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Make a custom map with aircraft range rings

Posted by on March 20, 2008 2 Comments Category : Flight Instructor Blog

I was given the task recently of creating a map with aircraft range rings centered on my home airport. We were comparing two different types of aircraft and wanted to see visually what extra destinations would be available to us with another aircraft. I mentioned making the map briefly in my previous post about 85% Boeing Winds.

Now I have a secret. I just happen to run another forum and website about Global Mapper. Global Mapper is a very useful mapping program that allows you to do just a thing (plus a whole lot more). I posted this tutorial and video on the other site but was thinking to myself that some pilots here may want to be able to create a map like that as well. So I uploaded the video to Youtube and I am posting it for you here. It honestly took me less than 10 minutes to create this map, the program is that easy.

You can download a trial version of Global Mapper by clicking here. This trial version is fully functional (with some export limitation) but will allow to create a map like this.  The download is about 21 MB.

You can learn more about Global Mapper and download some of the files I used to create this map by visiting the Global Mapper Forum.  Just go to the download section.

Also, if you would like me to create a custom range ring map for you that service is available for $25 a map.  Just send me an email detailing the range and city you would like the map centered on.  I can also add any other information that you would like at no additional charge.  Just email me at instructor@askacfi.com


YouTube Preview Image

Fly Safe.



  1. Niels on Aug 03, 2009

    Dear Paul,

    Great demo, thanks! Here are three questions I hope you can help me with:

    1) For larger ranges that go beyond 90° North, where the ring is no longer a closed ring, a straight horizontal line is rendered along the top edge of the area. I cannot hide or remove this line.

    For example, creating a range ring of 2000 nm from New York works fine. Create a 3000 nm ring and the top edge of the area is rendered as a straight line that I need to hide. It gives the flase impression that the range ends along that horizontal line, which moves further and further south as you render longer and longer range rings.

    2) I cannot find a way to change the range of an existing range ring. Even if I change the range attribute of the feature info to a different distance, it has no effect on the rendering.

    3) Last but not least, do you know of a way to factor Boeing winds into range rings?

    Many thanks in advance for your help!

    Best regards,

  2. Kevin on Dec 12, 2011

    Great stuff Paul, any idea if there is a Macintosh version available anywhere?

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