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Old 17-04-2011, 16:52   #211
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

ASUS 1000H, XPSP3, 2.4.412 All looks good

Leaving for 2-3 month cruise today and will give it all a go.
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Old 28-04-2011, 04:05   #212
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

Hello Pavel ...

Nothing new ?????

Is it possible to have a ".pot" file for the plug-in GE ? So we could build a version in our language.

Best regards

Gilletarom.
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Old 28-04-2011, 04:14   #213
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

Patience, unfortunately I also have to make some money sometimes There are changes to the strings coming in the next version, so I will make a POT to translate available when it's released.

Pavel
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Old 28-04-2011, 13:57   #214
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

Quote:
Originally Posted by nohal View Post
unfortunately make some money sometimes

Pavel
Oh yes ! and money is money.
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:01   #215
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

Testers...
Version 0.7 beta of the GE plugin is available

Direct download: https://github.com/downloads/nohal/O...ecomapi_pi.dll - I still urge you to read the following release notes carefully though...

Intermediate release to bring compatibility with the latest 2.4.506 beta, not everything is tested thoroughly, although for my usage patterns it looks working reasonably well
Note that this version of the plugin really does not work with any older releases of OpenCPN and vice versa, all the older version of the plugin make OpenCPN 2.4.506 crash.

Netbook users (generaly anybody with the screen resolution below 1024x768), please read carefuly the note after the list of changes and known problems.

Changes since the 0.6 beta:
  • General stability improvements
  • Sizing of the GE view should be exact now and you don't need to turn off the sidebar and toolbar in GE anymore.
  • Added possibility to save the view in various formats to produce calibrated charts, namely GPX with the location of all the corners and center of the view and KMZ for imgkap, containing lat/lon of the centers of all the sides of the view. While both the methods generally work, bear on mind you have to be sane when using this functionality and not expect large areas to be correct. For small areas like harbour plans both the tools should produce KAP charts with very acceptable accuracy. Many thanks to Paul Higgins for his cooperation on this. Note that I personally don't use neither, so your input is welcome here.
  • GE view is returned to GE while the plugin window is not shown - when you double-click a KML or KMZ file and the GE window appears (which is actually a bug in GE, but I really don't think it will ever get fixed), the behavior is more like what's expected.
  • The plugin should now survive when GE process is externally killed much better and restart GE on the next change of the plugin window state.
  • The screenshot taking logic was changed a lot and during the process I've seen some problems on low-power hardware. Now it looks fixed on my machines, but...

Known problems in this version:
  • The view synchronization is still not fixed, stay tuned for the next version where it will be reimplemented with sort of a command queue, which should hopefully solve all the odities once and for all.
  • GE sometimes starts to think, that the boat position info is not available, especially when a lot of other applications are used at the same time. Investigating on that. To reenable the tracking, go to the plugin settings, turn Show boat in GE and then go back and turn it on again.
  • Toolbar icon state on enabling the plugin is wrong
  • Plugin window size resets to default when it's reopened - I'm slowly but surely running out of places where I can try to force AuiManager not to resize the window to a size it chooses
  • AUI code generally needs rework

IMPORTANT NOTE for netbook users (and generaly anybody with the screen resolution below 1024x768)
When you start Google Earth on a computer with the screen resolution lower than 1024x768 pixels, it displays a warning dialog on startup. This dialog prevents the plugin from acquiring the GE view, so you have to take the following steps:
  • Start GE normally
  • When the warning dialog appears, tick the checkbox on the bottom left saying, that you don't want to see the warning again
  • Click on the OK button
After that you can start using the plugin.

Installation and usage instructions

It does NOT work with OpenCPN 2.3.1 as it relies on the API extensions introduced in version 2.4 and due to an incompatible change in the plugin API, you have to use OpenCPN 2.4.506 with this version (If you for whatever reason want to stick with older beta version of OpenCPN or the plugin, you have to live with the fact, that this combination is not supported anymore.)

Before you use the plugin:
  • Make sure you are using Microsoft Windows. Sorry, there is no chance to get this running on any normal operating system
  • Download OpenCPN, version 2.4.506 beta or later from Download OpenCPN | Official OpenCPN Homepage and install it
  • Download the plugin dll linked from PlugIns | Official OpenCPN Homepage and place it into the plugin directory in your OpenCPN installation
  • In the unlikely case you want your GUI in Czech language, download the localization and follow the instructions on the download page. If someone wants to contribute other translation, it's the right time as the GUI will probably stay unchanged in the future versions and the general OpenCPN 2.5 release date is getting closer, please download the POT template from https://github.com/nohal/OpenCPN/blo...ecomapi_pi.pot and heat up your POEdit and send me the .po by e-mail or just post them here or to the Internationalization thread which I'm also monitoring.

Run OpenCPN, go to Toolbox and enable the GE plugin on the Plugins tab
The plugin icon appears in the toolbar

Important note for GE offline use
GE tries to connect to the internet on startup and if it's not available it waits for some time (about a minute on my machine), hoping the connection will come alive. There is nothing that could be done about it, so you have to be patient waiting for the plugin to start in this scenario. After another while, GE displays two dialogs telling you, that there's no internet connection and whether you want to troubleshoot the problem. Answering No to the question is the thing to do. Unfortunately while displaying these dialogs, GE "steals" the focus and mouse wheel events don't get to OpenCPN anymore. To reclaim the mouse for OpenCPN, resize the GE plugin view a little bit and you are set again. This is inconvenient, I know, but currently I can't find any other workaround.

