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Old 01-11-2009, 06:10   #31
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- - Almost all of the computer Electronic Navigation programs/applications written for use on USA format (operating systems) computers/lapbooks will not operate on European and other countries' formated computers. The reason is that USA format (operating systems) use a date time format that is reversed from the "world normal" system of day, month, year. USA uses Month, day, year. Since the navigation programs works with "time/date" to compute tracks and postions, etc. the USA OS's and "Rest of the World" OS's are incompatible.
- - SeaClear II is the first computer navigation program that can deal with both time/date systems and function. If you know of any "non-US" cruisers who want a computer navigation application for their "non-US" computers refer them to SeaClearII.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:18   #32
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What do you mean "USA format computers/lapbook"? While it's true much software is not properly localized especially with date formats, this is a problem with the individual software, not the underlying hardware nor the OS.

I'm somewhat amused by your assertion regarding SeaClear. While it has it's pluses it's got some serious minuses as well - for example the fact that it's pretty well abandoned/no longer under active development and that works only with a very limited set of raster chart formats like BSB.

As OpenCPN continues to mature I'm finding myself starting SeaClear less and less... Don't get me wrong, SeaClear is still a great option, but it's feature set is quickly falling behind...
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:56   #33
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I never mentioned "hardware" - I stated USA date/time and also numberic format uses Month/day/year and also uses commas and periods(decimal point) in numbers - differently than European computer operating systems. These differences made using computer navigation applications designed for the USA market incompatible. SeaClear II was the first one I encountered in "real computer life" that could operate on both USA and European computers - when SeaClear II became available. This comes from first hand knowledge of trying all the USA computer navigation appplications on French friends and other European Computers. They wanted to use the free NOAA charts as they were heading for the cruising the USA and did not have a computer navigation application that could use NOAA ENC charts.
- - Whether "new" computer navigation applications such as ""OpenCPN" is written to accept and utilize both USA and European date/time/numeric conventions is an interesting question. Are there any Europeans on this Forum that have tried to see if OpenCPN will function on their computers? Or does anybody associated with the OpenCPN project have knowledge of how their application deals with the different date/time and number conventions used outside the USA?
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Old 01-11-2009, 16:47   #34
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I dont understand this issue. All computers, US and European can be set to use , or . as decimal point and different date convention. I have used both at uni/job and privatelly. As far as i know there is no difference in the operating system and software on different markets, it is only the keyboard layout and the configuration based on local standards that differs.

OpenCPN works fine on my Swedish computer set for swedish date (2009-11-02) and decimal point (a la USA) since I prefer that.

/Jonas
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Old 01-11-2009, 18:11   #35
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Originally Posted by dacust View Post
The only other raster charts I have found for free are for Brazil. The link in my signature has the link along with instructions for navigating the page for those of you that don't read Spanish. It's in the second table, first block.

-dan
New Zealand has TIFF files for most charts in its catalog (NZ202 Chart Catalogue). Select the chart you want, double click on the chart image, and you get the option of downloading the TIFF. I have calibrated many in MAPCAL and am starting to use in SeaClear.

The catalog extends well up into the Pacific (from the Marquesas to Australia for passage charts, with detailed charts of Tonga, etc). They are flagged 'not for navigational use. Presumably because they are not updated regularly (as US charts are).

No substitute for good paper charts, but useful confirmation of where you thought you were, and an easy way to 'look ahead' at charts which are rolled up somewhere in the forepeak ...
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Old 01-11-2009, 19:00   #36
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Jonasberg - that is good information - the old USA written computer navigation applications had to have the USA date/time convention and the "period" as a decimal point. SeaClear II would accept whatever your computer OS was set for and function okay.
- If OpenCPN will accept non-USA date/time then that is one half of great. The other half is if it will accept the comma as the decimal point. If it does then it is indeed a "world wide" application. The other item you mentioned raises another "third" question - keyboards and the character maps. Will OpenCPN accept and display the international character set or Unicode character sets - or - does it only accept (USA) ASCII dos character sets? Which goes to - does it display its menu's, etc. in your native language / character set? Or must you be able to read and type only English.
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Old 01-11-2009, 19:06   #37
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New Zealand has TIFF files for most charts in its catalog (NZ202 Chart Catalogue). Select the chart you want, double click on the chart image, and you get the option of downloading the TIFF. I have calibrated many in MAPCAL and am starting to use in SeaClear.

The catalog extends well up into the Pacific (from the Marquesas to Australia for passage charts, with detailed charts of Tonga, etc). They are flagged 'not for navigational use. Presumably because they are not updated regularly (as US charts are).

No substitute for good paper charts, but useful confirmation of where you thought you were, and an easy way to 'look ahead' at charts which are rolled up somewhere in the forepeak ...
Yep, I got those. On my website those, and others, are listed in the link under "chart images".

What I was referring to was charts ready to use. Also, the ones you calibrate using MapCal can only be used in SeaClear.

BUT, in the OpenCPN sub-forum, we have created a utility that will take the MapCal calibration (CHARTCAL.DIR) and convert it to a BSB header. Then, using tif2bsb, we can create BSB charts.

We are starting a collection of the MapCal calibrations for the NZ charts, so, if you have any you'd like to contribute, we'd be forever grateful.

