Spitfire    The Benefon ESC! Mapping Tool


Screen Shots 
Buy Licence 
Get Key 
Q & A 


Spitfire is a software tool for the Benefon ESC! GPS/GSM mobile phone which allows users to create and load their own or vendor supplied maps into their handset. Spitfire is low cost and simple to use and can load map images in a variety of bit map file formats. It provides tools to geographically calibrate a plain bit map image and correct distortions introduced by scanning. Spitfire has hundreds of preset grid systems so maps can be calibrated by simply selecting the grid system required and specifying two or more known geographical positions, alternatively a user defined grid system can be specified. Spitfire is also able to reproject map data which is presented in one of the common map projections e.g. Mercator, Transverse Mercator etc. to make them suitable for loading into the ESC! handset.


Version 3.6 Now Available



  • Load maps of most common image file formats (bmp, jpeg, tiff, kap, nos etc.).
  • Reads projection parameters directly from geotiff, BSB charts, NOS/GEO, MapInfo .TAB and TouraTech TTQV .CAL files.
  • Import partial calibration data from ESRI world files.
  • Multiple map layers, to provide seamless map to map transitions.
  • Track log download, import and display.
  • Overview map for easy on screen navigation.
  • Tool to add positional information to your map image files (georeferencing).
  • Map image rotation and skew correction.
  • Full map image reprojection using custom projection parameters or with one of the many hundreds of preset configurations.
  • Polynomial fitting.
  • User selectable image areas can be saved and loaded into the handset.
  • Automatic grey scaling with option to fine tune colour translation.
  • User defined selection grid origin.
  • Image resampling to provide the best balance of map detail to map size.
  • Map image compression (professional version only) to further reduce map size.
  • Handset map management to delete and show details of maps in handset.
  • Full map encryption and licence generation support for map vendors.
  • Save reprojected map image as a geotiff file.
  • Map search by UK post code or US zip code.

Contact Info

Email: spitfire@barhop.co.uk

What's New

Version 3.4.0 to 3.6.0 (30th October 2005)

  • The baud rate of connected handset is now restored after communications are complete.
  • The visual appearance of many dialogs has updated.
  • Added preference option to choose if dialogs are hidden when selecting tiles.
  • Tile selection grid size and origin may now be changed without clearing the selection.
  • The escape key can now be used to cancel grid edit mode and restore the original grid settings.
  • The map search results dialog is now populated during the search.
  • Added option to the map management dialog to search for maps that cover the same areas as the maps in the connected handset.
  • Added option to the map management dialog to select the tiles in the current map that correspond to the same areas as the maps in the connected handset.
  • The map list in the map management dialog can now be sorted by clicking on the column headings.
  • The interpolation method used when creating the map tiles can now be selected in the tile preview dialog.
  • The compressed tile size is now show in the tile preview dialog.
  • Track logs are now saved in the inductry standard GPX format.
  • Multiple track logs can now be loaded and displayed at the same time.
  • Multiple track logs can be saved into a single file.
  • Added option to only display track log points recorded within a specified date range (this function only works if the handset records the date of each track point).
  • With the selection grid turned off hovering the cursor over a displayed track point will show detailed information about it.
  • The latitude/longitude curosr position display is no longer rounded to boundary of the map pixel
  • The map names with non alpha numeric characters are now correctly saved and loaded to the ESC.
  • Corrected the French grid system presets.
  • Geotiff creation will now create a single geotiff of all loaded map layers.
  • The size, number of colours and interpolation method can now be specified when creating a geotiff file.
  • Map vendors can now create simple licences which are much easier for the user to enter by typing.

Version 3.3.2 to 3.4.0 (26th September 2004)

  • Added option to search for maps containing a specified UK post code or US zip code.
  • To enhance map search performance a map index file (MapIndex.db) is created and stored in each folder searched.
  • Serial port code rewritten to give improved support for USB serial port adapters.
  • Better default values are given in projection setup dialogs when georeferencing a map for the first time.
  • Temporarily hide all dialogs while tiles are being selected.
  • When inputting latitude or longitude allow the hemisphere to be specified after the latitude or longitude value as well as before.
  • Improved latitude/longitude input error reports.
  • Fixed reading of Transverse Mercator BSB charts.
  • Added options to discard image alpha channel when saving a map as a Geotiff file.
  • Fixed problem where tile preview controls were not updated when a .tsl file was loaded.
  • Fixed truncated map id display in the map layer properties dialog.
  • Fixed memory leak in layer properties dialog.

Version 3.3.1 to 3.3.2 (28th June 2004)

  • Fixed problems associated with opening a .tsl files when you double click on them in Windows Explorer.

