Jon from VentureFarther here, Mike did a great job with this plugin, thanks for your work
. I also think work will continue on this plugin/api to offer even more features.
The goal of the plugin was to make getting satellite charts into OpenCPN
as fast and easy as possible. Once the plugin is installed, sign up on VentureFarther, generate an API key (this is all free and for signing up you get up to 30 credits, each kap is a credit). This is unique to your account and should be considered a password/userid combo. Once installed, click the menu bar plugin button, move the chart to where you want a satellite chart, click the "Generate" button, wait a few seconds. That's it. Move the chart again, click again, another chart. Yup that easy.
Now a word about the "credit" system. Hopefully this will not deter people from using VentureFarther as there are 2 ways to get credits. The first is just contribute cruising info on the site, yup that easy, think of VentureFarther as "contributionware". The second way, if you do not want to contribute info is $20 yearly subscription, which goes towards paying the costs of running the server (this has been in place just over a month, because of this I can now afford to move VentureFarther to a much faster server which is good for everyone). I think if you check out https://www.venturefarther.com/profile/Credits.action
I have made it very easy to earn all the credits you need. Really the credit system was put in place to help the site grow by rewarding cruisers to share info that is then freely available to anyone on the web.
Now a bit about VentureFarther. I hope that when you check it out you do not realize that it is being built and supported by a guy who is out cruising (hey, 100% offshore
development :-) ). My background before heading out 6 years ago, was corporate website backend development and I have approached development as I would have as a corporate developer (well except the working alone part). VentureFarther is still being actively developed (well pretty much every morning over my coffee), my goal, build a site that has features not usually available for such a small community. As an example, check out sharing a NMEA
recording that was recorded with another OpenCPN
plugin VDR (useful if you have your depth
included in the NMEA
recording). That one is very simple also, click the menu to start recording, click the menu to stop. The log into VentureFarther, upload the recorded file. You have now shared your depth
recording, very cool in areas that are not well charted. These depth recordings are not only available online, but as an overlay on your Satellite Chart (currently only available online, but I am guessing soon in the plugin).
Anyway, I won't drone on anymore (can you tell I am pretty excited about this, I have personally wanted this plugin for years). If you have any questions, comments or problems (hopefully not) with the VentureFarther side of this please let me know.