-dan
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Old 01-11-2009, 19:44   #38
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- - What a minute there - you are creating real BSB headers? That means that charts created by your "MapCal" (Chartcal.dir) are usable by all other computer navigation programs that can accept NOAA BSB charts. Is that correct?
- - And if it is correct - are you violating the BSB copyright or patent on their chart protocols? That could get very serious very quickly if indeed the BSB owner of the protocol finds out. Even SoftChart uses a different header to avoid copyright infractions.
- - FUGAWI also has a MAPCAL feature that converts scanned images to usable e-nav charts within FUGAWI. They use a system that cannot migrate charts to another system to avoid such copyright problems.
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Old 01-11-2009, 20:45   #39
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- - What a minute there - you are creating real BSB headers? That means that charts created by your "MapCal" (Chartcal.dir) are usable by all other computer navigation programs that can accept NOAA BSB charts. Is that correct?
- - And if it is correct - are you violating the BSB copyright or patent on their chart protocols? That could get very serious very quickly if indeed the BSB owner of the protocol finds out. Even SoftChart uses a different header to avoid copyright infractions.
- - FUGAWI also has a MAPCAL feature that converts scanned images to usable e-nav charts within FUGAWI. They use a system that cannot migrate charts to another system to avoid such copyright problems.
No, it is not a truly compatible BSB header. So far, it seems only OpenCPN can use them, but then it hasn't been tested with many packages.

Anyway, since tif2bsb has been out for a long time with no problems, and since no one is distributing any charts, I don't think there is much chance of any problems. I am only converting public images, like the New Zealand charts their government has on the web in .tif format. And the public domain aerial and topo maps from Terraserver.

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Old 01-11-2009, 21:51   #40
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That sounds better - which is basically the same thing that FUGAWI, SeaClear II and some other programs have for using your own scanned images/graphic files to generate an e-nav chart for use on you own system. Nobody's competing with the "big boys" so hopefully we can operate "under the radar".
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Old 03-11-2009, 18:26   #41
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Another SeaClear question

The program downloaded successfully, as did the charts from CG district 1 -- lots of charts. I figured out the directory and the chart path -- but -- the big problem I have is that each chart unzipped into its own folder, each folder containing the bsb and the kap files. The SeaClear find new charts feature won't see them unless I move the kap file (which is all it needs) for each chart into the SeaClear chart folder. I would need to do this for dozens and dozens of charts. Is this necessary, or am I missing something somewhere along the line here. Any help would be most welcome! I am not very computer literate (but I'm learning!) so I hope I have explained this clearly.
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Old 03-11-2009, 19:06   #42
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The program downloaded successfully, as did the charts from CG district 1 -- lots of charts. I figured out the directory and the chart path -- but -- the big problem I have is that each chart unzipped into its own folder, each folder containing the bsb and the kap files. The SeaClear find new charts feature won't see them unless I move the kap file (which is all it needs) for each chart into the SeaClear chart folder. I would need to do this for dozens and dozens of charts. Is this necessary, or am I missing something somewhere along the line here. Any help would be most welcome! I am not very computer literate (but I'm learning!) so I hope I have explained this clearly.
Nova-
I had the same issue... hundreds of charts that download each KAP file into a separate directory using the NOAA number for the directory name. I simply used the "Search" function (found under the "Start" menu if you're using Windoze) to search my entire hard drive for ".kap" (without the quotes.) The resulting list of KAP files can then be selected (ctrl-A to "select all") and drag them to the SeaClear chart directory.

Hope this rather simplistic solution helps. If you're running SeaClear on a Linux/Unix based system, I was toying with the idea of writing a script to relocate all the KAP files from a given folder or directory, but since I'm retired from the computer development business, I always prefer a built-in solution such as "search" to writing my own scripts...

-Case
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Old 24-12-2010, 11:01   #43
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perhaps a little off topic, I have been using Seaclear for a while now to navigate the Great Lakes and Canada/USA eastern seaboard. Use my laptop in conjunction/back-up to my Garmin chartplotter. Next year heading East and need some Med and Adriatic charts, have located most of the charts I need at 1yachtua.com reasonably priced at less than 3 Euros per download. I will be renting a 42 foot power boat to tour Venice and surrounding islands in the Venetian Lagoon, don't think it's wise to sail in these waters with a keelboat. Problem is I can't find any sites with a seaclear seperate chart file for BA1483. Would also appreciate any info on local charts for the lagoon waters. British Admiralty charts don't seem to cover lagoon apart from the seaward approaches on BA1483.
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Old 24-12-2010, 12:47   #44
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The program downloaded successfully, as did the charts from CG district 1 -- lots of charts. I figured out the directory and the chart path -- but -- the big problem I have is that each chart unzipped into its own folder, each folder containing the bsb and the kap files. The SeaClear find new charts feature won't see them unless I move the kap file (which is all it needs) for each chart into the SeaClear chart folder. I would need to do this for dozens and dozens of charts. Is this necessary, or am I missing something somewhere along the line here. Any help would be most welcome! I am not very computer literate (but I'm learning!) so I hope I have explained this clearly.
If you use WinZip to unpack the archive you can tell it to ignore the directory structure of the archive. That will put all your charts in one directory, which will make it much easier for SeaClear to find them.

Fabbian
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Old 21-01-2011, 21:32   #45
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I found myself recently in Cheechaoko's quandry, and tried and tried getting charts using MapCal. By accident, I placed the kap charts in the BSB folder (not the charts folder as instructed) and lo and behold SeaClear pulled them up. Now I just do this:

1) Download zipped RNC files of the charts I need.
2) Unzip, then save in the BSB Root folder, not the Chart folder;
3) Run SeaClear. Not sure why, but it works (not sure why it works even tho' the manual says to use MapCal.

Hope that helps.
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