Version 3.3.0 to 3.3.1 (17th June 2004)

  • Fixed bug introduced at 3.3.0 that prevents the current map area and the tile selection from being shown on the overview map.

Version 3.2.0 to 3.3.0 (15th June 2004)

  • Added Albers Equal Area projection support.
  • Allow coordinates to be entered in dd mm.mm (degrees, minutes and fractions of a minute) format when georeferencing a map.
  • Selected layer is now show on overview map.
  • Added a "locate" button to the layers dialog, to center selected layer in the main view.
  • Double click action on layers dialog changed to locate the layer.
  • Selected map layer is now shown with an accurate profile rather than a bounding rectangle.
  • Allow background paper colour to be configured.
  • Preserve image transparency when loading and reprojecting maps.
  • Fixed map image exceeding the size of the background paper by one pixel.
  • Fixed search for missing map image when loading tile selection (.tsl) to correctly look in same folder as the .tsl file.
  • Preserve current selected layer in layers dialog when the lat/long display format is changed.
  • Include size of image alpha channel in memory usage displays.

Version 3.1.3 to 3.2.0 (17th April 2004)

  • Added Geotiff read support.
  • Geotiff headers are added when a reprojected map is saved as a tiff file.
  • Added BSB and NOS/GEO chart read support.
  • Added polynomial fitting, which can be used when the true map projection parameters are not known.
  • Added a "neat line" feature to the georeference dialog  to allow map borders to be cropped off during reprojection.
  • Added a border to the main map view so that the map edges can be viewed more easily.
  • Added support for the Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area projection.
  • Fixed problem where the map image alpha layer was not being restored when canceling the georeference dialog.
  • Fixed mouse wheel scroll to always scroll 1/5th of the displayed map.
  • The map layer dialog is now updated when the layer is being georeferenced.
  • Changed the toolbar to appear in the style of Office XP.
  • Latitude/Longitude display format in georeference, layers and search results dialogs is updated when the chosen display format is changed.
  • Removed 10 calibration tie point limit.

Version 3.1.2 to 3.1.3 (20th January 2004)

  • Fixed Spitfire startup problem on Windows NT4.

Version 3.1.1 to 3.1.2 (17th January 2004)

  • ESRI world file import during georeferencing now detects if world file data is in units of meters or degrees, allowing world files in degree units to be imported when the Latitude/Longitude projection is selected.
  • Ensure that any selected item remains visible when the map search results are sorted after a column heading is clicked.
  • Removed flicker and maintain the currently selected item when the map search results are refreshed after adding or removing a layer.

Version 3.0.1 to 3.1.1 (12th January 2004)

  • Added layer highlight which is shown as a coloured border around the map layer when it is selected in the layers dialog.
  • When new layer is added it is placed below maps of smaller area, rather than on the top of the layer stack.
  • Added a OK button to the layers dialog.
  • Added option to specify Georaster image compression method.
  • View will now zoom to extents whenever a layer is added.
  • Change directional map search to find all maps in specified direction rather than just the adjacent ones.
  • Renamed Overlay option on file menu to read Add Layer.
  • Renamed Overlay button on map search results dialog to read Add Layer.
  • Renamed Open button on Add Layer file dialog to read Add Layer.
  • Show icon next to already loaded maps on map search results dialog.
  • The primary layer on the map layers dialog is now indicated with a red P icon.
  • Fixed problem where layers and preview dialogs get out of sync with tool bar button, if the dialogs are closed by pressing the escape or enter keys.
  • Fixed problem of selection grid origin be incorrectly placed if the grid square size is changed without first resetting the origin.
  • Fixed problem loading a tile selection (.tsl) whose primary layer is not at the bottom.

Version 2.5.2 to 3.0.1 (4th January 2004)

