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Old 26-01-2010, 10:32   #16
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Scotte, wikiloc looks very niced indeed, they absolutely gets many things right. I dislike that I have to register to download, but that is a detail.

The site is very appealing, it provides good usability which i believe is critical for a sailing audience to adapt it.

I like the integration with panoramio, another source of georeferenced images is flickr.com btw.

The cons is the amount and type of data in the site at this point, but that can of course change.

Anders
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Old 26-01-2010, 11:58   #17
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I just don't think that generic POI databases provide enough for our specific cruising needs. There's way more to it than just collecting a list of points (even if there are pages of wiki info behind it - hard to collect and correct with loads of potential legal issues when a marina doesn't like what's written about it). That said, I think it's important to support these lists because it is the best way to find some generic info useful to boaters and non-boaters, but it's not enough.

As soon as you start collecting the "vertical" data - the type only of interest to boaters/cruisers, the structure of the data becomes important. It's one thing to know where a particular marina is located. It's another to know if they have pump out and still another to know of it actually works. Collecting that takes some type of validation and verification because being correct is sort of important. And once you have that then people will want to show ONLY marinas with pump out because sometimes that's important (and you certainly don't want to have to check out 30 pages of info to find the ones you're interested in). Or find me the lowest fuel available in the next 20 miles. Those types of things aren't going to be solved by free lists of POI's. And yet, it is exactly what's needed.
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Old 26-01-2010, 12:06   #18
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Any number of categories can be integrated into the wikimapia database, and that would be searchable, so there's no problem there..

There's certainly no problem in publishing negative opinions on US-based forums either, due to free speech and all that.

However, if a database provider (you) has managed to syphon off such information, why not plug it in to GE/opencpn using the same interface to be implemented for a wiki database?

Several data sources could exist in parallel using a generic GPX/KML/whatever display system..
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Old 26-01-2010, 12:18   #19
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Free speech doesn't mean you can say anything you want. Free speech means that the government can't stop you - a damaged party can certainly try.

We'll support all easy-to-integrate POI capabilities. Layar is a good example of something we're integrating to now. I doubt we'd create a forked version of openCpn to support our data unless it had many more capabilities (quilting and rotation at an absolute minimum). Of course, tens-of-thousands of users would get my attention. Right now, I don't see that.
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Old 26-01-2010, 14:27   #20
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OpenCPN data sharing and format support

This is an interesting conversation. I also agree that a source (or sources) for common shared data such as waypoints, routes, charts, etc. would be useful. I had suggested a place to share open charts some months ago.

However, as discussed to some extent elsewhere, I don't see the mainline OpenCPN product directly referencing any site other than perhaps opencpn.org.

Instead, OpenCPN might gain support for plug-ins, so any number of integrations may be supported. Simultaneously, OpenCPN might provide embedded (likely limited) support for parsing and representing KML format much as it provides for GPX now. This would help facilitate plug-in development, by allowing extensions to be more concerned with retrieving the data than the management of its display. Clearly, for the capabilities discussed, plug-ins would also need to be able to register dialogs for UI interaction, but that's really no big deal.

If / when this work is done, it won't be too relevant whether a plug-in uses an open or commercial data source. Some of the better Grib sources are commercial already...and for that matter, a plug-in should be able to retrieve and render Grib data as well as any other, without needing to go through a file open dialog (with assumed out-of-band load and save).

Actually getting any of this done with zero funding is the main issue with all of this.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

Mark
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Old 26-01-2010, 15:43   #21
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what needs to be included?

