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APRS SYMBOLS (Icons) 25 Nov 2015

APRS SYMBOLS (Icons) 25 Nov 2015



This original APRS symbol specification is updated periodically with

new symbols as they are defined. This is THE master list for APRS. But

almost all new symbols since 2007 will be formed as Overlays to the

basic set. So be sure to check the symbols-new.txt file noted below!


NEW OVERLAYS ON ALL ALTERNATE SYMBOLS: As of 1 October 2007, the use of

overlay characters on all alternate symbols was allowed as needed in

order to further expand the APRS symbol set. These overlay expansions

of up to 36 different usages for each of the 94 alternate symbols adds

hundreds of potential new symbols. Since each of the original 94

symbols can now have up to 36 other definitions, this new overlay info

is now found in the above file.

If an alternate symbol from the table below, contains significant

definitions of its overlay characters, then the entry will have an "O"

added to indicate that additonal definitions exist in the above

document. The # symbol indicates the original Overlay subset.

For details on Upgrading your symbol set, please see the background

information on Symbols prepared by Stephen Smith, WA8LMF:



25 Nov 15: Found APRStt symbol poorly documented Was shown as "\=".

But has been \A BOX symbol with variety of overlays

23 Jun 15: Changed Aircraft to SSID-11 and Human to SSID-7

28 Aug 14: Added notation on newly availble BASE codes (begun in 2007)

Old WX versions of these: Bb{*:DFegJp were moved to ovlays

Expanded #w Flooding to include Avalanches, Mud/Landslides

Changed #D from "avail" to new family called Depots

Changed name of overlay Car to generic Vehicles w overlays

Edited name of /E Eyeball to include "Events"

19 May 14: Added many new Aircraft and Ship symbols see symbols-new.txt

07 Oct 13: Added JetSki [Js] & Ham Club [C-] ovrlys to symbols-new.txt

19 Sep 11: Added T & 2 overlay for 1 & 2 hop Message TX Igates

Updated overlay "portable" (;) overlays for events

20 Oct 09: Added WIRES to overlayed circles

05 Dec 08: Clarified symbols classified as MOBILE.

Added Primary: 123456789\ and ALT: Y[\

04 Nov 08: Added notes to match file with New Overlays noted above

Added list of "just-mobile-symbols"

25 Mar 08: Added \% Power plants with Overlays. Changed

\i from "BOXn digi" to generic "BOX with overlay".

An indoor BOXn digi can use an overlay on existing digi.

13 Feb 08: Added overlay "S" on \a and \c for SATERN

10 Jan 08: Added Overlay "X" on BOX for the XO OLPC laptop

01 Oct 07: Added the above paragraphs about Overlay byte extensions

of the APRS symbol set and defined two new symbols.

Added "S[" Skier and "O-" for House with Operator Present.

03 Jul 07: Began defining some overlay common usages.

09 Apr 07: First proposed expanding the alternate symbols overlays.

And added to the APRS1.2 addendum:


02 Feb 07: Cleaned up some names for consistency with Icon tables

18 Oct 06: Suggest \x for car wreck or road obstruction. Looks

like a big X like this: ->X<- sort-of...

16 Jun 06: Suggest I for 2-way IGate and R overlay for RX only.

28 Sep 05: Added /F for Farm vehicle (looks like a tractor)

18 Jan 05: Added C overlay for CERTS to "\c" symbol

3 Jan 05: Added W overlay to "\a" symbol to indicate WinLINK.

7 Dec 04: the /] PBBS symbol (typically a blue Mail Box) is renamed

as "MAIL/P.O.". PBBS users should use the BBS symbol.

8 Sep 04: Added Military Affiliate MARS symbol as \M with overlays

SYMBOLS for APRS 1.1 ADDENDUM are as below. As of 26 July 04, the

symbols below were approved and became part of the APRS1.1 addendum.

