Home Command line utilities MapSCII – The World Map In Your Terminal

MapSCII – The World Map In Your Terminal

By sk
Published: Updated: 18.3K views

Today, I stumbled upon an interesting command line utility. The World map in your Terminal! Yes, It is pretty nice project. Say hello to MapSCII, a Braille and ASCII world map renderer for your xterm-compatible terminals. It supports GNU/Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.

I thought that it is just another petty project hosted on GitHub. But I was wrong! It is really impressive what they did there. We can use our mouse pointer to drag and zoom in and out a location anywhere in the world map. The other included notable features are;

  • Discover Point-of-Interests around any given location;
  • Highly customizable layer styling with Mapbox Styles support;
  • Connect to any public or private vector tile server;
  • Or just use the supplied and optimized OSM2VectorTiles based one;
  • Work offline and discover local VectorTile/MBTiles;
  • Compatible with most Linux and OSX terminals;
  • Highly optimized algorithms for a smooth experience.

MapSCII uses OpenStreetMap to collect the data.

Display the World Map in your Terminal using MapSCII

To open the map, just run the following command from your Terminal:

$ telnet mapscii.me

Here is the World map from my Terminal.

Display the World Map in your Terminal using MapSCII

Display the World Map in your Terminal using MapSCII

Cool, yeah?

Press c to switch to block character mode:

Switch to block character mode in MapSCII

Switch to block character mode in MapSCII

Type c again to switch back to the previous format.

Navigate Maps in MapSCII

To scroll around the map, use arrow keys up, down, left, right. Alternatively use h, j, k, l keys from the keyboard to scroll the map. To zoom in/out a location, use a and z keys. Also, you can use the scroll wheel of your mouse to zoom in or out. To quit the map, press q.

Here is a quick visual demo:

Like I already said, don't think it is just a simple project. It is awesome and a well made project.

Here are a few more sample screenshots:

World map in Terminal

World map in Terminal

I can be able to zoom to view the states in my country (India).

Display India Map in Terminal using MapSCII

Display India Map in Terminal using MapSCII

And the districts in a state (Tamilnadu):

Zoom world maps with MapSCII

Zoom world maps with MapSCII

Even the Taluks and the towns in a district:

Zoom maps

Zoom maps

And, the place where I completed my high school education.

View specific place with MapSCII

View specific place with MapSCII

Even though my home town is just a smallest urban city in India, MapSCII displayed it accurately.

Install MapSCII locally In Linux

Liked it? Great! You can host MapSCII on your own system.

Make sure you have installed Node.js on your system. If not, refer the following link.

Then, run the following command to install it.

$ sudo npm install -g mapscii

MapSCII is also available as snap. You can install MapSCII on any Linux distributions that supports Snapd using command:

$ sudo snap install mapscii

After installing MapSCII, launch it by running the following command:

$ mapscii

Have fun!


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z10rog January 21, 2018 - 1:44 am

This is really cool. I really like following the articles here. This site made me in fact build up the courage to switch from Mint to Arch (Antergos).

There is however one feature from Debian derived distributions I really miss. And that’s crontab. How on earth do one set up tasks similar to cron jobs in arch linux? I would like to run certain scripts every sunday at 1 pm. In Mint that was eay to set up in crontab.
It would be awesome if this site could post a detailed tutorial on that matter. I think you have to ‘mess around’ with systemd in arch?

Anyway keep the good work up. I’m sure many followers really appreciate OSTechNix!

SK January 21, 2018 - 1:50 pm

Thank you very much for the positive feedback about our blog. crontab is available in Arch, but with different name. You need to install the package ‘cronie’ (sudo pacman -S cronie) to setup cron jobs. Setting up cron jobs is same as you do in Linux mint. For more details, check this Arch wiki link. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Cron .And, yes I have added “Systemd” article to my to-do list. I will write about systemd soon. Keep visiting!


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