Best VATSIM map apps and utilities

August 18, 2023
Adrian Baussen

[fs-toc-omit]Navigating your way through the best VATSIM map apps and utilities

Grab your aviator sunglasses and fire up those engines, fellow virtual pilots! Today, we're gonna cruise in the world of VATSIM, uncovering some of the finest map apps and utilities that'll take your simulation experience to a whole new level of altitude!

Simaware

First up on our tour, we'll tango with Simaware. When you pop open this slick browser app, it invites you with a vibrant global map, lighting up the active planes in snappy green. You're always in the loop with Simaware: it keeps you updated with current active flights, and even lets you know the current Zulu time.

Simaware map view of Vatsim

Need a last-minute plan? No problemo! Just dig into the bottom right corner and search for flights to your heart's content. Or, if you're curious about the happening airports, the bottom left corner's got you covered. It's like an aviation gossip column, showing you the airport hotspots of the moment on VATSIM.

Simaware search

Talk about a user-friendly app! At the bottom center, you can hover over a widget and it’ll show you a customizable bundle of options. We're talking the country name, live weather, and current live available ATC—choose what you want to display like you're picking combo toppings on a pizza.

Simaware widgets

Here's more: Click on 'Data' in the menu and you'll see a buffet of information; current active flights, pilots, ATC, aircraft types—it's all here, neat and tidy! And if you’re all for planning ahead, you can click on 'Events' to check out upcoming VATSIM events. If Simaware tickles the aviator nerves in you, consider supporting the awesome developers behind this tool through Patreon.

Simaware data
Simaware events and Patreon option

Vatspy

Next, we're gonna journey with an old classic: Vatspy. Its interface might look straight outta the 2000s (vintage, right?), but it's no grandpa. It gets updated regularly so you're always at the cutting edge.
Available exclusively for our Windows fam, Vatspy charms you with a world map that flows effortlessly when panning and zooming. You don't like the default aesthetics? Customizable fonts and colors are ready to cater to your tweaks! Play around with customizable filters, bookmark your favorite map views, and quickly access detailed info about any country, FIR/ARTCC or airport—it's like a command center ready at your fingertips. Getting weather updates isn’t complicated here at Vatspy. Punch in multiple METARs, and voila! You have your weather updates in a snap.

Vatspy main interface

VatScope

For the Apple family, VatScope has got your six. On the world view, this app shows active planes, busy pilots, and ATC details.

Vatscope main map view
Main map view


There's more! Tap on any plane icon and you're in for more details about the chosen flight. Need some buddies to accompany you in your aeronautical adventures? Add other pilots as friends. You can even track CID, tailor update intervals, revamp sector data and buy Extensions. It's a mini airport in your pocket!

Vatscope flight plan details
Click on a plane icon to see more details

If you want to make new friends, use the option shown below.

add a friend on Vatscope
How to add a friend on Vatscope

VATprism

VATprism is another hero of the VATSIM gamingverse. Available for Windows and macOS, this data explorer lets you deep dive into ATC activity, connected pilots, and airport profiles. Its world map doesn't just look pretty, but it’s fully customizable. Apply filters to find busy airports, waving ATC, and bustling pilots.

Map view of VATSIM
Map view of VATSIM network

Volanta

Volanta can also be seen as the the Swiss Army Knife of flight simulation. Created by the crafty folks at Orbx, this app, available for Windows and macOS, carries the aviation universe in its belly. It embraces you with its intelligent tracking; no fuss, just "get in and fly". It allows you to retain your past flight data without punching a hole in your wallet.
Volanta raises the stakes by tracking your aircraft, logging location, flight history, hours, and a plethora of other stats. Clicking on a friend gifts you with a treasure chest of their stats. And it doesn't end there. Volanta’s integration with online networks lets you traffic-watch and pick busy airports on a whim.
This whizz-bang tool also offers a premium subscription for just AU$6.35 + tax per month. You get flight parties, moremap benefits, flight plan copying, and to top it all, geotagged cloud screenshots from your flights!

Volanta main map view
Option to select different networks


That's a wrap! Remember, whether you're soaring through the Simaware skyline, vintage journeying with Vatspy, globetrotting with VatScope, adventuring with VATprism, or partying mid-air with Volanta – the sky is not the limit, it's just the beginning!
Fly high and land safe, fellow pilots. Until we meet again on the virtual runway.

New to VATSIM?

If you are new to VATSIM we created a guide for beginners so you can start flying as soon as possible. The guide is available here.

