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Old 25-05-2010, 15:44   #1
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Paper Charts Inventory with GPX

We have about 750 paper charts on board. I manage them using Admiralty Digital Catalogue and a spreadsheet, but I would really like to have all the various charts contours visible on one screen, preferably together with tracks and routes, and with possibility to consult the detailed digital charts for a given area when planning routes and when ordering charts. ADC handles only current British Admiralty charts and I think BA catalogue is built into MaxSea, so there is some help available, but there are always many non-BA charts around.

With OpenCPN and GPX I'm almost there.

From Excel/OpenOffice listing of a selected chart folio I generate one text line=GPX track of 5 WPs per chart. Browsing this works very nicely with Route Manager. One drawback is that using tracks for drawing may conflict with real tracks handling when underway.

The chart set is fairly static, but using the speadsheet is quite error-prone and not so portable across spreadsheet versions, so a friendly Python-enabled soul promised to provide me a with a .csv to .gpx conversion ...

Or perhaps there are better ideas/solutions for visualizing international chart inventory...

Attached is a sample folio in GPX.

Cheers,

Piotr
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Old 26-05-2010, 04:48   #2
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Looks very good.. Couldnt the current functionality for drawing chart outlines be used to integrate the catalogues somehow? I guess the catalogue files are all proprietary?
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Old 26-05-2010, 10:58   #3
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I like your idea Pjotr. A lot of OpenCPN users are bound to use a combination of paper- and digital- charts for many reasons. To have an overview of the total coverage available in one place would indeed be helpful.

The gpx approach is maybe the best, but then we need to find a way to extend the present gpx/opencpn interface so that it's impossible to mix paper charts with tracks and routes.

Another approach is, to use the existing code for reading kap files. A paper chart could be represented by a special kap file just using a few features in the header and no binary part. The PLY:s is what is needed for outlining the chart, one of the other tags could have a value indicating that this is no real bsb chart just a paper chart.
These "charts" could then be loaded, and outlined, like a normal chart, but using a different color, perhaps a blue outline. As a "kap" file used this way is just a text-file, a script could easily be used for conversion from an excel file, or ..whatever. Just a thought........

By the way.....The Admiralty Digital Catalogue is freely available, and works fine with Wine. Download here.

Thomas
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Old 02-07-2011, 14:09   #4
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Re: Paper Charts Inventory with GPX

Anything new on this?
Sure sounds like a good idea.

Cheers,
Extemp.
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Old 02-07-2011, 16:30   #5
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Re: Paper Charts Inventory with GPX

Hi ...

imho this thread shows how useful a "Layer API" for OCPN would be.
Everyone wants to display different kind of extra info/maps on the chart window. So we would need different kind of layers which could be released as plugins.

Quote:
The gpx approach is maybe the best, but then we need to find a way to extend the present gpx/opencpn interface so that it's impossible to mix paper charts with tracks and routes.
A (GPX capable) layer would be the answer.

Quote:
Another approach is, to use the existing code for reading kap files. A paper chart could be represented by a special kap file just using a few features in the header and no binary part. The PLY:s is what is needed for outlining the chart, one of the other tags could have a value indicating that this is no real bsb chart just a paper chart.
Also a (KAP capable) layer would be the answer.

Generally the very basic of a chart plotter should be to display charts, suitable for navigation. I dislike the idea to misuse any of the basic parts for other purposes.

All other stuff should be added on top.
You can see a very good example of this structure/ system by having a look at Google Maps!
The (raw) map is always the basis (basic layer). And all other things are added by different layers on top. For me this is a proofen concept which also will allow easy addition of future requirements.

Gunther
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