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Old 10-09-2011, 08:45   #16
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Re: Android Development Underway

I'm not going to argue that it's not a good idea with an open source android OCPN. Of course :-)

But I think it's still relevant in this thread to point out again that www.oruxmaps.com already has a free BSB3-compatible version out there for the Android. With on-line (google maps and other) access as well as off-line BSB3-charts and more.

I works fine in addition. I haven't tried in on a tablet though, only on my small HTC Desire.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:49   #17
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Re: Android Development Underway

Quote:
Will it (now or later) handle ENC charts?
Couple options here since we currently read from a (TMS tile set) map file or http source ...

1 - A plugin for OpenCPN could be created that provides an http source for all loaded charts. Android tablet/phone would then need to be connected to OpenCPN via wifi. OpenCPN would essentially be a chart server.

2 - Some of the custom GDAL code from OpenCPN could be borrowed to render TMS tile set files from ENC charts that could be put on an SD card. This is essentially what I am doing now except I am using latest GDAL to render the TMS tile set. I'm also using a lot of custom python stuff to optimize the TMS tile sets into an SD card friendly size and format.

Will
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Old 11-09-2011, 17:12   #18
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Re: Android Development Underway

Please excuse the ignorance but I'm not sure I understand the SD card issue. With most Android devices quite capable of handling 16 or 32gb SDHC cards surely it's not a problem to store whatever charts wanted in the same format as OpenCPN, i.e I don't see any advantage using OpenCPN as a 'chart server'

With class 6 or 10 cards I suspect the access time reading from card would be faster than Wifi anyway.

It's also interesting to note that the CPU power of many Android devices is at alelvel that would have been seen as quite a powerful PC in 2000......

To reiterate my plea of a few mails back, CM93 is little over !gb, I can load it on my Android phone's card easily, I'd absolutely love a nav program that could display it there.......just imagine worldwide charts in the palm of your hand.....
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Old 11-09-2011, 19:56   #19
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Re: Android Development Underway

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Originally Posted by kiwiradical View Post
Please excuse the ignorance but I'm not sure I understand the SD card issue. With most Android devices quite capable of handling 16 or 32gb SDHC cards surely it's not a problem to store whatever charts wanted in the same format as OpenCPN, i.e I don't see any advantage using OpenCPN as a 'chart server'
Agreed, reading from the sd-card, operating stand-alone and offline is a must have feature set. This is precisely why I've created the program, there isn't anything else available on android that does this.

---------------------------------

I have put together a website for the project: MXMariner.org

Developers will find access to the source code @ the site. Apk files will be available soon... I want to complete the entire NOAA BSB chart catalog before I release Apks to the public. The complete NOAA BSB chart catalog will be divided into 10 regions which will be available for download on the site also. Stay tuned.
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Old 11-09-2011, 23:58   #20
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Re: Android Development Underway

Great move Will, might make me actually buy a Android tablet... ;-)

And a bit off topic, it doesn't matter, just curious, but why Simplified BSD instead of GPLv2?

/J
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Old 13-09-2011, 14:44   #21
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Re: Android Development Underway

Awesome that you've started this project Will.

Writing as a boring old style "stick in the mud" not much (since gps was available) has inspired my crew and I to go any further than paper, pencil and ruler. However, (when we could afford it) we have had cm93 charts available for extra detailed coverage. Our yacht is only 3.5 tonne so there is a limit to the paper that we can carry because of all that other stuff we all need like water and food..

We have found that a standard laptop is not the ideal chart plotter but we've never had the funds or inclination to purchase a proprietary chart plotter system. Fortuitously I was in a Penang shopping mall 2 days ago and it hit me: opencpn/cm93 on an Android 10” tablet with inbuilt gps and a waterproof casing..

Imagine my surprise when I found your recent post detailing the key to my idea.

I am now researching Android tablets and will probably purchase within the week..

Any idea how long before you have beta/stable versions available? Anything I can do re: beta testing. In the next year we are cruising from Penang to Borneo, Phillipines, Taiwan, Indonesia and then the west Australian coast to Fremantle which would be a good test for chart coverage and functionality.


Regards, nelson
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Old 13-09-2011, 15:40   #22
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Re: Android Development Underway

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Fortuitously I was in a Penang shopping mall 2 days ago and it hit me: opencpn/cm93 on an Android 10” tablet with inbuilt gps and a waterproof casing..

Imagine my surprise when I found your recent post detailing the key to my idea.

I am now researching Android tablets and will probably purchase within the week...

Warning, technical details ahead ...


Right now MX Mariner, as I am calling the project, will read from a charts/maps in the gemf format. This is the best format to use with the libraries I am using to create the program (osmdroid). What that means is that charts have to be converted to the gemf format. I plan on releasing a program that will convert a set of charts into the gemf format. Right now, I have the ability to create a gemf file from a set of BSB3 raster charts. What that means is that CM93v2 is not available... yet. The bsb3 to gemf conversion requires the GDAL library which Dave of OpenCPN has modified to read CM93v2. This means that creating a gemf from CM93v2 is readily possible. This will be up to the open source community as MX Mariner is open source.

