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:
IMPORTANT NOTE for netbook users (and generaly anybody with the screen resolution below 1024x768)
- 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
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
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