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Old 12-03-2015, 01:44   #151
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

Sean,

you should consider that this feature might go into the core directly as part of the route manager. And as option when underway.

I don't think that Google earth or other Geoimagenes can be included by simple pattern recognition. There have been studies to detect shoalings by observing wave pattens, but for very limited areas with some special conditions.

Hubert
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:45   #152
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

My opinion is a bit different and I agree with Sean. I think it is best to give plugins a chance to innovate on this. The people that want this functionality will find it is a non-trivial problem and there are thousands of corner cases that will arise. There will be many iterations before enough features work that will make many/most users happy. It takes a lot longer for core releases to hit the street because testing the core must be more thorough. Plugin release cycles can be much shorter. Plus, if this functionality goes into the core it will distract from other functionality that must be in the core.

If the right exposure to the chart and instrument data is made for plugin access many people could work in parallel on features that utilize the data. Not only obstruction recognition but many other clever features could be thought up. For that matter, route management could be better done via a plugin if the right data access is implemented.
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Old 19-06-2017, 10:20   #153
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I think that both of these features would be extremely useful. Wish we could have the first of these on our regular plotters, too.

Route checking is fine, but it's no substitute for being able to see significant detail in the first place. That's because just guessing about where safe water is, does not always give you enough information to plot the route in the first place. This is particularly true in very complex water. You need to be able to see it.
Dockhead,

At the risk of awakening a dormant volvano, I'm wondering if you can share any Zeus2 tricks for vector charts that you've learned since you wrote these posts.

I am trying to get familiar with my Zeus2 with a Navionics chart card and I'm definitely struggling with the problem you describe (and I don't know why you got so much push back on it).

For example, yesterday I was sailing in the midst of some shoals in Lower New York Harbor. If I zoomed in enough for the depth contours and red dots to appear, I couldn't see if I was laying buoy that I had to get around because it was off the screen. If I zoomed out enough to cover the buoys, then the shoals, buoys and everything else disappeared entirely.

I could have solved this by plotting a route and checking it twice like I would on a passage, but I was just out for a day sail around familiar waters. Eventually I pulled out my iphone and used my Garmin BlueCharts app for the overall picture while I kept the Zeus zoomed in, but that's not what I bought and installed the Zeus for! Even with the contour lines and details appearing, the depth numbers don't always appear on the shallowest spots, so I need to move the cursor and zoom in again to see how shallow it gets. And I know I can set my safety depth, but why not at least put the number on the shallow spot, not 4 contour lines deeper?

So.... I'm wondering what settings you found most helpful on the Zeus to minimize this problem. How did you set your color scheme? I am still reading the manual and will continue to experiment but I have a feeling you may have already figured out the best adjustments to make.

Or, as your screenshots suggest, is Navionics just hopeless on this issue? The Garmin on my last boat still had to be zoomed in on for route checking but would show WAY more detail when zoomed out. The CMAP charts that came with the Zeus also weren't quite as bad in this regard, but I wanted updated maps and coverage for Canada as well so I bought a Navionics+ card, and now I'm not sure if it was the right choice.

Any tips are much appreciated!
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Old 20-06-2017, 00:01   #154
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Dockhead,

At the risk of awakening a dormant volvano, I'm wondering if you can share any Zeus2 tricks for vector charts that you've learned since you wrote these posts.

I am trying to get familiar with my Zeus2 with a Navionics chart card and I'm definitely struggling with the problem you describe (and I don't know why you got so much push back on it).

For example, yesterday I was sailing in the midst of some shoals in Lower New York Harbor. If I zoomed in enough for the depth contours and red dots to appear, I couldn't see if I was laying buoy that I had to get around because it was off the screen. If I zoomed out enough to cover the buoys, then the shoals, buoys and everything else disappeared entirely.

I could have solved this by plotting a route and checking it twice like I would on a passage, but I was just out for a day sail around familiar waters. Eventually I pulled out my iphone and used my Garmin BlueCharts app for the overall picture while I kept the Zeus zoomed in, but that's not what I bought and installed the Zeus for! Even with the contour lines and details appearing, the depth numbers don't always appear on the shallowest spots, so I need to move the cursor and zoom in again to see how shallow it gets. And I know I can set my safety depth, but why not at least put the number on the shallow spot, not 4 contour lines deeper?

So.... I'm wondering what settings you found most helpful on the Zeus to minimize this problem. How did you set your color scheme? I am still reading the manual and will continue to experiment but I have a feeling you may have already figured out the best adjustments to make.

Or, as your screenshots suggest, is Navionics just hopeless on this issue? The Garmin on my last boat still had to be zoomed in on for route checking but would show WAY more detail when zoomed out. The CMAP charts that came with the Zeus also weren't quite as bad in this regard, but I wanted updated maps and coverage for Canada as well so I bought a Navionics+ card, and now I'm not sure if it was the right choice.

