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Old 19-03-2012, 06:53   #1
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Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

As a European sailor and committed user and supporter of OpenCPN the availbility of charts seems to be the defining issue for most users outside the coverage of the NOAA charts.

From my experience the CM93/2 charts work terrific but I really have a moral problem with their shady provenance. I want to use open source software and I am prepared to pay for the charts, which probably cost some money to make.

Considering their worldwide coverage, I am wondering how we could make a Jeppesen plugin for OpenCPN happen. The possible format would be a separate discussion but I am pretty sure once there is a way to access NT+ or MAX charts legally, someone will make them work with OpenCPN.

I am thinking along the lines of a Kickstarter project. I would definetely be willing to pay for this. This would go a long way to making OpenCPN futureproof and also very competitive.

So my questions are these:

Has the project had any contact with Jeppesen in this direction?

Do we have an incling of how much cash would be needed for this?

Tom
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Old 19-03-2012, 07:22   #2
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I don't normally post on this. But I know from experience with navionics that the development kit isnt expensive and in fact has been given free under license in some cases.

As to jeeperson I can't comment. But all these companies ate interested in expanding the range of the chart usage so I suspect it could be got free.

Dave
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Old 19-03-2012, 08:12   #3
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

You can purchase BSB4 charts with the plugin now. Due to license issues, this is restricted to windows and any other encryption plugins probably would be, too.

You can get legal & encrypted S-63 charts for polarnavy by the way.
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Old 19-03-2012, 08:36   #4
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

I understand that Dave doesn't want to get involved into any kind of financial deal with a company e.g. forking out the dough and getting it back from some kind of levy on charts sold.
His choice, and I fully understand why...
It would be up to the writer of a dedicated plug-in to negotiate and handle the financial side

I can also well imagine Jeppensen and some company selling chart-reading software (e.g. Furuno-Maxsea) having some kind of exclusive partnership...
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Old 19-03-2012, 10:55   #5
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

Thank you for the input. Maybe my topic was a little narrow. Maybe it should be "Seriously, how much would it cost to get commercial vector charts into OpenCPN?"

ChartWorld/S-63 would be an alternative to Jeppesen. Prices are, in both cases, pretty horrendous. There is the whole argument that OpenCPN should provide an overall free navigation solution and while that definitely has been achieved for US users, at the moment if you live somewhere else and use Linux, you have no legal way of using current charts.

The Windows dependence is another thing. Is that really due to licensing issues? Because software for Linux doesn't have to be Open Source. The plugin could be completely closed source and would have to be if it implements proprietary stuff.

I think this would push OpenCPN even further. I am sure that being able to use and extend an open source solution as powerful as OCPN with professional-grade vector charts legally would net us quite a few more supporters.

The real question is: Would enough of us be willing to pay for vector charts? CM93/2 charts won't be around that much longer. Would we be willing to support a kickstarter project for an S-63 plugin?
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Old 19-03-2012, 11:18   #6
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

Tom...
And would there be a developer willing to sign the NDAs involved? Dave stated he's not one. Me neither. Anyone else?
From the number of people implementing the BSBv4 plugin for Linux I guess the number of programmers interested in an NDA and involvement in the retail SW distribution around here is very close, probably equal, to 0. May the money on the table convince someone? I don't know.
I definitely don't want to discourage efforts like this, but I write open source code because it's fun to do, I like the ideas and people behind and learn a lot of interesting stuff. The ecosystem behind S-63 and the companies like Jeppesen are IMHO not very compatible with it...

Pavel
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Old 19-03-2012, 11:37   #7
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

I wonder if you can even survive a day without violating the NDA after you signed.

Bart
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Old 19-03-2012, 12:15   #8
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

Hey Pavel,

thank you for that pointed position. Let me say first, that I am as die hard open source as you'll find. I don't own (and neither does my company) a computer that runs Windows/MacOS or anything proprietary. My phone is an N900. I have been completely Linux/FOSS for more than five years and I will always prefer the open solution to the closed one, even if it is a little less convenient.

So, in principle I would like nothing better than having public domain charts and first class open source navigator software. Sadly though, in most parts of Europe, this won't happen. There are no public domain vector or even raster charts available and there simply won't be. I understand that the Americans don't feel the pressure here.

