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Old 14-08-2010, 19:00   #1
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BSB 4 PlugIn

Hello all....

I am researching the possibility of implementing a PlugIn to allow OpenCPN to support BSB4 encrypted charts on a limited basis.

Current thinking:
1. Initial support for MS Windows platforms only.
2. PlugIn would would be a firewalled two layer, open<->closed architecture, relying upon a user's existing BSB4 installed license key(s).
3. PlugIn would not be totally free, in neither the "free beer" nor "free speech" interpretations. Might cost something like US$50 per seat, and full source code to the PlugIn would not be published.
4. PlugIn would be distributed and supported online only.

So, before investing a lot more programming and business effort into this PlugIn, I am seeking a little ad-hoc market research on the idea.

Would anybody pay money for such a PlugIn?
First person opinions are most valuable.

Other comments?
Dave
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Old 14-08-2010, 21:59   #2
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Dave,

I don't see anything wrong with making BSB4 charts available. The more charts available the better. A fifty buck buy in is certainly not a big deal. However, with respect to charts, there are a couple of things I would like to see implemented first.

The first would be a Google Earth (KML) plug-in. Paul Higgins has done a great job and put in a lot of work into converting GE pic's to BSB charts. It would still be better if it were possible to directly load GE pic's into OpenCPN on all platforms. Currently Paul's work only applies to Windows.

The second would be to move S57 functionally to a plug-in. I don't use S57 charts because they display/load slowly and seems to slow down the displaying of other chart types when they are loaded. Moving this code to a plug-in might clean up the core code a bit, and be a good first step in doing the BSB4 plug-in.

Best regards,

Paul
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Old 15-08-2010, 20:48   #3
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I would resist, strongly.... to pay money for the plug-in as well as the charts.

I looked at the coverage and I think I can do without BSB-4...

GoogleEarth: A plugin to show GE in a split window, same coverage as the chart, plus a "own ship" icon would be great. Fugawi does that today, it's great for shallow areas with good GE coverage. Feature request submitted via bug-spray.
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Old 16-08-2010, 04:58   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeaseOnLife View Post
GoogleEarth: A plugin to show GE in a split window, same coverage as the chart, plus a "own ship" icon would be great. Fugawi does that today, it's great for shallow areas with good GE coverage. Feature request submitted via bug-spray.
I have a problem ... .
I personally do not understand why so many people are that keen on having a GE image/ overlay?

I mean (regarding your screenshot in the tracker) what additional information do you get from the GE image which you don't get already from the chart? Beside the fact that there will be only half the size for each one on the screen.

And AFAIK you don't know the date when the image was taken. But even if you would I would not rely on it for any navigational purposes.

And if you have the images from the same perspective as a chart (topview/ plan view) I can't see how this could be helpful in any way? Because never see the surrounding area from that perspective (when you are on board).

Only thing I could imagine being helpful would be a view of the coastline from your actual point of view for identifying some landmarks in example. But that's different from your request.

So maybe you are willing to explain it to me? It might be that I overlook the advantages of such a feature.

Gunther
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Old 16-08-2010, 11:59   #5
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Thread drift..... Sorry Dave...

Gunter

I added 2 more screenshots to the tracker, which might help. Think about areas were detailed, updated charts are not available. We visited places just because good GE coverage was available, when there was no good chart available. GE is just another input for decision making. Sure, one has to be aware of the age of the sat-picture, and possible problems with the georeferencing. In places, the GE picture was more accurate than some older BSB charts we had.
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Old 16-08-2010, 16:17   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdbcat View Post
Hello all....

I am researching the possibility of implementing a PlugIn to allow OpenCPN to support BSB4 encrypted charts on a limited basis.

Current thinking:
1. Initial support for MS Windows platforms only.
2. PlugIn would would be a firewalled two layer, open<->closed architecture, relying upon a user's existing BSB4 installed license key(s).
3. PlugIn would not be totally free, in neither the "free beer" nor "free speech" interpretations. Might cost something like US$50 per seat, and full source code to the PlugIn would not be published.
4. PlugIn would be distributed and supported online only.

So, before investing a lot more programming and business effort into this PlugIn, I am seeking a little ad-hoc market research on the idea.

Would anybody pay money for such a PlugIn?
First person opinions are most valuable.

Other comments?
Dave
I'm very interested having recently invested over $ 300 dollars in two CD's of Canadian charts which are encrypted in BSB-4 format and which I can't use unless I purchase more expensive charting software. I suspect there may be more of us north of the 49th that would support this.
Thanks!
Paul
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Old 03-09-2010, 14:00   #7
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bsb4

I would pay for a bsb4 and/or S63 plugin for sailing up to B.C. I also believe a lot of people in the Pacific Northwest would also be interested in this for the same reason. Anything that expands the Chart availability for us is a good thing.

Will
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:32   #8
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I would gladly pay for plugin as long as its available for all platforms. The limiting factor would be if it was platform specific.

Wrt to GE integration, the only value real value is port images or anchorage images which you can zone in on prior to entry as the data is typical old for security reasons imposed by the States. Navigation from these images would be a poor practice due to sholing or other changes in underwater features.

