Originally Posted by stykiaz
We are not going for quick and easy and we won't go into so much depth
, as I said multiple times so far we are not aiming at providing a complete full featured and definite tool for planning routes and plotting charts! We won't display water depths on the map, just suggest a route from point A to point B only taking into account the draft of the boat, as simple as that. At this point in time requirements don't include any extra complexity. This is why I am trying to get a hold of those routes in an usable for format which we can overlay on to the map.
It will be a rough guide telling boater how long it would take to get to their destination and help them plan their itinerary.
But to give even a very rough, approximate route from A to B you will have to have the program take into account areas that are water vs land and depth. Otherwise you will give the user completely idiotic results, showing routes across land or through water that is 6" deep. FYI there are lots of places in the Bahamas where the water is only inches or maybe 2-3' deep. It might look like water on a "map" but it is way too shallow for anything bigger than a row boat.
Some background in case you have no experience at all in marine charts
which I'm guessing is the case.
The two main electronic chart types are raster and vector. Raster charts
are effectively a photograph of the original paper chart so will give no data at only, just pixels for the image. Vector charts do include all the data in digital format, a file of some type I assume. This is where you would have to start.
At this point I think your best option is to put together some kind of digital image of the Bahamas and pay a boat expert to draw course lines between the major destinations. Then the user can click on the various locations and have the manually drawn course lines from that point show on screen
. You would have to set some basic parameters, mainly draft of the vessel. Maybe have two options, max draft 4' and max draft 6'.