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Old 13-09-2017, 12:07   #1
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Multiple Chart Windows

Is there a convenient way to open and simultaneously navigate with more then one chart window at different scales and/or zoom levels with OpenCPN? This is a very useful feature and helps avoid bumping into stuff that will not be displayed at some chart zoom levels (ah la Vesta Wind and numerous other incidences), while also monitoring progress along a route with a small scale chart window.

Attached is an example screen grab file using MaxSea for a passage a number of years ago. Am I overlooking a way to do this with OpenCPN?

Thanks!
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Old 13-09-2017, 12:56   #2
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

The OpenCPN "portable" mode is the key to having multiple instances of OpenCPN running on a single computer.

The instructions are in the OpenCPN Users Manual:

https://opencpn.org/wiki/dokuwiki/do...rtable_opencpn

Paul
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Old 13-09-2017, 13:08   #3
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

Thanks for the response. I'll have a look at that approach, but I suspect it will be far from seamless when using routes, waypoints, NMEA data fields, etc. Also I suspect it will result in inefficient use of limited screen space for the various toolbars, etc.

Is running parallel instances of OpenCPN really the only solution for this problem?
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Old 13-09-2017, 13:54   #4
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

As off today and OpenCPN 4.8 - yes
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Old 13-09-2017, 16:46   #5
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

Thanks for the additional info.

If I had any coding skill, I'd be happy to devote some time to adding this very worthwhile feature.

While I do not have code writing skills, I did work with ESRI's ArcGis software for years for my profession in watershed and water management. There are some additional tools and functional capabilities, including chart management and zooming tools, that would make OpenCPN significantly more user friendly and powerful as navigation software. I'd be happy to provide input and beta testing if any code writers want conceptual input on some improvements.

Thanks again!
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Old 13-09-2017, 21:08   #6
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Gybe View Post
Is there a convenient way to open and simultaneously navigate with more then one chart window at different scales and/or zoom levels with OpenCPN?
Thanks!
I cover this in my guide on creating a Portable OpenCPM.

Terry
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Old 13-09-2017, 21:18   #7
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

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Originally Posted by Flying Gybe View Post
There are some additional tools and functional capabilities, including chart management and zooming tools, that would make OpenCPN significantly more user friendly and powerful as navigation software.
Could you be more specific? Where does OpenCPN fall down in these areas?

Terry
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Old 14-09-2017, 04:22   #8
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Gybe View Post
Thanks for the response. I'll have a look at that approach, but I suspect it will be far from seamless when using routes, waypoints, NMEA data fields, etc. Also I suspect it will result in inefficient use of limited screen space for the various toolbars, etc.

Is running parallel instances of OpenCPN really the only solution for this problem?
It may not be as bad as you think. I suggest you try it before discounting it as a bad idea.

The screen space used by a second instance is not wasted with various toolbars. You can have a very minimal second screen showing almost nothing but chart space. The tool bar has an option to automatically shrink down to a small icon in the upper left corner of the chart area. If you don't put any dashboards or other stuff then the second instance can be quite small.

Portable instances can share chart files but can still have their own configuration data. So once you set up a minimal instance it will keep its own settings. You are correct that these instances do not share routes and waypoints unless you copy them. But for what you want to do this isn't necessary.

The main challenge is to provide the second instance with navigation data. See the already mentioned posts for ideas. Post back here if you need additional ideas. But I think you will find the concept is workable and not as inefficient or cumbersome as you might imagine.

It is a non-trivial programming task to create the multiple viewports you are seeking. You can look through the flyspray feature requests. I think this feature has been requested by several people. Adding your voice to the list might help raise the priority. But don't expect an instant fix as the task is somewhat complex.
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Old 14-09-2017, 11:50   #9
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

Thanks for the additional comments and information. Hopefully my comments are viewed as constructive suggestions for improvement rather than criticisms. I am highly impressed by and applaud the effort the development team has made with OpenCPN.

Also, I confess I’ve spent the last handful of years thoroughly rebuilding my well-used boat, and way too much time cleaning, scraping, grinding, drilling, cutting, vacuum bagging, sanding, painting, wiring, wrenching, screwing, sweating, and occasionally bleeding and swearing, etc., than navigating.

But thankfully I am now shifting gears in preparation to cut the docklines for some extended cruising. So I’m playing catch-up on the latest in marine navigation software and all of OpenCPN’s features and extended capabilities. I apologize in advance if the following comments overlook already available capabilities.

It would be wonderful if OpenCPN had a zoom tool for quickly zooming multiple levels. This could either be a picklist of zoom levels or a sliding zoom tool similar to GoogleEarth’s and ESRI’s ArcGIS sliding zoom tool.