JunJul 04 to add a Rocket "\O" and an SUV as "\k"

06 May 04 to move Shelter(overlay) from PRI to ALT table

5 Jan 04 to add Destination Waypoint "\/")

29 Oct 03 to add 802.11, firenet, IncidentCommandPost & Shelter

04 Feb 04: Unassigned symbols should display the international symbol

of a circle with a slash through it. Meaning "not"...

29 Jan 04: Reviewed ALL symbols in the spec. Here are all additions:

\& = is not just HF, but ANY GATEWAY with overlay character

/) = Wheelchair (Handicapped) useful in Marathons (blue and white)

\) = Firenet MEO symbol (MODIS Earth observation)

\/ = Waypoint (destination) a RED dot showing intended destination.

Uses special processing to draw a line from a mobile to his

destination. This was proposed 5 Jan 2004

/L = Logged-ON user. (A PC symbol showing someone on APRS-IS)

/l = Laptop (lower case L) (looks like a laptop)

/c = Incident Command Post

\y = Skywarn (black tornado, orange background with white surround)

\z = Shelter (with overlay) (A red house with peaked roof)

JUST-MOBILE-SYMBOLS: The following two lists of symbols were defined

as "mobile" symbols for the purposess of filtering etc. This list

has been published in APRS1.1 for over a decade. As of Nov08, this

list was reviewd and updated:


Pri: '<=>()*0COPRSUXY[^abefgjkpsuv

Alt: /0>AKOS[^knsuv


Pri: !'<=>()*0123456789CFOPRSUXY[\^abefgjkpsuv <== [added !F\ ]

Alt: >KOSY[^ksuv\ <==[removed /0An]



Document dated: 28 Apr 99 FInal APRSdos symbol spec

**************: This file Remains CUrrent and is Updated Frequently

**************: See date and updates at the top of this file.

Author(s): Bob Bruninga, WB4APR <bruninga@usna.edu>


The character after the latitude "N/S" in an APRS position report is a

TABLE character and the character following the longitude "E/W" is the

APRS symbol character. The TABLE character selects one of two symbol

tables or may be used as an alphanumeric overlay over some symbols:


& RESERVED for possible AUXILLIARY tables (Aug 09)

/ Primary symbol Table (Mostly stations)

\ Alternate symbol table (Mostly Objects)

0-9 Alternate OVERLAY symbols with 0-9 overlayed

A-Z Alternate OVERLAY symbols with A-Z overlayed

For ease of reference we refer to these as the SYMBOL CHARACTERS and

often abbreviate them as "/$" which refers to the Table character "/"

and symbol character "$".

Press F1-S in APRSdos to see these symbols. Some symbols may have a

numeric overlay character 0-9 or A-Z. These are shown on the F1-S

display with the numeral "3" overlayed. The original overlayable

symbols through Oct 2007 were:


Civil-Defense(RACES), NWS sites, WX stations, Triangle

After 2007, provisions should be made in all software to allow for

overlays on *any/all* alternate symbols for use in the future.


transmit raw GPS have no method to convey their symbol. For this

unique application, the symbol can be designated in the UNPROTO

TOADDRESS of the form GPSxyz. The X points to a subgroup table and

the Y is the actual symbol. Z is an overlay character if used.

Actually there are four TOCALLS that will provide the same symbol.

GPSxyz is for stand alone trackers

SPCxyz is for stand alone trackers at SPECIAL events in SPCL mode

SYMxyz is for other TNC-only stations such as WX stations

Notice that both the /$ method and GPSxyz method have a one-for-one

corrspondence for all numeric and alphabetic symbols of both upper

and lower case which should make them easy to remember. For the

GPSxyz method, we have broken the PRIMARY and ALTERNATE tables into

sub tables with different names to make them easier to remember. For

example, "/C" is a CANOE in the PRIMARY table which can be referred to

as PC in the XYZ format and the "\C" ALTERNATE table symbol is for

Coast Guard which could also be referred to in the GPSxyz format as

AC. Simillarly, you can think of the lower case symbols /c or \c as

being LC for lower case C and SC for "secondary" table "c".

