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Old 22-11-2010, 13:10   #1
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Allowable Chart Folder / Subfolder Structure

Having just installed an alternative plotter & charts, while googling for free S57 charts for S. America I came across your site with interesting Open Plotter !

As the other plotter said I could use a Chart folder structure of my choice I constructed the following
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\CARIB\WINDWARD-ISLANDS\here all chart types
\BRAZIL\ here all chart types

I would rather not have to alter my chart structure for each plotter evaluated, so looked in your user manual for the spec on your chart locations. In the URI Installing Charts | Official OpenCPN Homepage, I read "Download some charts (see below) and organize them in a fashion that suits you." - which implies all I need to tell your program is the root folder of the Charts, and it will search all subfolders when building its library indexes - is that correct ?

My worry is that in the examples you give below, and also in the Toolbox Menu tabs, you seem to have adopted a chart structure predicated by the numerous proprietary/variants and open filetype formats, eg opt/navigation/CM/CM93.

I would have thought from a navigators perspective, the ideal UI would normally 'hide' technical details of chart vendor/version no. and allow users to organise their chart collections primarily by geographic region ? (perhaps separating vendor chart formats as a lower level subfolder within each lowest region, as an aide memoir to what qualities are available for cruising region)

By hardcoding 'Vector Charts' from 'Charts' you would appear to give filetype (i.e. machine over user) precedence over easy UI. Is there any good reason for this ?

I would have thought it easy for the program to automatically take account of 'User Preferences' (show counters/depths less than a certain depth, pipelines etc) depending on the active/loaded chart type/attributes, to avoid Users having to define Vector types seperately from other charts.

Read some interesting forum posts eg. sailpop about Lat/Long format issues. 10 years back I used the proprietary SeaPro2000, and its DOS predecessor (liked their LiveChart display), which as I remember, allowed the User to specify whether they wanted DD.MM.MMM or DMS format, and how many digits of precision. My preference is for DMS as it matches the co-ordinates on Admiralty and many other H.O. Charts. Might you consider including the option of DMS format in next version ?

I read your Garmin interface is not yet fully functional. As I use the Garmin 60c, I hope you will have it finished soon !

I read you intend to release a stable v2.3 in next week or so, with many improvements, so I will wait until then to try out.

I wish your Open Plotter/Navigator every success in offering a superior experience to the commercial offerings.
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Old 22-11-2010, 14:33   #2
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paul2

Welcome to OpenCPN.
I'm afraid you read way to much into the way I personally organize my charts, seen on many pictures in the documentation.Which ..by the way has nothing to do with demands from proprietary vendors.
A bit down on the page you refer to.
Quote:
It is safe and reasonably efficient to put all your charts except the CM93 database in one large directory, and set that directory in Toolbox->Charts. The CM93 database contains its own file and directory structure. The top-level directory only, of this database should be loaded, as described above, into OpenCPN.
If you do a lot of chart downloads, updates, etc., then it will be faster to break the charts folder into smaller groups, and specify them individually in the Toolbox->Charts dialog.
There is no reason why you could not point OpenCPN towards
C:\CHARTS and load all your charts. CM93 would of course, not fit into this pattern very easily.

Thomas
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Old 22-11-2010, 17:31   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagney View Post
paul2

Welcome to OpenCPN.
I'm afraid you read way to much into the way I personally organize my charts, seen on many pictures in the documentation.Which ..by the way has nothing to do with demands from proprietary vendors.
A bit down on the page you refer to.


There is no reason why you could not point OpenCPN towards
C:\CHARTS and load all your charts. CM93 would of course, not fit into this pattern very easily.

Thomas
Thanks for your help. Does that mean, apart from chart types that require a particular file structure like the CM93, that your OpenCPN will work with my existing Chart folders and use all files in the subfolders ?
I see after posting, struct not as clear as could be so trying to show the folder heirarchy again below:
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\CARIB\WINDWARD-ISLANDS\
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\BRAZIL\
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\FRANCE etc.

Also, any closer prediction of when the stable version with the updated Import/Export UI will be published ?
Thanks again.
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Old 23-11-2010, 10:04   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
Thanks for your help. Does that mean, apart from chart types that require a particular file structure like the CM93, that your OpenCPN will work with my existing Chart folders and use all files in the subfolders ?
I see after posting, struct not as clear as could be so trying to show the folder heirarchy again below:
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\CARIB\WINDWARD-ISLANDS\
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\BRAZIL\
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\FRANCE etc.

Also, any closer prediction of when the stable version with the updated Import/Export UI will be published ?
Thanks again.
Yes, your existing chart folders should work alright. Just try it!

As for predicting next stable release......Dave has already been as precise as he can. The main thing is not the exact release date, but that the new release is as stable and bug free as possible, even if delayed for weeks.

