Currently I implemented TCP connections. I can add UDP very easily if needed. Same for special data formats.
As far as charts
go, 'commercial' isnt really the issue. All commercial charts
are based on charts created by the various countries/navies for a region. Many countries (like USA and NZ here) have made the original charts available free of charge. So while I dont use 'commercial' charts here, I do use the same source charts that I need to pay for, if I were to use my Raymarine chartplotter
But you are right, if the charts you need are locked up tight in proprietary formats, you cant easily access them.
However the chartplotter
part of FreeBoard is not the main focus. FreeBoard is there to provide marine
instruments and networked, shared access to nav data using low cost commodity components. Just like laptops vs chartplotters, you can actually afford to carry spares, can easily change and upgrade without throwing out your whole system, etc.
As such you can still use FreeBoard to deliver the data (NMEA) to your chartplotter.