The Following Symbol table shows the two types of identifiers for all

APRS ICONS. The primary symbols are on the left and the alternate

table is on the right. The first column of each is labeled /$ and \$

for the primary and alternate tables. These are the chacacters you

will see in an APRS formatted position report. The XYZ columns are

for the stand-alone trackers described above.


-- --- ------------------------ -- --- ----------------------

/! BB Police, Sheriff \! OBO EMERGENCY (and overlays)

/" BC reserved (was rain) \" OC reserved

/# BD DIGI (white center) \# OD# OVERLAY DIGI (green star)

/$ BE PHONE \$ OEO Bank or ATM (green box)

/% BF DX CLUSTER \% OFO Power Plant with overlay

/& BG HF GATEway \& OG# I=Igte R=RX T=1hopTX 2=2hopTX

/' BH Small AIRCRAFT (SSID-11) \' OHO Crash (& now Incident sites)

/( BI Mobile Satellite Station \( OIO CLOUDY (other clouds w ovrly)

/) BJ Wheelchair (handicapped) \) OJO Firenet MEO, MODIS Earth Obs.

/* BK SnowMobile \* OK AVAIL (SNOW moved to ` ovly S)

/+ BL Red Cross \+ OL Church

/, BM Boy Scouts \, OM Girl Scouts

/- BN House QTH (VHF) \- ONO House (H=HF) (O = Op Present)

/. BO X \. OO Ambiguous (Big Question mark)

// BP Red Dot \/ OP Waypoint Destination

See APRSdos MOBILE.txt


-- --- ------------------------ -- --- --------------------------

/0 P0 # circle (obsolete) \0 A0# CIRCLE (IRLP/Echolink/WIRES)

/1 P1 TBD (these were numbered) \1 A1 AVAIL

/2 P2 TBD (circles like pool) \2 A2 AVAIL

/3 P3 TBD (balls. But with) \3 A3 AVAIL

/4 P4 TBD (overlays, we can) \4 A4 AVAIL

/5 P5 TBD (put all #'s on one) \5 A5 AVAIL

/6 P6 TBD (So 1-9 are available)\6 A6 AVAIL

/7 P7 TBD (for new uses?) \7 A7 AVAIL

/8 P8 TBD (They are often used) \8 A8O 802.11 or other network node

/9 P9 TBD (as mobiles at events)\9 A9 Gas Station (blue pump)

/: MR FIRE \: NR AVAIL (Hail ==> ` ovly H)

/; MS Campground (Portable ops) \; NSO Park/Picnic + overlay events

/< MT Motorcycle (SSID-10) \< NTO ADVISORY (one WX flag)

/= MU RAILROAD ENGINE \= NUO avail. symbol overlay group

/> MV CAR (SSID-9) \> NV# OVERLAYED CARs & Vehicles

/? MW SERVER for Files \? NW INFO Kiosk (Blue box with ?)

/@ MX HC FUTURE predict (dot) \@ NX HURICANE/Trop-Storm

/A PA Aid Station \A AA# overlayBOX DTMF & RFID & XO

/B PB BBS or PBBS \B AB AVAIL (BlwngSnow ==> E ovly B

/C PC Canoe \C AC Coast Guard

/D PD \D ADO DEPOTS (Drizzle ==> ' ovly D)

/E PE EYEBALL (Events, etc!) \E AE Smoke (& other vis codes)

/F PF Farm Vehicle (tractor) \F AF AVAIL (FrzngRain ==> `F)

/G PG Grid Square (6 digit) \G AG AVAIL (Snow Shwr ==> I ovly S)

/H PH HOTEL (blue bed symbol) \H AHO \Haze (& Overlay Hazards)

/I PI TcpIp on air network stn \I AI Rain Shower

/J PJ \J AJ AVAIL (Lightening ==> I ovly L)