  • Added support for multiple map layers allowing seamless transitions between maps.
  • Added track log download and display capability.
  • Added map searching functions, to search for available georeferenced maps.
  • Added geographical centre point and size to the properties dialog.
  • Added a display preferences page to the preferences dialog.
  • Added an import button to the georeference dialog allowing tie points to be generated from data in an ESRI style world file.
  • Added a dialog to display the parameters associated with each of the datums supported by Spitfire.
  • Mouse wheel behaviour changed to scroll map vertically, hold the shift key to scroll horizontally and the control key to zoom.
  • Tiles may be selected using a selection rectangle by holding the control key while clicking the mouse button.
  • When a map is loaded the zoom level is adjusted so that the entire map can be seen.
  • Added zoom to extents toolbar button.
  • When grid edit mode is entered the grid origin marker is now moved to the grid intersection closest to the center of the current view.
  • The default colour to grey scale translation now uses equal parts of red, green and blue.
  • The selection grid, preview dialog and overview map are restored to their last known state when Spitfire starts.
  • About box moved to preferences dialog.
  • New handset licence management dialog.
  • Fixed reprojection bug which occurs when only two tie point are defined.
  • Fixed bug where serial port settings are lost when map licences are added or Internet preferences are changed.
  • All dialogs with list controls now remember changes made to column widths and column order.
  • Fixed problem with preview dialog not always setting the correct dither mode when a document is loaded.
  • Fixed small memory leak caused by attempting to add duplicate tie points when georeferencing a map.
  • The default map scale presented in the properties dialog will now always have a legal value.
  • Corrected CH-1903 datum definition.
  • The current state of selection grid is maintained when a map is loaded.
  • The maximum zoom level on Windows ME and lower may be limited depending on the map size, to work around a GDI limitation that causes erratic display behaviour.
  • Fixed overview system menu on Windows ME and lower to show and allow "Close".

Version 2.4.0 to 2.5.2 (10th October 2003)

  • Allow fractional northings and eastings to be entered in georeference dialog.
  • Added Finnish zones 0 and 5 to projection presets.
  • Automatically read MapInfo .TAB files for georeference information when loading map image.

Version 2.3.0 to 2.4.0 (28th September 2003)

  • Improved colour to greyscale translation using dithering, with brightness, contrast and RGB balance controls.
  • Fixed bug which caused Spitfire to terminate if preview dialog was active when map image was loaded.

Version 2.2.2 to 2.3.0 (20th September 2003)

  • Map licensing, map vendors can now create Spitfire maps that can only be used with a vendor generated licenses.
  • Changed internal format of .GRI files to support encryption, and map vendor licensing options. Old versions of Spitfire will not be able to read the new file format, however Spitfire can still read the old file format.
  • Added map licence management functions.
  • Added option to save reprojected map images as tif files.
  • Zooming with mouse wheel now preserves map position under the cursor as the zoom level changes.

Version 2.2.1 to 2.2.2 (15th August 2003)

  • Changed presentation of register IMEI numbers in About box so as not to confuse users who's handset's IMEI number doesn't begin with 350015.
  • Allow users with registered handsets to view the map management dialog when connected to an unregistered handset.

Version 2.1.1 to 2.2.1 (7th August 2003)

  • Full map reprojection using Transverse Mercator, Mercator, Lambert Conformal Conic or Swiss Grid projections.
  • Hundreds of preset projection system configurations.
  • Don't allow grid to be disabled when in grid edit mode.
  • Don't allow georeferencing while in grid edit mode.
  • Allow georeferencing when selection grid is turned off.
  • Fixed tile transfer progress count (off by one).
  • No longer auto select windows when mouse moves over them.
  • Cursor X,Y position in status bar updates while georeferencing.
  • Adjusted aspect ratio of tile previews.
  • Moved communications port selection from tool bar to new preferences dialog.
  • When loading .tsl look for missing map image in same directory as .tsl before asking user.
  • Added automatic check for latest version over Internet.
  • Office 2000 file dialog on Windows 2000 and XP wasn't active when saving selections.
  • New splash screen.
  • Getting started document removed from installation package, now available as a separate download in PDF format.

Version 2.0.8 to 2.1.1 (14th June 2003)

  • New licensing scheme, you no longer purchase a licence to use Spitfire on a single computer. Instead you purchase a licence for each ESC! handset, so you can now install Spitfire on as many computers as you like, registering your handset with each copy.
  • Payments are now processed by the shareit.gif shareware registration service.
  • Map tile selection is now performed solely with the left mouse button. Click on a deselected tile to start selecting, click on a selected tile to start deselecting.
  • The georeference target marker is now aligned to the centre of the pixel selected.
  • The mouse cursor is now hidden when dragging the georeference target marker and the selection grid.
  • The georeference coordinate entry form is now cleared after a coordinate is added, removed or updated.
  • When zooming with the mouse wheel the point under the mouse pointer is centered in the view.
  • Fixed problem dragging the georeference target marker and the selection grid near the edge of the map.
  • The tile preview dialog is now temporarily hidden when in grid edit mode.
  • The tile preview dialog is now temporarily hidden when selecting tiles.
  • The preview, overview, main view and georeference dialog are now automatically selected when the mouse is moved over them.
  • Fixed bug where main window would still respond to mouse clicks while the map transfer dialog was active.
  • Office 2000 file dialogs on Windows 2000 and XP.