Any tips are much appreciated!
The most useful tip I can give is to set the "safety depth" with some thought. This will determine what areas are shown in what colors. If the vector chart is working right, then even when it's zoomed out, it will show a blotch for an area which contains a dangerous depth. That's your clue to zoom in and check it out.

I use different safety depths for different circumstances, but generally I like 6 meters. What that does is creates a contour line everywhere on the chart, at 6 meters, and colors everything inside that contour line dark blue. As you zoom out, whole areas containing any depth less than 6 meters, will be colored blue or will have little red dots in them.

Don't rely on that, however. If you are not using paper for planning and route checking, or raster charts, then you must run through your route at high zoom level to check it for obstacles. It doesn't matter whether it's familiar water or unknown, a day sail or a month-long passage.

I have raster charts for most of my cruising area, and I use these with OpenCPN and a large high resolution monitor, pretty much like I use paper charts. It's much easier and faster to check a route, and you can have a really good overview of a larger area, not omitting any detail.

And I have paper for some of my cruising area -- which is even easier to use -- you can handle it, and move up closer to it, zooming in and out effortlessly, put a plotter on it, draw lines on it, etc.

Those areas where I have neither paper nor raster charts, I just have to zoom in and out furiously to find optimum routes, or more usually, in the rock-strewn Baltic, I just rely on marked fairways. THEN, I always check the routes carefully against the most current vector chart I have. So normally I would create the route in the first place using OpenCPN and CM93 charts, then transfer to my Zeus, and then scroll carefully through the route again at high zoom level, in the currently updated Navionics chart, to double check for hazards.

So that's how I do it. If I had a pilothouse with chart drawers and a big separate chart table, and an unlimited budget, I would have a complete set of currently updated paper charts, AND I would have a complete set of currently updated raster charts for OpenCPN.

Dream on! Reality is different. I have currently updated raster charts from VisitMyHarbour, official "for navigation" charts, for the UK and European Atlantic coasts up to Germany. Then I have CM93 to cover the rest. I have old Admiralty paper charts from a ship captain friend of mine for much of the Baltic and North Sea, and I have a full set of paper charts for Danish waters, given to me by another friend of mine. I have now out of date paper for most of the English Channel. On the main nav system, I have up-to-the-minute (via Freshest Data) Navionics Gold+ charts for European Atlantic coasts and Baltic Sea excluding Denmark, and a slightly out of date Platinum+ chart of UK coasts. And an NV Charts raster chart for the Western Baltic, one year out of date, and raster charts don't work nearly as well in a regular chart plotter as I would have expected. So with all of this, I sort of muddle through, but I invest a lot of time and effort in doing adequate passage planning, which in my opinion is fundamental to managing a vessel at sea.
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Old 20-06-2017, 05:07   #155
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

Color me clueless here. My thoughts.

Can't you designate a safe depth?

Don't you see a heading line showing where you vessel will go if the heading is not changed? Doesn't it show if you course will pass of thin water or into obstructions?

Can you do a split screen at different zoom levels? Don't they show the boat heading line?

Admittedly I haven't been threading a needle in the boat for a long time since a trip to Maine... so I don't have current experience with my nav "tools".

Can you... in advance... set up a route which is through safer water so that it appears on you plotter and you can compare you position to the route?

++++

I have stopped using waypoints and never used routes. What I rely on is the heading line.... extending to "infinity"... and I zoom in and out... to see where my heading will take me.

I do often set a waypoint in my C80 which is below decks and repeats data up to cockpit repeaters. My Zeus is in the cockpit and I never set a waypoint on it... but it shows me where I am and of course the heading line. It also shows my old tracks which are in safe water and so I can sort of follow them or know if I am OK by referring to them. This would not work in a new area.

The cockpit displays give me sufficient info to know if I can "make" a waypoint... I can compare course sailed to course to waypoint... Hopefully I can sail the course I want but if I am not... I know that I have to tack or gybe or correct... Usually the heading line is enough info for me to make the take, gybe or hold the course, head up or down decision.

In really close and tight situations I will likely be motoring with the main only so I can pretty much steer the course I want.

The plotters have both a heading line and a course made good line I believe... and these can be different if you are dealing with cross currents, leeway and so forth. It becomes apparent that I need to change the heading because of the leeway or lift.

My approach is very "graphic" and the devices do the math.. so one shows what the course to waypoint is and the course I am sailing... I make adjustments as needed.

Plus... with navionics on a mobile device... I have access to 3 plotters which can be at different scales... one data and two graphic in the cockpit.