I also would have no problem paying for an ActiveCaptain plugin. And as it simply data that you are subscribing too, source code would not be required other then for the plugin itself.

There is no restriction in the GPL in any flavour to charging for your work. The GPL speaks only to access to source code and how it interacts with closed source code.

IMHO, GRIB integration could also be moved to a plugin rather then a feature as it would allow for various format support. That is valuable navigation data.

So a big cheer from this end. Thanks again for a wonderful piece of software.

/ch
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:11   #9
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I get the feeling most people think Google Earth contains up to date satellite photos of the whole earth. This is very far from the truth. Most of the coverage of islands and ocean areas and 3rd world countries and their coastlines and harbors are only aerial photos taken as far back as WWII. If you are located in or have a personal historical knowledge of a particular island or 3rd world country and then zoom in on GE you will find landmarks and features that are no longer there and basically gross omissions of any new features/developments inland and along shorelines that have occurred in the last decade or so.
- - But on the other hand, in some areas nautical charts are equally bad or non-existent and at least with GE you can get a fair representation of the geographical shapes and contours of the land/islands. And all things considered, most of the earth has not really changed much in the last hundred years or so. The ancient nautical charts that were digitized were more of a hand drawn work of art than accurate map of the local area. So being able to overlay or compare a GE (of any age) image would greatly enhance your knowledge of the place.
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:57   #10
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S 63

Hello Dave,

Quote:
Originally Posted by manimaul View Post
I would pay for a bsb4 and/or S63 plugin for sailing up ....... Anything that expands the Chart availability for us is a good thing.

Will

Currently, for use with OpenCPN, we found on Internet :
- cm93 charts for the French and English coasts but they are not dependable thus older or incomplete
- bsb charts of the French coasts of unknown origins.

And for all of these charts one must the doawnload illegally.

I finished, other remedy must, by buy the French and English charts S 63 with a software fitted to navigate in the Channel.

Also I wait, with impatience, a remedy with found OpenCPN either, even though I have to buy the marine charts.

I think that the French mariners would be happy to be able to display the charts S63. Now, the SHOM, official of the French government, factory and only sold cards S 63 organism.

Cordially,

Gilletarom.
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Old 26-12-2010, 14:34   #11
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Yes, I'd be interested at 50 $, € or £. The only reasonably priced charts I have found for the Mediterranean (my cruising ground) are Maptech's and they're BSB4s. I have some 6 or 7 year old Maptech BSB3s but am concerned they may be out of date.

Cheers,

Mike
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Old 26-12-2010, 15:22   #12
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Quote:
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Yes, I'd be interested at 50 $, € or £.
We could also find some way of structuring pledges of cash and getting a quote off a programmer for this feature..
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Old 27-12-2010, 02:11   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilletarom View Post
Hello Dave,

Currently, for use with OpenCPN, we found on Internet :
- cm93 charts for the French and English coasts but they are not dependable thus older or incomplete
- bsb charts of the French coasts of unknown origins.

And for all of these charts one must the doawnload illegally.

I finished, other remedy must, by buy the French and English charts S 63 with a software fitted to navigate in the Channel.

Also I wait, with impatience, a remedy with found OpenCPN either, even though I have to buy the marine charts.

I think that the French mariners would be happy to be able to display the charts S63. Now, the SHOM, official of the French government, factory and only sold cards S 63 organism.

Cordially,

Gilletarom.
I concur with much of what Gilletarom has to say about French users (from hundreds of posts on French forums)
* The old Bayo/Fugawi bsb charts from official French SHOM charts are from the late 90's and easily 'found'
* The CM93 package, just as easy to 'get', is great (and quite up to date)
* There could be a market niche for Maptech's BSB charts from blue sailors. At present, Maptech is seldom mentioned in France, but see Scannav below
* The Chartaid (ChartAid Program) demo version converting Google map sat pics into .kap charlets has recently generated a lot of interest (hundreds of those charlets have been gathered in about a month and are now er... 'available'). e.g. Sandy patches are often clearly seen in popular anchorages and that opens up opportunities for less well-known ones...
* The inexpensive and well-supported Scannav software (ScanNav - Logiciel de navigation assistée par GPS - GPS assisted navigation software) offers Primar's S63 charts, Maptech's BSB4 and Platinum Navionics capabilities for 120 euros (Grib, AIS, Tidal currents modules extra 60 Eur each)
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Old 28-12-2010, 05:52   #14
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I'm very interested having recently invested over $ 300 dollars in two CD's of Canadian charts which are encrypted in BSB-4 format and which I can't use unless I purchase more expensive charting software. I suspect there may be more of us north of the 49th that would support this.
Thanks!
Paul
+1

Keith
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Old 28-12-2010, 07:35   #15
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Hello all....

I am researching the possibility of implementing a PlugIn to allow OpenCPN to support BSB4 encrypted charts on a limited basis.

Dave
Obviously users of NOAA charts won't have much interest in that as we have access to free charts. I would think people who cruise where BSB4 charts are the only game in town would find a plugin that allowed them to purchase and use BSB4 charts with OpenCPN would be far preferable to having to purchase a commercial program to use those charts.

The existence of the plugin wouldn't interfere in any way with use of OpenCPN by folks who didn't have the plugin, would it?

Fabbian
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