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Old 26-07-2010, 06:31   #1
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Chart Stack . . . What Does it All Mean ?

Hi there,

Is there documentation anywhere about what the different chart-stack block colourations mean? When using chart quiliting with an underlying global vector chart, I find the global vector chart's visibility is erratic, and tiling sometimes seems to be on, and sometimes off. I suspect (from reading the monster 2.1 development thread) this is probably something to do with properties of the individual raster charts which are on top at any point, but without understanding the block colouring meanings, or having any other form of feedback on why charts aren't showing at a particular position

Could we have a non-clickable area in the popup menu which states the specific chart's status and infers why it is in that status, eg.

User hidden
Tiling forced off (for whatever reason)
Background chart forced off (for whatever reason)

etc?

It would also be REALLY nice to have a maximum / minimum scale slider to allow raster charts to be filtered. I feel that the ideal config for many is probably having a global vector dataset as the background, with detailed raster coastal charts available alongside. Very large scale passage charts in raster are somewhat annoying in this sort of setup.. they clutter the screen, make the chart stack difficult to use and no doubt slow down re-draws immensely.

Just a few thoughts... does anyone else have any ideas on how the chart stack / quilting etc could be made more user friendly?

Regards,

Mike
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Old 26-07-2010, 06:52   #2
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Hi Mike,

The status bar colour blocks are described in more detail at: Status Bar | Official OpenCPN Homepage

It's a bit hard to figure out by just looking at it, but the colours and symbols make a fair bit of sense after reading the manual page. The status information you're looking for is actually encoded in the red marks on the green and blue status icons at the bottom of the screen.

What are you using as a global background chart?
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Old 26-07-2010, 08:18   #3
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OK, how did I miss that.

Thanks Marshmat, I guess apologies are in order for not having rechecked and found that in the latest wiki stuff

For world-wide vector coverage, I'm was referring to CM93.

I still think a feature that would allow passage planning scale charts (above a user selected scale) to be filtered out automatically would potentially be useful, particularly for low-end hardware. It's not unusual to have a chart stack that's 10 or 12 deep, and when half of those are exceptionally small scale charts (oops, got that the wrong way around in my previous post) it's an unnecessary strain on any more modest hardware.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 26-07-2010, 10:13   #4
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bluearcus

There is a very simple solution to this. Think thoroughly through your needs and preferences, when it comes to charts. Then organize your charts in different directories, for example small scale charts for the Indian Ocean in a separate directory that you only load when it is actually needed, and so on. It sounds like you are loading all your charts all the time ("It's not unusual to have a chart stack that's 10 or 12 deep") which definitely is "an unnecessary strain on any more modest hardware."

Thomas
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Old 26-07-2010, 10:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagney View Post
bluearcus

There is a very simple solution to this. Think thoroughly through your needs and preferences, when it comes to charts. Then organize your charts in different directories, for example small scale charts for the Indian Ocean in a separate directory that you only load when it is actually needed, and so on.

Thomas
Yes, that would work. However, OpenCPN already has code to build a chart catalogue... should we all have to create one too, independently, given that all the charts already have the necessary metadata, and OpenCPN already reads it and builds a perfectly good index?

For the coast of the UK and France alone, a full chart folio would be around 1500 charts. Sorting through those is a VERY longwinded and painful task (particularly given that the filenames of BSB/KAP charts are not generally meaningful, and either MapCal or OpenCPN needs to be used to look up each chart's filename/meta-data details, one chart at a time)

OpenCPN could filter charts by scale quite simply, and negate the need for separate scale directories.

Alternatively, if it's really necessary to bodge a scale based delineation into the chart store directory structure to get this kind of functionality, well, it would be possible to write a binary to extract scale information from the BSB header, and then implement a shellscript allowing BSB charts to be sorted out by scale. I might do this when I've finished my current chart-related bit of programming - it's not rocket science. I still think a solution inside OpenCPN would be a better approach.

What I'm not keen to do is sort all my BSB charts by hand... I've already done this for a small proportion of the areas for which I've got BSB/KAP chart coverage, and it's a right pain in the neck!

Regards,

Mike
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Old 26-07-2010, 11:37   #6
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Mike

I never said anything about how to sort the charts.
I wouldn't like to do 1500 manually either. But .kap files are easy to script. Have a look inside!. They are part text, part binary. Everything you need for a script is in the text part. A script based on scale and lat&long ( and other parameters depending on the naming/numbering of the involved charts) is indeed not a big deal. No need at all to involve OpenCPN or MapCal for this.
To have OpenCPN to always load all available charts and then sort them is of course possible, but also leads to a horrible bloat. I prefer to keep it simple and would like to see OpenCPN to stay fast and sleek.
With the latest development of 2.2 there could of course be an argument for a plugin along the lines you propose. I suppose that in the future there will be a plugin manager, so that I can avoid bloat

Thomas
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