Populating the GE cache for offline use

Google Earth is designed with a permanent highspeed connection to the internet in mind, but can be used offline if the necessary imagery data is available in the local cache on disk.
To make the data available locally, it's necessary to visit all the places we want to see before the computer is disconnected from the internet.
Fortunately we are not the only people facing this problem and several tools exist, helping to simplify this process. Probably the best for our use is GoogleEarth Voyager - read about it and find the download links at Google Earth Caching Programs III
GEV comes with a comprehensive documentation covering the whole problem - definitely worth reading to understand what's going on.
Phiggins wrote a tool called GERoute, which can populate the cache from a GPX route. You can get the tool from his website - don't forget to read the password to decompress the archive at the top of the page

Cheers

Pavel
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:23   #216
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

Like your comments about real operating systems. Only thing I can think of is to create a google cache as explained here,

Manually Caching Google Earth Data

Then linking the image to a waypoint via gpx file modification.

The problem here is that it will only display a single image and not a tile set. No real solution on viewing tile sets, other then via

OpenLayers: Home

which could be referenced in the link created in the gpx file for a waypoint as we discussed a while back. (Note: this is why I asked about how to remove collars from BSB files originally as its a nice toy but the collars are sooo ugly)

Any other solutions for those on more stable systems?
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:44   #217
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

sailias...
There are basically two problems that have to be addressed to get the same functionality as with GE on Windows.
1) The tools - World Wind, Marble or something completely different could do here. Actually not that much of a deal, with more or less effort we can get what we need.
2) The tile sets - are there any freely available to us? I really have no idea.

Pavel
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:54   #218
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

Quote:
Originally Posted by nohal View Post
Testers...
Version 0.7 beta of the GE plugin is available
...


Pavel
Seems quite OK on latest Vista.

Some details though
- What's the use of the 'view name' field in 'save view' dialog ?
- Wanting to save in .gpx format, there is no .gpx format in the drop down menu in the 'select a file' dialog one gets after hitting 'browse'
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:53   #219
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorF54 View Post
- What's the use of the 'view name' field in 'save view' dialog ?
Metadata
- in case of GPX export, the desc element is filled with the view name for each wpt. GE2KAP then uses it in the KAP header (I think)
- in case of KML/KMZ export the name is filled, so you know what's what if you load more of them to Google Earth later.
- in case of JPG export it's useless and not required to be filled up.
Quote:
- Wanting to save in .gpx format, there is no .gpx format in the drop down menu in the 'select a file' dialog one gets after hitting 'browse'
You can save GPX - just leave the dropdown set to All files, it serves just to filter what's displayed in the dialog and has no influence on what gets saved.
GPX added to the dropdown for the next release

Thanks

Pavel
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:52   #220
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

Quote:
Originally Posted by nohal View Post
sailias...
There are basically two problems that have to be addressed to get the same functionality as with GE on Windows.
1) The tools - World Wind, Marble or something completely different could do here. Actually not that much of a deal, with more or less effort we can get what we need.
2) The tile sets - are there any freely available to us? I really have no idea.

Pavel
With google earth on mac or linux, the tiles sets can be cached manually as described.

There are tools for that as well, but the one I used (dual purpose) is

http://www.tangogps.org/gps/cat/News

The license is always the same on all these applications as issued by google earth. (personal use)

Regards

/ch
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:30   #221
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

Right you are, but there's a BUT as always. In this case the lack of COM on all the platforms but Windows. Leaving aside that it sucks very badly even on Windows, this makes GE unusable for making something like this plugin for any other platform
As I encounter different stuff while looking here and there I have some hopes there will be something not encumbered with too restrictive licenses and unusable technology one day. Right now I'm not aware of anything that's generally useful for us though...

Pavel
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:54   #222
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

The most direct route but certainly not the simplest is to run a mapserver locally to serve up the tiles, link the URL to a gpx waypoint and you have zoomability.. Not slick but doable, lots of work, not a cool solution....

One more idea, since GE is run on a wine build on linux, COM is available on GE, is there not a bridge of some sort that would link this or talk too the OCN API you are accessing or is that different as well on mac and linux?. I have no clue as not a programmer. I just learn this stuff as needed.

Many thanks for your work on this and the discussion. Learned a lot once again and thats a good thing.

/ch
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:20   #223
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

I haven't tried, but you could probably run the whole thing in Wine. But this is of course ugly, combining the worst of all the technology used.
The mapserver solution is actually not that bad and I'm looking at the possibilities in this direction as there's quite some interesting stuff available from OpenStreetMap/OpenSeaMap as well. We will see where this will end in the future.

Pavel
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:56   #224
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

re: wine...solution is a no go. tried it...

The nice part about a mapserver is that there is a lot of data available via remote map servers that are institionalized. QGIS is your friend as you are now entering the GIS world. This is the domain that Hamish works in to a degree so he would be a good resource to tap off line. He's been very helpful in the past playing with gpsdrive.

The key to a mapserver solution is the install, to have it all scripted in advance so it becomes literally a simplistic install. Setup and confiquration is beyond the typical end user capabilities. Now that would be cool as you can load anything into that puppy in layers.......including gpx files, landsat etc etc etc...

Best regards

/ch
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Old 09-05-2011, 13:55   #225
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Re: Google Earth Plugin

Dutch language files for the GE PlugIn:
Attached Files
File Type: doc gecomapi_pi_nl_NL.zip.doc (2.7 KB, 34 views)
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