/K PK School \K AK Kenwood HT (W)

/L PL PC user (Jan 03) \L AL Lighthouse

/M PM MacAPRS \M AMO MARS (A=Army,N=Navy,F=AF)

/N PN NTS Station \N AN Navigation Buoy

/O PO BALLOON (SSID-11) \O AO Overlay Balloon (Rocket = \O)

/P PP Police \P AP Parking


/R PR REC. VEHICLE (SSID-13) \R ARO Restaurant

/S PS SHUTTLE \S AS Satellite/Pacsat

/T PT SSTV \T AT Thunderstorm



/W PW National WX Service Site \W AW# # NWS site (NWS options)

/X PX HELO (SSID-6) \X AX Pharmacy Rx (Apothicary)

/Y PY YACHT (sail) (SSID-5) \Y AYO Radios and devices


/[ HS Human/Person (SSID-7) \[ DSO W.Cloud (& humans w Ovrly)

/\ HT TRIANGLE(DF station) \\ DTO New overlayable GPS symbol

/] HU MAIL/PostOffice(was PBBS) \] DU AVAIL

/^ HV LARGE AIRCRAFT \^ DV# other Aircraft ovrlys (2014)

/_ HW WEATHER Station (blue) \_ DW# # WX site (green digi)

/` HX Dish Antenna \` DX Rain (all types w ovrly)


-- --- ------------------------ -- --- --------------------------


/b LB BIKE (SSID-4) \b SB AVAIL(Blwng Dst/Snd => E ovly)

/c LC Incident Command Post \c SC#O CD triangle RACES/SATERN/etc

/d LD Fire dept \d SD DX spot by callsign

/e LE HORSE (equestrian) \e SE Sleet (& future ovrly codes)

/f LF FIRE TRUCK (SSID-3) \f SF Funnel Cloud

/g LG Glider \g SG Gale Flags

/h LH HOSPITAL \h SHO Store. or HAMFST Hh=HAM store

/i LI IOTA (islands on the air) \i SI# BOX or points of Interest

/j LJ JEEP (SSID-12) \j SJ WorkZone (Steam Shovel)

/k LK TRUCK (SSID-14) \k SKO Special Vehicle SUV,ATV,4x4

/l LL Laptop (Jan 03) (Feb 07) \l SL Areas (box,circles,etc)

/m LM Mic-E Repeater \m SM Value Sign (3 digit display)

/n LN Node (black bulls-eye) \n SN# OVERLAY TRIANGLE

/o LO EOC \o SO small circle

/p LP ROVER (puppy, or dog) \p SP AVAIL (PrtlyCldy => ( ovly P

/q LQ GRID SQ shown above 128 m \q SQ AVAIL

/r LR Repeater (Feb 07) \r SR Restrooms

/s LS SHIP (pwr boat) (SSID-8) \s SS# OVERLAY SHIP/boats

/t LT TRUCK STOP \t ST Tornado

/u LU TRUCK (18 wheeler) \u SU# OVERLAYED TRUCK


/w LW WATER station \w SWO Flooding (Avalanches/Slides)

/x LX xAPRS (Unix) \x SX Wreck or Obstruction ->X<-

/y LY YAGI @ QTH \y SY Skywarn

/z LZ TBD \z SZ# OVERLAYED Shelter

/{ J1 \{ Q1 AVAIL? (Fog ==> E ovly F)

/| J2 TNC Stream Switch \| Q2 TNC Stream Switch

/} J3 \} Q3 AVAIL? (maybe)

/~ J4 TNC Stream Switch \~ Q4 TNC Stream Switch

HEADING SYMBOLS: Although all symbols are supposed to have a heading

line showing the direction of movement with a length proportional to

the log of speed, some symbols were desiged as top-down views so that

they could be displayed actually always POINTING in the direction of

movement. Now All symbols should be oriented (if practical). These

original special symbols were:


