I'm tracking suggestions on GitHub. Feel free to add more on the web site:

KE0RSX's picture
How does this compare to MeshMap?

As the subject implies, how does this compare? They both are map servers, and presumably both incorporate tile servers. Could I use one in place of the other? I've got a server here with enough processing power to create the tile servers for me, and want to make sure I choose the right application (IBM System X x3550 running virtual machines). Or could I create a tile server and use it for both MeshMap and EmCommMap if I would need to run both of them for some reason?

Have a great weekend, and a belated Happy New Year. :)

K6OAT's picture
Re: How does this compare to MeshMap?

Hi Patrick,

For the comparison to MeshMap, the latter allows you to see and inquire about AREDN
stations using a map. EmComMap uses the same mapping infrastructure to support
text-based comms, also with file attachments. The map is used in EmComMap to locate
operators and events, and to be able to separate out traffic based on these.

As for the tile server, both apps (to my knowledge, which is a little dated) use the same
javascript library ( to access map tiles, so the same tile server should
work for both. The tile server I have been successful with for EmComMap is found here: Presumably it will also work with MeshMap.


Newer OS versions?

Hello all,

Has anyone tried installing EmComMap on a newer version of Ubuntu? The instructions say 16.04, but that will be reaching it's EOL in a couple more years. Meanwhile the version I've been trying to use for everything (and most recent LTS version released) is 20.04.

I had an Ubuntu 18.04 server to test with, but on the very first line of instructions, I hit a roadblock... CouchDB didn't have a release candidate.

Anyway, just wondered if anyone else has pioneered this or if I should just keep playing with it. I will likely install a version of 16.04 on a spare server to get one up and running, but really would prefer one of the more recent versions of ubuntu.

EmComMap running in a Docker-compose stack

Working with Dan K6OAT I have got a working containerized EmComMap application that all can try. You can find it at  I forked Dan's project and updated some of the install instructions. Please feel free to give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

Due to size limitations there are no maptiles in my zip file. You will have to go and download them an place them in the correct folder. The has instruction on how to do that.

Also at this time you must start the stack from the command line as something in my docker-compose.yml file is not liked by portainer.


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