Welcome to Balloon Navigator documentation! This page explains everything it is to know about Balloon Navigator.

Use the menu on the left to move between sections. Please remember that documentation is still being written, with multiple sections missing.

If you have any questions not covered here, feel free to send an email to


Balloon Navigator is a Progressive Web App, which means it works inside internet browser. It doesn’t need to be installed to work offline. However, it relies on certain technologies which are not supported by all browsers on the market.

  • Google Chrome is recommended and fully supported browser for Balloon Navigator on Mac and Windows.
  • Safari is recommended for iOS.
  • The app should also work on Microsoft Edge and Opera, but it is not guaranteed.
  • Safari and Firefox do not support Serial Ports, so you won’t be able to fly with your USB GPS when using them.
  • Safari might delete all your data after 7 days, unless you install Navigator as an app (see below: Installation).
  • Chrome on iOS doesn’t support installing the app.

You need to have enough free disk space to save offline maps and waypoints. Minimum 2GB of disk space is recommended for small maps. More disk space is needed for country maps, as they can reach up to 2GB per file. Balloon Navigator can use maximum of 60% of total free disk space on your computer. If the limit is reached, some data might be deleted.


While Balloon Navigator should work fully online and offline without installation, it is recommended to install it on your system as separate app. This will ensure your browser won’t delete stored data if you didn’t use the app for a longer time.

Open Navigator in Chrome and click small computer icon with a down arrow on the right side of address bar


You will be prompted to install Balloon Navigator:


Click Install. App will open in separate window.

Balloon Navigator can now be started from the launcher, home screen, start menu, or launchpad (depending on your system).

Be advised: installed app does not share data with browser app!



Work in progress…

Creating your own map

If you need custom offline map of an area, you can generate one yourself using

Go to this page:

Download Protomaps Small Area

On the page, you can select an area to download using Draw Rectangle or Draw Polygon buttons.

Size of an area is limited by amount of data contained in selected boundaries. Maximum of 5M nodes is allowed - this will cover huge areas of rural terrain, well enough for ballooning. More developed areas like cities contain more nodes, therefore possible maps will become smaller.

After selecting your area, pick a name for the map in Name this download. This name will be visible in Balloon Navigator.

Click on Create Map. New window will appear, showing progress of map generation:


It might take several minutes to finish, just be patient. After the map is generated, another window will appear - click on Download Map to get your new map file:

Uploading PMTiles maps

After you download your custom map file from, you can upload it directly to Balloon Navigator.

Open Maps from left sidebar menu and click on blue Add map file button:

Upload PMTiles Map

Pick your downloaded map and select Open. Custom map will appear on the list and you can use it right away.

No calibration is required, as PMTiles files have all needed data included.

Keyboard shortcuts

Most common actions can be activated from keyboard.

On MacOS, ALT is replaced by OPTION (⌥)

  • SHIFT + ALT + mouse drag: Rotate view around center of the map

  • ALT + A: Create new waypoint
  • ALT + Q: Draw Point on map
  • ALT + C: Draw Circle on map
  • ALT + L: Draw Line on map
  • ALT + P: Draw Polygon on map
  • SHIFT: Hold when drawing, it will keep current action active so you can draw multiple waypoints

  • ALT + G: Enable/disable GPS
  • ALT + M: Open Maps
  • ALT + W: Open Waypoints
  • ALT + T: Open Tracks
  • ALT + S: Open Settings
  • ALT + I, ALT + E: Open Import/Export

  • W: Show/hide Windreader
  • G: Show/hide GPS data
  • F: Enable/disable Follow Map
  • R: Enable/disable Follow Rotation
  • N: Set map orientation to north

  • S + N: Navigate to selected waypoint
  • S + E: Edit selected waypoint
  • S + C: Center view on selected waypoint