Perhaps in tight situations this approach will not work... but this is far superior to working with paper charts and updating fixes... I am in the cockpit and watching and the AP is steering the course I designate with a rotary dial... like a mini helm.

I do not find the Zeus interface user friendly... I am slowly getting the hang of it.
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Old 20-06-2017, 05:43   #156
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
So that's how I do it. If I had a pilothouse with chart drawers and a big separate chart table, and an unlimited budget, I would have a complete set of currently updated paper charts, AND I would have a complete set of currently updated raster charts for OpenCPN.

Dream on! Reality is different. I have currently updated raster charts from VisitMyHarbour, official "for navigation" charts, for the UK and European Atlantic coasts up to Germany. .
Dockhead,

as you are a chart geek, remember that there are now the oeSENC vector charts available for the regions you mention - including the complete German waters, which get weekly updates.

During development we had a hard time playing with different scales and detail levels having several chart sets involved. Vector charts in OpenCPN do have that many possibilities to tailor the screen to your needs...

And the different chart producers have various philosophies about scales they offer. Down to 1:1000 for InlandECDIS for example.

Feedback from people using these charts is very welcome to improve.

Hubert
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Old 20-06-2017, 06:20   #157
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

My scores of paper charts and charting tools are mostly ballast... Can't get rid of them though... might need them if there is electric, electronics of gps failure.
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Old 20-06-2017, 06:39   #158
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Dockhead,

as you are a chart geek, remember that there are now the oeSENC vector charts available for the regions you mention - including the complete German waters, which get weekly updates.

During development we had a hard time playing with different scales and detail levels having several chart sets involved. Vector charts in OpenCPN do have that many possibilities to tailor the screen to your needs...

And the different chart producers have various philosophies about scales they offer. Down to 1:1000 for InlandECDIS for example.

Feedback from people using these charts is very welcome to improve.

Hubert
"Chart geek"! Ha, thanks, I'll wear that as a badge of honor.


I have played with O's immensely powerful vector chart controls. They are great, but you can't really solve this problem with them.

I have vector charts in the main nav system, most of them right up to date. What I really want in O is raster charts. For whatever a vector chart can do in O, CM93 has been adequate in the waters I sail. As old as they are, the deviations from what I get from my main nav system are very few. So I deal with their oldness by ALWAYS without fail double checking every route in the main nav system.

I could get raster charts from NV Charts, but unlike the ones from Visitmyharbour, they are sold in small areas and are tremendously expensive if you need a wide area like I do (I transit the entire Baltic Sea from one end to the other twice a year). And NV Charts won't update anything at all, unlike Navionics and VMH who give you a year of free continuous repeated updates with every chart. On the plus side, you get paper together with the digital charts -- a BIG plus. But it's still just not worth it for me. You have to buy them in little bits like just the Finnish part of the Gulf of Finland for 100 euros. Another 130 euros just for the Aland Archipelago. Another 100 euros for Estonia. Thats 330 euros for just one corner of the Baltic Sea. By the time you cover all the places I go in the Baltic, it's a couple grand, and a grand a year to keep them up to date -- bleh. And updated only once a year. As opposed to 100 euros a year to keep the entire Baltic (except Denmark) Navionics chip up to date continuously with Freshest Data.

I understand there is a Swedish publisher of electronic charts for these areas, but I don't know if they do raster charts. Need to do some more searching.
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Old 20-06-2017, 13:36   #159
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

Very few "electronic map" companies have key people with extensive cartographic experience, graphic design experience, and programming experience. I raise this because there are some things that are obvious (like showing a circle of position to indicate uncertainty, rather than a pinprick all the time) that conventional cartographers and graphic artists would know. And yet big e-mapping companies (including Gargoyle Maps) managed not to implement until they'd been hit over the head for years about it.

So here's one for OpenCPN and anyone else to implement. The software is designed to run on a computer, rather than a dedicated instrument, right? And the vast majority of computers out there in personal hands these days, are some type of fairly current Windows OS, right? Well, every currently supported version of Windows has the native ability to run multiple displays. Just plug a second one in, tell the system what to do with it, and it works.

So how about making the software smart enough to do something that (sorry) is incredibly memory intensive? Like show my position on Screen#1 at this scale, and simultaneously show my position on Screen #2 at a different scale? No need to zoom in, zoom out, zoom zoom, just have two displays (why stop at two?) and have them each configured separately, for all parameters, in the software? Or, lock #2 into the overview, while I'm panning around in #1. No big deal.

In hindsight it is so obvious.(G) And if the user happens to have a 36" display at hand and wants to use that as the "overwatch" screen, so be it. Computers with four to eight cores, hell, even cell phones with four to eight cores, are common these days. Multiple displays, natively supported. So what's missing?