I, however, do. At the moment I use CM93/2 and that's fine but a) they won't be around forever and b) it's morally questionable. I want to keep using OCPN in the future and I need a way to get current maps. So I am coming purely from a users point of view here.

I understand you as a developer. Maybe I as a developer wouldn't want to develop closed source either. So I guess I am going to have to find someone and pay them for this. And I don't think the NDA would be that stifling. The system for S-63 is simple public key job. You generate a hardware-based key locally and enter it when you buy charts. The files can then only be used on that installation. It is pretty straightforward. The NDA would only be bad if it was protecting security by obscurity and considering the scale on which this stuff is used, that's unlikely.

Tom
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Old 19-03-2012, 13:13   #9
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

Tom...
Technically, S-63 is nothing too complicated, just PKI stuff, pretty good documentation. But go through the documents hidden under the link in Downloads for IHO Member States and Subscribers to get a picture of what's involved on the "paper" and procedural side of things... A lot of highly annoying stuff for an individual needing time to actually sail
For the commercial formats my information about the actual conditions is scarce - From what I know for example NV Verlag was OK to deal with as long as their Windows-only SDK was used, but there was no way for Dave to make it work on Linux. It would probably not be a problem if someone asks Navionics or Jeppesen what's the situation with them.
BTW, I spend most of my time on the water in the Med, so I understand your feelings more than well...

Pavel
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Old 19-03-2012, 13:47   #10
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nohal View Post
Tom...
Technically, S-63 is nothing too complicated, just PKI stuff, pretty good documentation. But go through the documents hidden under the link in Downloads for IHO Member States and Subscribers to get a picture of what's involved on the "paper" and procedural side of things... A lot of highly annoying stuff for an individual needing time to actually sail
Pavel
As far as the S-57 charts are concerned, I have heard that you have to contract for a certain number of chart sales. Does not seem possible for a open source and free software...
The French developper of (low-cost and praised by many) Scannav is having a go at it, though...
ScanNav - Logiciel de navigation assistée par GPS - GPS assisted navigation software
(English version of website available)
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Old 19-03-2012, 17:17   #11
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by [SIZE=5
cm93forfree[/SIZE];911860]...........
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Old 20-03-2012, 00:09   #12
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

I'm hopefully will meet a few Jeppesen employes later this week, informal and out of work. I see if i can get any insights.

Personally i think we Europeans need to kick some EU parliaments people to get a data-freedom act that have some inspirations from the US. This will give us much more free informations and open formats. I think is a shame we have to pay the Sjöfartsverket's staff to make charts for us, and then can't even pay to get the charts in a format we can use.
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Old 20-03-2012, 03:39   #13
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All of the marine charts available throughout the world are directly paid for by the taxpayers of the countries that produce them - that is you and I - the only two countries that allow their use without payment are the USA and New Zealand. All the others have passed the rights onto third parties who sell them on to you and I. Not one of these vendors have the technical ability or resources to produce a single chart in their own right.
Before we get carried away with ourselves and start an "occupy the UKHO ". It's worth pointing out that many HOs especially in Europe have a commercial brief and are deriving large amounts of money from chart sales. This allows their governments to reduce the subsidy they get. ( in fact only a few countries are going large scale surveying and chart publishing) it will not be today or tomorrow when we convince anyone to follow the US model. That solution is not that way in any normal life time

The solution will involve money or openCPN will remain a US centric one.
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Old 20-03-2012, 03:40   #14
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Re: Seriously, how much would it cost to get CM93/3 into OpenCPN?

What I don't get is that they can sell you charts like navionics on ipad/andriod for a low price yet want a fortune for the same charts on a cheap sd card for a chart plotter?
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Old 20-03-2012, 04:27   #15
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Originally Posted by stevensuf
What I don't get is that they can sell you charts like navionics on ipad/andriod for a low price yet want a fortune for the same charts on a cheap sd card for a chart plotter?
I'm involved elsewhere in chart licensing. The general view is more quantity less cost. The iThingy market is perceived to be orders of magnitude bigger then the plotter market so chart publishers accept much lower costs. The other thing to bear in mind is the smartphone thing is in its infancy, lots of market testing prices may rise as acceptance grows ( or product differentiation may occur)
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