Generate basemap


 The Generate Basemap panel is used to generate all workcharts from scratch. This is the primary way that new maps for new workchart areas can be created.  The only alternate way to create such maps is to right-click on a map and choose "Recenter map"; the workchart will be adjusted to the new center.

Digital Atmosphere offers many different options, described below, to provide the exact map position and scaling factors desired.

 Map coordinates

Projection. For standard vector geography drawn by Digital Atmosphere, choose Orthographic. The chart will be drawn according to the color style that you select below in Color Style. To select raster graphics (only for Professional Version users), choose one of the raster charts listed.

Latitude, longitude. Sets the center point of the chart to be drawn.

Scale. Sets the width of the map in nautical miles.

Image width, height. Sets the image width and height of the map to be drawn in pixels. A good value for most purposes is a width of 900 and height of 600. The image width and height controls are a powerful feature for presenting a depiction of a very large area or for publication purposes. Scrollbars will appear on very large maps to help you navigate around them. It is recommended that you do not use image sizes greater than 3000 pixels, as this takes up a lot of system resources and memory consumption increases exponentially with an increase in both height and width.

Color style. Selects a color scheme with which you want this chart to be permanently associated. The color settings in this file will apply to this chart and any subsequent fields drawn to it. Once this is selected you cannot change it without generating a new workchart. Color styles may be edited in the File > Preferences > Styles panel or by direct-editing files in the Digital Atmosphere /styles directory.

 Advanced properties

You may use the advanced properties settings to distort the appearance of the map drawn (orthographic only).  This can be extremely helpful for aligning a workchart with a satellite photograph.


Use the quick-pick panel to quickly select a map location based on a known station. Enter the station's identifier (ICAO or WMO) in the "station" box, or choose a location preset. The zoom level and map size controls will move the scale and image width/height, respectively, to one of several preset values.

 Other notes

Our prepackaged raster graphics are considered a premium feature and are only available in their entirety in the Professional Version (on CD-ROM). Raster graphics are highly useful for real-time radar analysis of storms due to the vast amount of geographical information they convey. In the standard Digital Atmosphere version, coverage is only available around the New York City area for evaluation purposes. In the Professional version there is coverage of the entire United States (except 1:250K Joint Operation Graphic which is limited to the south central U.S.) All raster graphics are drawn in the Cartesian projection (which causes slight but inconsequential distortion in the northern and southern U.S.).

Image of supercell with raster maps (Professional Version) underneath.