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Old 14-09-2014, 15:01   #1
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Online BSB/KAP Generation, no software to install

Hi all, I am out cruising and to help keep my brain from turning to mush I decided to develop a website for cruisers (before leaving to cruise I was a commercial software developer). One of the key features was to be able to generate BSB/KAP files online with no required software install on your computer (you do not even need Google Earth). Although not as feature rich as GE2KAP this new service will create BSB/KAP files in a way, which I hope is fast and simple (if anyone runs into any issues please let me know). The site does this by using either Google Maps or Virtual Earth (Bings Google Maps equivalent), allowing you to move around and zoom into the area you want and pressing a button. All of the heavy lifting of the KAP create happens on the server. The site is in a constant state of enhancement and development (well it will be once I get a new power supply for my laptop which just died, ,why does this stuff happen in remote islands???). Once I get back to development, which I hope will be in about a week, I am going to look into integrating Nokia's "here", which is another satellite image provider. Why the 3 different providers? I have found that each one may cover a remote area better than the other. The site is free but you will need to create a login in order to generate the KAPS (add a marker or generate an ebook from the entered markers).

So, if you have gotten this far the site is www.venturefarther.com.

p.s. word of warning, we are actively cruising in remote areas (the Loyalties in New Caledonia) so response time to this forum or any emails from the "Contact Us" on the site can be delayed.

p.p.s sort of a skunkworks project. I am working with an IPad navigation software developer to make direct calls from within his app to the VentureFarther kap generation engine. No browser needed! So far the testing has been going well with only a small issue that still needs to be addressed (stupid laptop power supply )

p.p.p.s I am open to any thoughts on how to make this site more user friendly or any features which may be useful.
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Old 23-09-2014, 14:47   #2
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Re: Online BSB/KAP Generation, no software to install

Hi Jon (?) Very good idea... I am also more and more using on-line programs these days,especially on my Android devices with limited storage facilities.

Are you familiar with NoniMap View? a French utility with many map formats,and more important,you can select the area you wish to map and then the scale. It means you can create maps larger than your screen,which you can later pan around on.
It displays the lon/lat of the four corners as well as the scale,which can later be used to create the .kap map.

Would it be possible to have an option after login,to attach the coordinates,scale and zoom factor of the required map,returned by email?

Tore
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Old 23-09-2014, 16:02   #3
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Re: Online BSB/KAP Generation, no software to install

I forgot to attach this .jpg map creator view which you probably know whether or not it can be used in some sort of automation process.

I use Android a lot for cockpit navigation,using my tablet,and my favorite,FREE programs are: OruxMaps Blue and Marine Navigator and both can use .kap maps with ease of conversion. It is also able to import and display .xlm files for optimized routes created by qtVlm using weather and current predictions. Has many advanced features. Also reads NMEA data for AIS displays etc.

OruxMaps Blue uses a Windows based converter called OruxMaps Desktop,and the finished product copied over to my Android device.

Marine Navigator is able to do the conversion internally,so you just need to copy a regular .kap map to your Android device.

If you want to refresh your brain even further,there is a need for an on-line position reporting device displaying position on a suitable map. The important thing is the ability to transmit and receive your position via a variety of methods. Internet,telephone network,satellite,SpotWalla etc.

A long distance sailor friend of mine,also an ex programer,had a half finished,but working project going which had to be aborted for private reasons.

Regds

Tore
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Old 24-09-2014, 23:56   #4
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Re: Online BSB/KAP Generation, no software to install

Hi Tore, the idea behind VentureFarther started as a marker sharing service for cruisers. We are avid divers and prefer to dive on our own so GPS coordinates are great. What has sort of evolved is the idea of an online cruisers toolkit. The bsb/kap generation only being a portion of my ideas. By going 100% server based I removed the dependency for software installs and what OS you use. I am currently working with an IPad navigation app developer to include the direct bsb/kap generation, using a behind the scene web request from VentureFarther. From within the app you pan/zoom to the area you want and click a button. Voila a satellite image kap is created and loaded. I really can't think of an easier way to do this. If I can ever wade through all the programming I want to do with VentureFarther I would love to create a OpenCPN plugin that would be similar. No other external software needed. Once things settle down I will contact those other nav app developers to see if they are interested integration with VentureFarther kap engine. The other benefit of server side generation is performance. We are currently cruising New Caledonia with very slow internet. Getting Google Earth to pan around then create a kap was challenging. With the server side create the local internet connection usage is much less. I am seeing charts created in a couple of seconds. Also the zip format reduces the download time and data used.

The logbook/position report is on the burner once I work through some of the other features. The other thing I am working towards is marker/waypoint/route sharing from within nav apps. The goal is from within the nav app, click the marker and say share with VentureFarther. The marker would then be available to all users no matter what nav app they are using.

One last thing, I am curious about your email request. Can you explain a bit more what you are looking for? I don't think I am 100% understanding what you are looking for.
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Old 24-09-2014, 23:58   #5
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Re: Online BSB/KAP Generation, no software to install

p.s. Thanks for signing up, more the merrier ;-)
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Old 17-10-2014, 06:26   #6
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Re: Online BSB/KAP Generation, no software to install

Hi Tore, now that the integration for satellite kaps between VentureFarther and SEAiq is now released I have started looking at adding position reporting to VentureFarther. I have a bunch of ideas around this and hopefully in the next couple of weeks will be releasing it (have already been plugging away at it for a bit). At first it will be mainly email based with an integration with Airmail (SSB email) but will be opening up the reporting of a position much like I did the kap creation.
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Old 23-11-2014, 00:54   #7
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Re: Online BSB/KAP Generation, no software to install

Hi Tore and all, I have just released Position Reporting in VentureFarther. One of the key features is the ability to accept different formats of reports. Currently it can accept the "Airmail" format and direct input via a VentureFarther web page. This webpage takes advantage of HTML5 location support. What this means is if you are posting a report from a devices (some iPads and Android Tablets) that have a built in GPS it will prefill your location on the position report page. Unlike other reporting systems you can also edit/delete reports you have sent if you wish. If you know of any other formats please let me know and I will add them. If you maintain your own cruising website and want to show your position a KML is available from VentureFarther (if you want details on how to get this to work I'll have a help page soon).

Another cool feature is "Buddy Boat Radar". If your buddies also position report on VentureFarther you can link them and then show all your buddies positions on a single page. Also to add to cruisers sharing info there is an automated message forwarder for "Info" request to cruisers in your area. And to try to add to safety offshore there is a "PanPan" and "Securite" auto fowarder to any reporting vessels within a defined radius. I also have a few more cool features under way but thought I would get these out now.

And last but not least, the VentureFarther kap creation engine has now generated/downloaded over 1600 charts with the number climbing daily. Not too bad for only a few months!
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