Thomas
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Old 27-12-2010, 18:34   #5
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New User Q on why .snc S57's not imported, Library Catalog ?

Have just installed OpenCPN 2.3.0 for use with my existing Chart folder structure
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\CARIB\WINDWARD-ISLANDS\here all chart types
\BRAZIL\ here all chart types

I followed your user manual to install all my charts and good news it appears to have successfully installed all the charts contained in
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\BRAZIL\ (which happend to be all BSB's
But nowhere can I see my S57 Windward Island charts all .snc's (obtained from, and displayed ok in NAVPACK) in
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\CARIB\WINDWARD-ISLANDS\

Grateful if you can tell me why those charts are not imported, and what I need to do to import them also.

In marine plotter software used many years ago, eg SeaPro2000, there was a menu selection that displayed an inventory of all Charts that had been acquired by the Library, which I found very helpful for quickly verifying all charts in a Windows folder tree, had been successfully imported. I cannot find any matching function in OpenCPN. Is there one, as without, it seems the only way of verifying a large collection is to manually pan & zoom to all chart areas, which leads me to my 3rd question:

Am still getting to know the software, but I thought to start the above verification by pan & zoom, but am puzzled why the Chart Info Bar nr bottom of screen, doesnt match the quantity of displayed red chart rectangles, an example being when Belem de Para (Amazon) is in centre of screen, 3 small-scale Charts shown in the info bar, yet 5 charts or part charts shown in chart display area. - in particular, the red rectangle in screen centre that obviously is the Port Chart of Belem - does not appear in the info bar. As result, it appears far more difficult to verify the 'chart catalog' in the OpenCPN library.

I seem to remember with SeaPro, it was very easy/quick to show an infobox of data on any chart object, eg. a bouy, by right clicking on it, and info on Chart of current focus by clicking in an obvious area.

Many thanks for assistance on this.
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Old 27-12-2010, 19:30   #6
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Since no one else has answered, I'll try to answer what I can. Some of this is guesswork.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
Have just installed OpenCPN 2.3.0 for use with my existing Chart folder structure
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\CARIB\WINDWARD-ISLANDS\here all chart types
\BRAZIL\ here all chart types

I followed your user manual to install all my charts and good news it appears to have successfully installed all the charts contained in
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\BRAZIL\ (which happend to be all BSB's
But nowhere can I see my S57 Windward Island charts all .snc's (obtained from, and displayed ok in NAVPACK) in
C:\CHARTS\ATLANTIC\CARIB\WINDWARD-ISLANDS\
My guess is that the .snc files are not the raw S57 ENC charts, but the internal proprietary SENC format used by that program. The internal format used by OpenCPN is .BMP and .S57

The raw format ends in a 3 digit number (first edition is .000)
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
Grateful if you can tell me why those charts are not imported, and what I need to do to import them also.

In marine plotter software used many years ago, eg SeaPro2000, there was a menu selection that displayed an inventory of all Charts that had been acquired by the Library, which I found very helpful for quickly verifying all charts in a Windows folder tree, had been successfully imported. I cannot find any matching function in OpenCPN. Is there one, as without, it seems the only way of verifying a large collection is to manually pan & zoom to all chart areas, which leads me to my 3rd question:
I'd like to see a chart catalog, as well. A searchable one. You could add this to the FlySpray enhancements requests.
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
Am still getting to know the software, but I thought to start the above verification by pan & zoom, but am puzzled why the Chart Info Bar nr bottom of screen, doesnt match the quantity of displayed red chart rectangles, an example being when Belem de Para (Amazon) is in centre of screen, 3 small-scale Charts shown in the info bar, yet 5 charts or part charts shown in chart display area. - in particular, the red rectangle in screen centre that obviously is the Port Chart of Belem - does not appear in the info bar. As result, it appears far more difficult to verify the 'chart catalog' in the OpenCPN library.
The bars at the bottom only show the charts available at the center of the screen. Well, I haven't used mine in actual navigation, so maybe it is at current boat location? Probably not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
I seem to remember with SeaPro, it was very easy/quick to show an infobox of data on any chart object, eg. a bouy, by right clicking on it, and info on Chart of current focus by clicking in an obvious area.

Many thanks for assistance on this.
You can get chart information by hovering your mouse over the highlighted bar denoting the current chart. You get the info for an object by right clicking, and then select "Object Query". On the left is a list of objects found at that location. Click on the one you want information on.

-dan
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Old 27-12-2010, 23:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dacust View Post
The bars at the bottom only show the charts available at the center of the screen. Well, I haven't used mine in actual navigation, so maybe it is at current boat location? Probably not.
Your first guess was right. The bars at the bottom show the charts which cover the center of the current display.

Fabbian
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