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Best VATSIM map apps and utilities

August 18, 2023
|
Adrian Baussen

[fs-toc-omit]Navigating your way through the best VATSIM map apps and utilities

Grab your aviator sunglasses and fire up those engines, fellow virtual pilots! Today, we're gonna cruise in the world of VATSIM, uncovering some of the finest map apps and utilities that'll take your simulation experience to a whole new level of altitude!

Simaware

First up on our tour, we'll tango with Simaware. When you pop open this slick browser app, it invites you with a vibrant global map, lighting up the active planes in snappy green. You're always in the loop with Simaware: it keeps you updated with current active flights, and even lets you know the current Zulu time.

Simaware map view of Vatsim

Need a last-minute plan? No problemo! Just dig into the bottom right corner and search for flights to your heart's content. Or, if you're curious about the happening airports, the bottom left corner's got you covered. It's like an aviation gossip column, showing you the airport hotspots of the moment on VATSIM.

Simaware search

Talk about a user-friendly app! At the bottom center, you can hover over a widget and it’ll show you a customizable bundle of options. We're talking the country name, live weather, and current live available ATC—choose what you want to display like you're picking combo toppings on a pizza.

Simaware widgets

Here's more: Click on 'Data' in the menu and you'll see a buffet of information; current active flights, pilots, ATC, aircraft types—it's all here, neat and tidy! And if you’re all for planning ahead, you can click on 'Events' to check out upcoming VATSIM events. If Simaware tickles the aviator nerves in you, consider supporting the awesome developers behind this tool through Patreon.

Simaware data
Simaware events and Patreon option

Vatspy

Next, we're gonna journey with an old classic: Vatspy. Its interface might look straight outta the 2000s (vintage, right?), but it's no grandpa. It gets updated regularly so you're always at the cutting edge.
Available exclusively for our Windows fam, Vatspy charms you with a world map that flows effortlessly when panning and zooming. You don't like the default aesthetics? Customizable fonts and colors are ready to cater to your tweaks! Play around with customizable filters, bookmark your favorite map views, and quickly access detailed info about any country, FIR/ARTCC or airport—it's like a command center ready at your fingertips. Getting weather updates isn’t complicated here at Vatspy. Punch in multiple METARs, and voila! You have your weather updates in a snap.

Vatspy main interface

VatScope

For the Apple family, VatScope has got your six. On the world view, this app shows active planes, busy pilots, and ATC details.

Vatscope main map view
Main map view


There's more! Tap on any plane icon and you're in for more details about the chosen flight. Need some buddies to accompany you in your aeronautical adventures? Add other pilots as friends. You can even track CID, tailor update intervals, revamp sector data and buy Extensions. It's a mini airport in your pocket!

Vatscope flight plan details
Click on a plane icon to see more details

If you want to make new friends, use the option shown below.

add a friend on Vatscope
How to add a friend on Vatscope

VATprism

VATprism is another hero of the VATSIM gamingverse. Available for Windows and macOS, this data explorer lets you deep dive into ATC activity, connected pilots, and airport profiles. Its world map doesn't just look pretty, but it’s fully customizable. Apply filters to find busy airports, waving ATC, and bustling pilots.

Map view of VATSIM
Map view of VATSIM network

Volanta

Volanta can also be seen as the the Swiss Army Knife of flight simulation. Created by the crafty folks at Orbx, this app, available for Windows and macOS, carries the aviation universe in its belly. It embraces you with its intelligent tracking; no fuss, just "get in and fly". It allows you to retain your past flight data without punching a hole in your wallet.
Volanta raises the stakes by tracking your aircraft, logging location, flight history, hours, and a plethora of other stats. Clicking on a friend gifts you with a treasure chest of their stats. And it doesn't end there. Volanta’s integration with online networks lets you traffic-watch and pick busy airports on a whim.
This whizz-bang tool also offers a premium subscription for just AU$6.35 + tax per month. You get flight parties, moremap benefits, flight plan copying, and to top it all, geotagged cloud screenshots from your flights!

Volanta main map view
Option to select different networks


That's a wrap! Remember, whether you're soaring through the Simaware skyline, vintage journeying with Vatspy, globetrotting with VatScope, adventuring with VATprism, or partying mid-air with Volanta – the sky is not the limit, it's just the beginning!
Fly high and land safe, fellow pilots. Until we meet again on the virtual runway.

New to VATSIM?

If you are new to VATSIM we created a guide for beginners so you can start flying as soon as possible. The guide is available here.

Check out these articles

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Join the XP50 War Thunder event! Unleash chaos and show them who rules the skies.

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