I agree that all those public databases I know of are (as most non sailor things) to limited to be of much use.
Let me specify what I think of a useful data exchange in opencpn:

- remote data must be accessible off-line in opencpn.
- locale and remote data needs to be synchronised, with limited bandwidth over satellite or SSB, sometimes you what only your last position or track and nothing else
- different layers and different privacy and priority levels must be included. (like local database only; user only; group only; all the rest), sometimes I would not like everybody (like pirates) to watch my track.
- soundings needs to be adopted to tides (big problem..)
- correction layer to charts this including the correction of misplaced charts -> something I miss in opencpn.
- synchronising with file: xml (for email and memory stick) and http (for automatic update)
- includes waypoints, routes, tracks (including position speed, direction, soundings and meteorological data), comments with weblinks, chart corrections, tide and current observations

it doesn't need to be done all at once, but it is useful to know what we need in the future and so we get some flexibility.
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Old 26-01-2010, 20:07   #22
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One other thing that's important here is that free data must remain free. Something that really irks me, and this does happen, is that sometimes sites will get the community to do all the footwork and data collection, then they will turn around and sell that data. This is immoral, unethical, and wrong.

The chance of something like that happening here is HUGE, so somehow the infrastructure has to work this out in advance that all data is provided under an appropriate license. Think about it - a comprehensive online marine guide simply doesn't exist, so there's a lot of money to be made here by unscrupulous folks.

Don't get me wrong - I have no problem with companies selling data obtained at their own expense... But taking community data and selling that? Bad mojo!
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Old 27-01-2010, 04:35   #23
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Something that really irks me, and this does happen, is that sometimes sites will get the community to do all the footwork and data collection, then they will turn around and sell that data. This is immoral, unethical, and wrong.
That's an interesting statement written on a site where the total content comes from user contributions. Now don't get me wrong - cruisersforum is great and I don't think they are doing anything wrong. But doesn't your statement directly attack them? Do you think there is no profit motivation here?

Let's look at Apple's iTunes or even their app store. All of it comes from the community. Should Apple just sell everything at their price just because they don't make it? Trust me - I'd rather not give Apple 30% of my software sale.

And where does advertising fit in? There's a whole lot of free content out there that is provided by companies making a lot of money from it.

I think this is how the whole world works to create quality. Access to the information should be free for all especially because it is user-contributed. But if an organization is able to make money in other added-value ways, it's not bad. It's good. I want the organizations providing things I use to stay around and nothing guarantees that more than profit. I think it's something to embrace and not be offended with.

There are two things that push technology: wars and salesmen making profit. I'll go with the salesmen.
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Old 27-01-2010, 13:29   #24
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Let me specify what I think of a useful data exchange in opencpn:
I'd be pleased with a user-contributable point of interest and waypoint/route database that self-updates upon coming online for starters. You are looking to generate lots and lots of data, which could even be used for user-generated surveying. Extremely ambitious!

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Let's look at Apple's iTunes or even their app store. All of it comes from the community. Should Apple just sell everything at their price just because they don't make it? Trust me - I'd rather not give Apple 30% of my software sale.
Well, yes, but the community gets 70%

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But if an organization is able to make money in other added-value ways, it's not bad. [..] I think it's something to embrace and not be offended with.
Noone wants to stop anyone from making money with advertising. In fact wikipedia is republished using scrapers with ads in various places. The licensing guarantees that the voluntary contributions remain free.

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There are two things that push technology: wars and salesmen making profit. I'll go with the salesmen.
If you look beyond this myth you will note that most important innovations were all achieved with tax money in governmental organisations, which is then at times taken away for private profit, e.g. the interweb. In fact you will have difficulty naming any significant contributions from the private sector.
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Old 27-01-2010, 14:23   #25
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In fact you will have difficulty naming any significant contributions from the private sector.
You've got to be kidding. In technology? Pharmaceuticals? Automobiles? Energy? You name it.

In computers...can you name an operating system written by any government? How about a chipset/CPU? Any programming languages? Oops...you got me on that one...there was Ada.

The conversation has gotten numb. I think I'll move on.
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Old 27-01-2010, 14:27   #26
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...let us be just a bit careful not to politicize... ;-)

If OpenCPN can use both commercial (e.g. Active Cap.) or something completely open the user can choose. Best is not to lock down the options.

The problem with commercial options is that they are not always to stay. No offense intended Active Captain...

A plug in or adaptive system would make it possible to choose.


/J
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Old 27-01-2010, 15:19   #27
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Ok, I probably have no business posting here, but...