\s Overlayed Ship

\^ Overlayed Aircraft

/^ Aircraft

/g Glider

\n Overlayed Triangle

AREA SYMBOLS! The special symbol \l (lower case L) was special. It

indicates an area definition. You can define these as a BOX, CIRCLE,

LINE or TRIANGLE area in all colors, either open or filled in, any

size from 60 feet to 100 miles. In APRSdos they were generated auto-

matically by simply moving the cursor to the location, press HOME,

move the cursor to the lower right corner of the AREA and hit INPUT-


Enter the type of area, and color. NOTE that AREA shapes can only be

defined by selecting the upper left corner first, then the lower right

second. The line is an exception. It is still top to bottom, but the

lower point can be to the left of the beginning point. Further, in

the line option you may specify a "width" either side of the central


These AREAS are useful for real-time events such as for a search-and-

rescue, or adding a special ROAD or ROUTE for a special event. Be

cautious in using the color fill option, since all other objects in

that area that occur earlier in your PLIST will be obscured. AND you

do NOT know the order of other stations P-lists.

AREAS FORMAT: Use of the special AREAS symbol (/l) triggers special

processing of the next 7 bytes normally used for CSE and SPD. In

this special case the processing is as follows:

$CSE/SPD... Normal Field description

lTyy/Cxx... Where: l (lower case L) is symbol for "LOCATION SHAPES"

T is Type of shape: 0=circle, 1=line, 2=elipse

3=triangle 4=box

add 5 to these => color-in

C is color from 0 to 15. For colors geater than

9, / is replaced with a 1.

yy is sqroot of the latitude offset in 1/100ths

xx is sqroot of the longitude offset

These offsets are ALWAYS positive to the right and down, except for

the special case of a lower right quadrant line, these are given the

Type of 6 and are drawn down and to the left.


differentiated by colors red, yellos, and blue. Additionally a radius

of Huricane and also Tropical storm winds will also be shown if the

special format detailed in WX.txt is used.

SYMBOLS ON MAPS! APRS can also be permanently embedded in maps. To

embed a symbol in a map, simply make the first four characters of the

label be a # followed by the dual symbol character, followed by a hex

number from 1 to F that indicates the color for the symbol. The

remaining 8 characters can be used for a conventional label at the

same location. An example are the VORTAC nav-aids in Alaska. The

Anchorage VORTAC appears as ANC on all maps below 128 miles. The label

entry is #\VFANC,LAT,LONG,128.

VALUE SIGNPOSTS: This is another special handling Symbol. Signposts

trigger a display as a yellow box with a 1-3 letter overlay on them.

The use of this symbol (\m) triggers a search for a 1-3 letter

string of characters encolsed in braces in the comment field.

Thus a VALUE Signpost with {55} in the comment field would

appear as a sign with 55 on it, designed for posting the speed

of traffic past speed measuring devices. APRSdos has a version named

APRStfc.EXE that monitors traffic speed and posts these speed signs

objects when traffic slows in these areas. To avoid cluttering the

map, they ONLY appear at 8 miles and below AND they do not show any

callsign or name. Only the yellow box and the 3 letters or numbers.

Select them from the OBJECT menu under VALUE...



All alternate symbols have the potential to be overlayed. This was

the original intent and was only limited to a few due to limitations

in Mac and WinAPRS. Those original "numbered" symbols are marked

with a # in the table above. But by 2007, it was time to move on.

In APRS 1.2 it was proposed that any ALTENATE symbol can have overlays.

Kenwood has already responded with the new D710 that can now display

these overlays on all symbols.

To help define these hundreds of new symbol combinations, we have

added a new file called:


The overlay symbols may be used in two ways. First, simply as an

overlay on a basic symbol type. Most uses of these symbols will be

in this manner. But special overlays on some special characters

may also be re-drawn as entirely new graphics for clarity if desired.

The above NEW-Overlay document attempts to define those special

combinations that may rate their own special symbol or where multiple

use of an overlay character for different purposes would be confusing.


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