Yes, that's going to be one hell of a lot more overhead on the system, loading and moving multiple huge image maps and vector layers. So what? That's donkey work, and we've got some incredibly powerful donkeys these days.

It could mean splitting the program into two versions. One, resource intensive with multiple display options. The other, a lightweight that can run on minimal hardware. That's OK too.

Meanwhile I'll expect the new beta to be ready and on my desk, let's say, no later than 8AM Monday morning. Plenty of time for some trivial program changes.(VBG)
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Old 20-06-2017, 13:55   #160
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Like show my position on Screen#1 at this scale, and simultaneously show my position on Screen #2 at a different scale? No need to zoom in, zoom out, zoom zoom, just have two displays (why stop at two?) and have them each configured separately, for all parameters, in the software? Or, lock #2 into the overview, while I'm panning around in #1. No big deal.
Looks like it's possible already.

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

Quote:
The OpenCPN portable option allows the program to run from an USB stick, or run independent from, and parallel to a normal installation.
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Old 20-06-2017, 14:32   #161
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

cona-
That's totally different. Whether you can run multiple instances of a program depends on how the program and OS are both set up. For instance, if the program is hard coded to run from a certain directory, and the old and new versions BOTH make the same directory calls...they can't both run at once. Or if they both set environment variables using the same names, they'll poison each other.
I'm talking about running only ONE instance of the software, and having that one instance capable of rendering and adjusting two separate displays, in two separate ways. A very different thing.
That you can run OC under a portable system, so you can bring it along, on and off the boat, maybe to a better computer at the marina, or to the next guy's boat so you can compare routes....very nice, but that's got nothing to do with having one instance of the program, with two sets of displays.
If you ran two instances of the program on the same computer, at the same time (some programs can be launched that way, some will complain they are already open) and they were able to pass data back and forth, that would be a brute-force way to doing this. But the synchronization and the overhead of running multiple instances might make it an inelegant kludge.
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Old 20-06-2017, 14:44   #162
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

The split screen/multiple windows request is not new.
FS#1292 at tracker.

Interesting issues as: shall settings be individual for each split screen? Which but zoom and position?

The portable solution will not allow to use licensed charts at the same time from the different instances.
At least not for S-63 and oeSENC.

Yes, I would like to see it.

Hubert
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Old 20-06-2017, 15:06   #163
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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cona-
That's totally different. Whether you can run multiple instances of a program depends on how the program and OS are both set up. For instance, if the program is hard coded to run from a certain directory, and the old and new versions BOTH make the same directory calls...they can't both run at once. Or if they both set environment variables using the same names, they'll poison each other.
I'm talking about running only ONE instance of the software, and having that one instance capable of rendering and adjusting two separate displays, in two separate ways. A very different thing.
That you can run OC under a portable system, so you can bring it along, on and off the boat, maybe to a better computer at the marina, or to the next guy's boat so you can compare routes....very nice, but that's got nothing to do with having one instance of the program, with two sets of displays.
If you ran two instances of the program on the same computer, at the same time (some programs can be launched that way, some will complain they are already open) and they were able to pass data back and forth, that would be a brute-force way to doing this. But the synchronization and the overhead of running multiple instances might make it an inelegant kludge.
Well the raspberry Pi didn't like running 2 instances , was fine for a little while then crashed. But is it really worth the bother anyway? I've been running opencpn living aboard for years and never felt the need, works fine as it is. Seems a like a nice trick but maybe there are much greater benefits to be had from precious programming resources elsewhere.
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Old 20-06-2017, 16:32   #164
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

Hubert-
Here in the Colonies we are spoiled, since "we the people" own the copyrights and we may use our home charts without limit. Although no one seems to mind...the poiint could be made that we should charge Brits the same fee that the Crown would charge us, mutually. Etcetera.

Cona-
The Pi is a very nice concept and probably more powerful than everything NASA owned and used for the Apollo missions. But as things go today, I'd call it a "wee donkey". Very very wee. Not surprising it might run out of horsepower when you throw enough work at it.
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Old 20-06-2017, 17:33   #165
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Cona-
The Pi is a very nice concept and probably more powerful than everything NASA owned and used for the Apollo missions. But as things go today, I'd call it a "wee donkey". Very very wee. Not surprising it might run out of horsepower when you throw enough work at it.
Wee donkeys drink wee power (about 0.3A) It only fell over running 2 instances of Opencpn like you said would happen , day to day Opencpn nav, logging all nmea/sensor data and wifi transmission of nmea/signalk plus sensor publishing on a node red web page it's absolutely fine.
A few dollars in sensors it can easily be set up to do what would be very involved with a power hungry laptop.

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