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ISS Flyover Growler


Want to see an ISS flyover but you keep forgetting to go outside at the right time?  This little application can notify you of upcoming ISS Flyovers using Growl.  Just install the program, configure one XML file with your location and when you want to be notified (one hour prior, five minutes prior, etc).

I personally use Growl for Windows, but you could also use Snarl (untested), Growl for Mac (also untested) or any other Growl-compatible server.

Installation Instructions:

After installation is complete, navigate to %APPDATA%\IssFlyoverGrowler and edit the IssFlyoverGrowler.xml file.

For example:


To get the URL, go to and navigate to the city of your choice.  *IMPORTANT* After getting to the page that shows your flyover times, click on the RSS link near the top center.  That is the URL that you need here.  Paste that URL in your XML configuration file.  Check to make sure that any ampersands (&) in the URL are properly encoded to & (including the semi-colon) as is standard for any xml file. The proper url should look something like this:

If you get a blank list after running the program, go back to the xml configuration file and double-check the URL.

You may enter as many notification times as you wish.  This refers to how early before the flyover do you want to get notified.  Use standard c# TimeSpan notation.

For the name, you can enter anything you want to identify that particular entry (the city name should work quite well).

That’s it.  Good luck with your sightings!

Bugs with version 1.2.4:

None so far!

Download ISS Flyover Growler (.msi) here. Version 1.2.4, (Downloaded 1612 times) Updated 17 August 2013

Download ISS Flyover Growler (.zip) here. Version 1.2.4, (Downloaded 1018 times) Updated 17 August 2013

(If you get a window with no sightings listed, just exit the program and run it again.  Don’t forget to edit the configuration file as I described above.)

ver 1.2.4 (17 August 2013) Fixes a bug where “Update available” messages were suggesting an update was available when in fact there wasn’t.

ver 1.2.3 (08 August 2013) Updated so that the program will work with the new NASA xml file location

ver 1.2.2 (30 November 2011) Fixed a bug where the app was always logging, even if the logging option was set to “false”

ver 1.2.1 (20 October 2011) Added a feature so the minimum elevation before notification could be set. Refer to the “MinimumElevation” setting in the xml configuration file (the sample has an example of the usage)

ver 1.2.0 (30 July 2011) fixed a bug where the time to go would sometimes be blank.

ver 1.1.0 (9 July 2011) Fixes a “negative time to go” bug, adds some columns to the gui (title, time to go), enable minimize to tray, added a button to refresh the display, cleaned up some code.

ver 1.0.0 (29 June 2011) Countless bug fixes and feature additions, including the ability to check a server for application updates.

 Posted by at 5:09 pm

  24 Responses to “ISS Flyover Growler”

  1. Cool! It works! I was able to see the ISS pass over my house last night (actually it was about 75 miles south of my house, but it looked like it was right overhead). Very cool indeed.

  2. Hi,

    I was waiting for such an gadget for a long time. Good work so far.

    If would be nice if one can set a minimum elevation the ISS shall have for a notification to be send.
    That means “Notify me only if ISS flys higher then 40° over the horizon.
    Because else there are a lot of passes where the ISS will barely be visible in my urban environment.

    Kind regards

  3. Very cool. Thanks!

    +1 on criteria for peak elevation – or band it by priority.

  4. @Beorn, @brian I like your suggestion about the minimum elevation and that feature has now been added to version 1.2.1, avail for download now. Thanks! :)

  5. Every time it starts up, it over writes the XML file with the default of Chesapeake. Version 1.2.2. Anyone else seeing this behavior?

  6. If there is an error in your xml file syntax, it does overwrite the file with the default file. Definitely not the best way to handle that. I will make some changes to the code so that doesn’t happen any more. Thanks for pointing it out.

    In the meantime, if you send me your xml file, I will check it out for you.

  7. I just wanted to thank you again for your quick response to my issue. My feed is coming in, and I just received my first notification from Growl – a flyover in 10 minutes!

    Thanks again!

  8. The IssFlyoverGrowler.xml is replaced every time I start the program. Even that file itself, that was written the previous time, with no modifications whatsoever.
    Version 1.2.2. Windows 7 Home premium 64 bits.

  9. Follow-up:

    After adding the line ” 15″ (copied from IssFlyoverGrowler-SAMPLE.xml) it now works!

  10. It’s the line with the MinimumElevation information.

  11. @Theo, I have read your three comments. It sounds like you have it all worked out now and you don’t need any help, correct?

  12. @Skip,

    That is correct. It’s working fine now.
    But you might want to change the faulty IssFlyoverGrowler.xml that is distributed within the software.

  13. Hi Skip,
    NASA changed the scheme of the links and urls don’t include index.cgi like before:
    This is the adress:

    And The final XML adress:

    could you make it work again?

  14. Thanks for the tip. I am looking into it. Give me a few days. If I don’t post something here by the end of the week, you have my permission to bug me about it again :)

  15. New version uploaded 08 August 2013 (ver 1.2.3) which will enable the new location of NASA xml file location.

  16. tnx man, you r the best…

  17. I keep getting “IssFlyoverGrowler Update Available” notifications, even the only installed and running version already is 1.2.3.
    Tried un-/installing, rebooting…

    any help appreciated.

  18. I will look into it tonight. If there isn’t a fix by the end of the week, you have my permission to bug me about it again. :)

  19. Same here, found this tool this afternoon and installed version 1.2.3, but been receiving update notifications all the time.

  20. Sorry about that folks. Version 1.2.4 was just uploaded which fixes the erroneous “update available” messages.

  21. Great, thanks for the fast response! Love this tool. :-)

  22. You are welcome, and thanks for the feedback!

  23. Thanks for this, the kids love to get the notifications

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