It would be great to have the ability to easily view a table listing charts in the library for any curser location. The chart table/list should include some basic chart metadata such as scale, source, date, and chart name. The list should also have a field to select/deselect which charts will be used or turned off. Some users will have a large inventory of charts in their library. Duplicates with different dates may occur in multiple folders and chart regions. Being able to easily identify the most up to date chart for use for any location in a comparison list, and avoid use of older charts would be really great. It may also be useful to have a metadata user note field for individual charts to record accuracy problems or user modifications such as rectification for accuracy.

Speaking of chart inaccuracies, it would be great to have the ability to overlay charts from different sources (including user georeferenced orthophotos, Google Earth images, etc.), with adjustable transparency levels for each chart, to assess agreement in accuracy, or differences.

Again, a big thank you to all the OpenCPN developers. I wish I had coding expertise to help with these suggestions as my refit projects reach conclusion and I soon have more time available to enjoy the fruits of my lengthy labor. But for now, I’m afraid it’s back to the grind for another couple of months to finish up some final projects.
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Old 14-09-2017, 12:51   #10
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

For info I add a shot from my own usual setup. Been sailing like that for years. All NMEA goes in the to the main instance and are broadcast via UDP-IP to local host as input to the portable instance.
Routes for AP navigation are made on the main instance. WP's for planning on one or both. Charts for both instances are from the same folder.
Works like charm. Try it!
Håkan
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Old 14-09-2017, 14:58   #11
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

FlyingG,

I like your ideas. The charts that would be visible at the current zoom are arrayed across the bottom "piano keys". Hovering the mouse over each key along the bottom of the window shows the outline of that chart along with pertinent information about the chart. No clicking required. Just hover the mouse over each oval. Green is for ENC vector charts. Blue is KAP raster charts and brown is CM93. Presently it only shows charts that belong to one family type (ENC, KAP or CM93). But you can click on any alternate color oval to make that chart type active. Once you get used to it I think you will like it.
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Old 14-09-2017, 15:14   #12
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Gybe View Post
It would be wonderful if OpenCPN had a zoom tool for quickly zooming multiple levels. This could either be a picklist of zoom levels or a sliding zoom tool similar to GoogleEarth’s and ESRI’s ArcGIS sliding zoom tool.
If you are using raster charts that is what the little lozenge buttons along the bottom of the screen do, mousing over gives you the details of the chart. Go to settings and make sure that "Preserve scale when switching charts" is un-selected and the behaviour is more or less what you want I think.

With Vector charts it's not so easy although if you have scroll wheel on your mouse or trackball there is very little need for a slider bar in my opinion.
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Old 15-09-2017, 03:36   #13
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

In Linux it is simple. Open second OpenCPN. One screen with an overview and one with detail information. You can hide the screen between the other and simple switch from detail to overview.

It even works on my Raspberry PI 3. See image.

No additional settings needed.
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Old 15-09-2017, 03:42   #14
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

I forget to mention. that it uses the same oeSENC charts and oeSENC plugin.

No more plus and minus to switch from overview to detail.
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Old 15-09-2017, 20:34   #15
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Re: Multiple Chart Windows

As for multiple sessions. It has been a goal of mine for some time to allow multiple instances of opencpn to synchronize routes, waypoints, tracks over tcp connections. This would essentially solve the problem of multiple chart windows (using multiple instances), but also allow using opencpn on different machines at the same time.

I have not done much work on opencpn this past year because I have implemented a free autopilot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Gybe View Post
It would be wonderful if OpenCPN had a zoom tool for quickly zooming multiple levels. This could either be a picklist of zoom levels or a sliding zoom tool similar to GoogleEarth’s and ESRI’s ArcGIS sliding zoom tool.
I wrote a simple chartscale plugin which doesn't seem to have much attention, but probably does what you are asking
Quote:
It would be great to have the ability to easily view a table listing charts in the library for any curser location. The chart table/list should include some basic chart metadata such as scale, so ... o be useful to have a metadata user note field for individual charts to record accuracy problems or user modifications such as rectification for accuracy.

In single chart mode, the charts in the list are at the piano at the bottom. You can see the info by hovering over each chart.
Quote:
Quote:
Speaking of chart inaccuracies, it would be great to have the ability to overlay charts from different sources (including user georeferenced orthophotos, Google Earth images, etc.), with adjustable transparency levels for each chart, to assess agreement in accuracy, or differences.
Yes. I consider imagery charts a separate category from vector/raster. Currently they are handled as raster charts, but the compression is very inefficient for them, and they lack features (ie transparency) This is a complicated subject and deserves it's own thread, I would like to begin discussion of how to actually implement this, because it is not clear. Especially the user interface and usefulness of partial transparency. I do think a new chart format should be supported, probably mbtiles for this purpose.
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