Short end of the story for the average user ...

For the average user, I plan on making this simple... MX Mariner will be available on the Android market for a small price... probably around $5. I plan on making the entire NOAA chart catalog available for download for those who purchase MX Mariner from the Android market.

Other details ...

MX Mariner is open source. That means it will be forever free for anyone to download and use for free. The free version will be the same as the version that costs $5 on the Android Market except download access to the NOAA chart catalog mentioned above. It will be up to these users to create their own gemf charts. Programs and instructions how to create gemf charts from bsbv3 will also be available on the project website: mxmariner.org.

Thanks,

Will
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Old 13-09-2011, 16:01   #23
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Re: Android Development Underway

great thanks for all the info.
i appreciate the heads up and understand that some conversion work will need to be done, no worries.
i will stay tuned..
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Old 13-09-2011, 19:02   #24
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Re: Android Development Underway

Dude, you friggin' rock!
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Old 14-09-2011, 05:54   #25
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Re: Android Development Underway

Thanks Will...great work. Just wondering out loud if you have considered using https://build.opensuse.org/ to render the charts of any flavour or as the case may be. More horsepower there then anywhere else and its all free. If it complies with your license structure which I think it might, its a great resources.

Many thanks and continued success.

/ch
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Old 14-09-2011, 06:35   #26
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Re: Android Development Underway

Could the charts be send via Bluetooth from the pc on the chart table to the phone in the cockpit?
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Old 14-09-2011, 07:09   #27
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Re: Android Development Underway

With storage being a consideration, it'd be a shame not to be able to use the vector charts as-is. I can't imagine any way any raster format can be as efficient as CM93 or ENC charts. I CAN imagine, however, that there could be programing hurdles that could keep you from doing it.

Creating raster from vector will create their own problems. If you create the charts zoomed in for detail, when you zoom out, the words will be completely unreadable. If you zoom out to create them, when you zoom in, the detail won't be there, and the words will be larger than the screen. So, to really do it right, you'd need to create 2 or 3 (or more?) charts for each area at different zoom levels. That's getting very inefficient as far as storage goes. BUT, it's no worse that the existing paper derived raster charts. BUT, can you imagine a phone with the entire world of vector charts loaded? My set is 1.3gb.

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Old 14-09-2011, 09:20   #28
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Re: Android Development Underway

Quote:
Originally Posted by manimaul View Post
...The bsb3 to gemf conversion requires the GDAL library which Dave of OpenCPN has modified to read CM93v2. This means that creating a gemf from CM93v2 is readily possible. This will be up to the open source community as MX Mariner is open source....
I agree with Dan's comments although that might be out of your scope. But having an Android app to read kap charts is a darn good start.

That said, would it be possible to use the modified GDAL libraries and let them read CM92v2 charts and present them as gemf "on the fly"?

Or is that unthinkably slow?

/J
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Old 14-09-2011, 09:50   #29
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Re: Android Development Underway

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...although that might be out of your scope. But having an Android app to read kap charts is a darn good start.
Absolutely. It'll be a good tool to have even if it never does anything but the rasters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonasaberg View Post
...
That said, would it be possible to use the modified GDAL libraries and let them read CM92v2 charts and present them as gemf "on the fly"?

Or is that unthinkably slow?
...
If this would be an option, I'd vote for it being configurable. Let the user decide to either convert up front or on the fly. That's one of my gripes with OCPN right now is I don't have to option to let it churn on my ENCs for a few hours while I am asleep and get it over with. But that's because I have lots of disk space. Same thing applies here...

On the other hand, gemf-on-the-fly would alleviate the zooming issue. Just have to build the different levels during zoom.

So to be really versatile, the configuration would be:
First, always automatically use any gemf that already exists.
  • User choose - Use gemf-on-the-fly?
  • User choose - If static gemf already exists, still gemf-on-the-fly for zoom levels not present?

-dan
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Old 16-09-2011, 00:05   #30
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Re: Android Development Underway

Development news:

Here is the target basic features I'm working on before the first beta/testing release:

DONE Smooth panning on both low and high resolution devices
DONE Quilted gemf NOAA RNC Chart Layer (available offline)
DONE Openstreetmap base layer displayed when chart is not available and data connection and/or cache is.
DONE SOG and COG numeric display
DONE Follow and pan mode
DONE Position and course tracking
DONE Day, Dusk and Night modes

TODO Follow / pan mode icon change indicator
TODO Read from multiple gemf files in configurable directory on SD-Card
TODO In app NOAA RNC Chart region download tool
TODO Course predictor line display
TODO Graceful application pause, stop and resume handling (screen orientation change)
TODO Remember application state on consecutive launches (Brightness mode, last position, gemf directory)
TODO Option to skip past base layer zoom levels without charts
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