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You've got to be kidding. In technology? Pharmaceuticals? Automobiles? Energy? You name it.
Point taken - although in idpnd 's defense, he never said zero innovation happened in the private sector. Actually I think a better metric would also include areas of the private sector that serve an open, public interest (as well as their own), such as research labs and learning institutions.

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In computers...can you name an operating system written by any government? How about a chipset/CPU? Any programming languages? Oops...you got me on that one...there was Ada.
For OS...Unix & Linux and variants are obvious candidates...not government written, but largely by research lab and university, and permanently gifted to the public.

For programming languages, COBOL was pure govt initiated long before Ada. But many others were done by university and research labs: Fortran, Lisp, Algol, Pascal, C...basically all forefathers of modern languages. Java was obviously created by Sun...er, Oracle, but is now "open".

My point is that much true innovation is driven by neither war nor salesmen. Nothing against salesmen.

However, I post this because I have some significant agreement with you, ActiveCaptain, and some frustration: We have a fantastic group of folks here on the forum. But I don't want to leave the huge pile of development work to be done here for only Dave, with occasional meager assistance from a few of us. And I don't want to see OpenCPN fail to meet Dave's goals of best-of-breed, nor see "open best-of-breed" translated to mean "not terribly bad considering it's open". And yet today, although we're moving and have fans, I don't see as much traction as we could have. We could have much more with some funding of some sort...and I'm not sure offering a Paypal donation button will cut it.

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The conversation has gotten numb. I think I'll move on.
Agreed...moving right along; and Jonas, I agree with you, too.

Mark
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Old 27-01-2010, 15:51   #28
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You've got to be kidding. In technology? Pharmaceuticals? Automobiles? Energy? You name it.

In computers...can you name an operating system written by any government? How about a chipset/CPU? Any programming languages? Oops...you got me on that one...there was Ada.

The conversation has gotten numb. I think I'll move on.
"When Stroustrup started working in AT&T Bell Labs, he had the problem of analyzing the UNIX kernel with respect to distributed computing. Remembering his Ph.D. experience, Stroustrup set out to enhance the language with Simula-like features."

You got a programming language and an operating system in the same sentence there. And btw that was firmly a government enterprise then..

Some further reading here..
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Old 27-01-2010, 15:53   #29
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But I don't want to leave the huge pile of development work to be done here for only Dave, with occasional meager assistance from a few of us. And I don't want to see OpenCPN fail to meet Dave's goals of best-of-breed, nor see "open best-of-breed" translated to mean "not terribly bad considering it's open".
You would like to find funds to purchase development time? Only very few free software projects have really managed to do that. Perhaps you could find a marine products manufacturer interested in using and sponsoring it as a standard, but they're all busy building little monopolies around their special plugs etc. aren't they..
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Old 27-01-2010, 20:19   #30
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That's an interesting statement written on a site where the total content comes from user contributions. Now don't get me wrong - cruisersforum is great and I don't think they are doing anything wrong. But doesn't your statement directly attack them? Do you think there is no profit motivation here?
No, because the forum is not turning around and selling that user contributed content to others.

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Let's look at Apple's iTunes or even their app store. All of it comes from the community. Should Apple just sell everything at their price just because they don't make it? Trust me - I'd rather not give Apple 30% of my software sale.
Well iTunes is not an open community by any sense of the word, it's a closed ecosystem and the people putting up apps there understand this. But regardless, your argument doesn't hold water because Apple pays developers for their content. This is not the same thing as somebody putting up a free app, then Apple turning around and charging money for it.

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And where does advertising fit in? There's a whole lot of free content out there that is provided by companies making a lot of money from it.
Again, this is an orthogonal argument.

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But if an organization is able to make money in other added-value ways, it's not bad. It's good.
Sure, as long as that organization pays back the people who created the content, in the same way the Apple iTunes store does.

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There are two things that push technology: wars and salesmen making profit. I'll go with the salesmen.
Actually it's the people who are passionate about technology that drive it more than anything else. Salesman don't know or care about the technology they are selling - with over 20 years in the software biz I can assure you of that.
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