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Old 10-12-2007, 16:44   #1
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Printing Raster Charts

Hello all,

I have access to large format printers for free and would like to print some charts. However, I'm unable to find a program that will enable me to open .BSB files for editing/printing. NOAA offers no help on printing their charts outside of "Go to Oceangraphix.com". Suggestions?

In addition, is there a free source for Caribbean ENCs? If not, does anyone have the data available?

Lastly, does anyone know a way to open the NGA's Digital Nautical Charts?

Thanks for your help,
Aaron N.
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Old 10-12-2007, 16:56   #2
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Fugawi

Fugawi has that option but I'v never tried printing one myself. Fugawi GPS Navigation and Mapping Software Homepage
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Old 12-12-2007, 18:13   #3
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I've recently discovered a PhotoShop plugin called BSBImport (do a web search for the various download sites). I haven't tried it since I don't own PhotoShop, so I can't vouch for its capabilities; but if you're able to get the chart into PhotoShop, you can do anything with it. It's free to try and $20 to buy.

I stumbled across it while searching for import / conversion tools for BSB and ENC charts. I started a thread in another post about that, but I did find TONS of free applications that can read NOAA charts.
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Old 12-12-2007, 19:16   #4
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I just downloaded the test version of BSBimport. I opened it using Adobe Photoshop CS (full version) on a fast XT machine.

Indeed, the plug-in does allow you to open BSB charts in Photoshop.

However, I was turned off by the checkerboard overlay used by the test version which was so intrusive it was difficult to concentrate on the chart. Moreover, the resolution of the chart itself was lousy...nowhere near as good as I routinely get in MapTech's Offshore Navigator or in any other charting program I've used.

Maybe it's me; maybe I'm missing something. But as a computer professional it turned me off fast, so I blew it off and will continue printing charts using Offshore Navigator when needed.

Bill
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Old 12-12-2007, 23:52   #5
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I use SeaclearII and the .75m hp plotter. It works great and the charts are crystal clear.

Ive had issues with scale a few times but the scale bar on the charts should be correct no matter what. I think that was probably just me checking the wrong option somewhere. Seaclear isnt the easiest program to navigate but it is free.

GRASS which is open source GIS software, will also load up BSBs. That will work too if you are using a mac or linux. If you work in IT you might have access to ESRI ArcMap, the new version 9.2 will also load up BSBs.

Good luck.
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Old 13-12-2007, 23:06   #6
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I'll give these options a try. I appreciate everyone's comments!

Perhaps someone knows what sort of paper I should look for for printing these? We have large 9xxx series Epson photo printers (same as WM uses for their OceanGraphix charts), but I don't think photo paper is appropriate (or cost effective!). Anyone know of a source for rolls of blank chart paper or the like?

Thanks for your continuing aid.

Sincerely,
Aaron N.
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Old 14-12-2007, 00:49   #7
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Heavy weight bond? Talk to a drafting supply store. Typical plotter paper is just 20# bond because nobody expects plots to last forever.
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Old 14-12-2007, 16:50   #8
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Aaron, if you talk to a speciality paper house (aka "paper merchant" you will find there are several types of synthetics (like Tyvek, Kimdura, and some based on latex) that are generally not sold in less than whole ream quantity--but that also ensures you a waterproof and durable chart.

Any printer can tell you who the local paper suppliers are, or order in one of these specialty products from them. There are also "outdoor papers" sold from some of the inkjet companies, which are also synthetics. Available on the web of course, too.

You may need to fiddle a bit with the ink settings, they all don't absorb ink exactly the same way that paper does--the same way that cheap bond and photo paper differ.
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