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phiggins 14-07-2010 03:39

Google Earth to BSB / KAP
I already mentioned this in the OpenCPN thread but thought I would post it here as well.

I have a program that will convert a Google earth picture directly to a BSB/KAP chart without you having to enter any calibration data. I get the necessary calibration data directly from Google earth using its ActiveX API.

This comes in very handy creating charts where the official charts are not great or don't exist.

Will leave it up to you on how to interpret the Google Earth license.

The program is attached. If you want to try it, download it to a directory where you want to create the KAP charts and rename it to GE2KAP.REX (drop the .DOC).

PreReqs: To run this program you need the following prereqs:

1. This program is written in REXX programming language and uses the
oorexx interpreter. The lastest version of oorexx can be dowloaded from:
Open Object Rexx
please install V4.0.1 or higher: ooRexx4.0.1.i586.exe (32bit)

2. Convert.exe from Imagemagick download at:
ImageMagick: Downloads

- Click on "Binary Releases .... Windows" on left side of screen then ..

install: ImageMagick-6.6.3-0-Q16-windows-dll.exe

- After installing copy the convert.exe from the installation
directory ( usually C:\Program Files\ImageMagick-6.6.1-Q16) to the
directory where you want to create the KAP files.

3. tif2bsb.exe which can be downloaded at:
Browse libbsb - read/write/convert BSB images Files on

- After installing copy the tif2bsb.exe from the installation directory
(usually: C:\libbsb-0.0.3-win32\libbsb-0.0.3) to the the directory where you want to create the KAP files.

4. You must have Google Earth V5.1 or higher which can be download from:

Download Google Earth

5. and... this only runs on Windows (XP,Vista, Windows 7).

After installing all prereqs, put this program, convert.exe and tif2bsb.exe
in the folder that the KAP file will be built and then run by double clicking on GE2KAP.rex.

Follow the instructions to create a KAP file.

If you are running on Vista (and maybe Windows 7) be sure the folder that you run GE2KAP in has the necessary permission to allow Users Full Control.

If you run into any errors that are not obvious, please send me the GE2KAP.LOG
my email is phiggins() (replace the () with an @)

hpeer 14-07-2010 05:47

Bless you.

There are some places I have cruised where GE was more accurate than the charts. I have gone through the 'calibration" process and it is TEDIOUS.

phiggins 17-07-2010 04:22

I found some problems with the first version of GE2KAP. Please replace it with the attached version. Same instructions as first post.

hpeer 17-07-2010 08:28


I tried your app. It seems to work OK.

However, when I try to import my files into Fugawi 4.5 I get the error message:


All charts appear to be invalid!

If you purchased these charts recently you may have to run a setup program that came with the charts to make them readable on your system.

phiggins 17-07-2010 09:14

When youi import them into Fugawi follow these steps"
Maps...Map Tools...Import .... BSB (Non-MapTech)..

Then select the directory..

Its very important you select BSB (Non-MapTech).. not BSB / Maptech...

If that doesn't work please send me the KAP file to try.

hpeer 17-07-2010 09:27

Ah Ha!

Paul, that got it. Many thanks.

I have sailed the South coast of Newfoundland where the carts and GPS disagree by up to 1/2 mile. GE charts would be helpful there.

Many thanks,


phiggins 18-07-2010 05:08

You're welcome, I made the same mistake.

Some of the charts in Mexico are off by 3nm so GE charts come in real handy there too.

ChuckSK 18-07-2010 18:21


That is so cool!!!

Thank you very much.


phiggins 19-07-2010 02:55

Thanks for the feedback Chuck.

phiggins 27-07-2010 04:29

This version eliminates an unnecessary step and helps me diagnose any problems. Should execute faster than previous version. Same instructions to install as first post.

phiggins 03-08-2010 10:57

One user of GE2KAP has discovered that if you have Terrain turned on
in Google earth it will cause significant errors in the accuracy of the
chart produced (as much as 600 feet).

This problem has been become more apparent in the newest version of Google earth (V5.2) because it turns on Terrain by default. In the new version Terrain is an option in the 3D View (Show Terrain checkbox). In the old version of Google Earth (pre 5.2), Terrain was a layer.

I recommend that when you run GE2KAP that you turn off Terrain.

The attached new version of GE2KAP will effectively turn off Terrain
while it gets calibration data from Google earth. Please replace your old copy with it.

AnchorageGuy 03-08-2010 19:25

Paul, I have done everything up to install of tif2bsb.exe. It will not install, when I try it just says it stopped working and needs to close. I suspect it is because it is 32 bit and my Vista is 64 bit. I don't see an install for 64 bit. Any suggestions?

phiggins 04-08-2010 02:26


Please send me an email to discuss this: phiggins(at)


shipofools 03-09-2010 14:06

do you know of any similar software that works on a MAC?

jannw 03-09-2010 23:27

That is super cool
Phiggins ... that is fantastic ... ands works like a charm.

I don't suppose you can easily do the same trick with google maps?

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