Terry is absolutely correct!
I think this is an excellent way to store waypoints, particularly waypoints that are associated with a Cruising Guide. I have setup a few of these for Thailand
, the Sunsail Cruising Guides
and the 101 Anchorages
There are a number of benefits in having them in layer files. I view the fact that they can't be changed to be a benefit. You never have to worry about inadvertently clicking on a waypoint and dragging it to a new location. Another advantage of layers is that you can very easily hide and display all the waypoints in the layer with one click. This helps keep the display from being so cluttered when planning longer trips or creating a new route.
It also allows you to remove these waypoints from the Route Manager waypoint file so you don't have 5000 waypoints there, making it easier to maintain your personal and temporary waypoints.
When I give a waypoint a name linked to a Cruising Guide, I try to give all the waypoints for that guide a prefix that indicates the Cruising Guide that it references
. If I have two cruising guides
that have the same anchorage listed, they are easily identified by the prefix. Here's an example of a waypoint name for an entry in the 101 Anchorages for Indonesia
101 #14 Palau
The 101 is the prefix I used to identify the 101 Anchorages guide. The #14 is the number of the anchorage that matches the guide. Obviously, Palau
Besar is the name of the anchorage. The number 6 in this example is a little piece of additional data that is included in the Cruising Guide. It is a number 1-10 used in the guide book to indicate the relative quality of the anchorage. Since it was included in the guide book, I felt it made sense to include it in the waypoint name so while planning a route I would easily be able to see if the anchorage was questionable. If the anchorage is questionable, I can refer to the guide book to see if I really want to use it as an overnight anchorage.
In the waypoint properties in the link section for the Link Description, I use the name of the Cruising Guide, In this case 101 Anchorages of Indonesia.
Now, in the URL field I include the location of the actual PDF file of the Cruising Guide. For lack of a place in an OpenCPN directory that I could depend on where it might not get overridden or deleted during an update, I just copied all the cruising guides to the C: drive root folder. You could pick any folder to store the guides but you need to correctly specify the path to the files, C: was easy!!
I always try to use a PDF file for a Cruising Guide. If it is not in PDF format, I convert it to PDF for my use. I've been working on doing this for the Sail Malaysia
guide which is distributed in a DOC file. When I finally finish setting up all the waypoint with names and anchorage numbers(they seem to change them every year), I'll convert the DOC file to a PDF. There is a reason I use the PDF format. The PDF format allows you specify a page number that will be opened when the link is clicked. Here is the URL associated with the Pulau Besar anchorage listed above.
C:/Indonesia - 101 Anchorages.pdf#page=16
When you right click on a layer waypoint, you can select Properties and when you click the link, it opens the PDF file to page=16 where the description of the anchorage is located. Note: The page number is the actual page number of the PDF file and may not be the page number in the guide if the PDF file includes a cover picture or preface in the beginning. It may also change if the guide book has advertisements that are not given a page number in the guide.
I never found a perfect way to edit the GPX file easily. I generally start by getting all the waypoints on the chart with proper names and locations. I don't worry about the link names and URL's until all the waypoints are setup. Then I export all of the waypoints to a GPX file and from there manually edit the file to add link names and URL's. I found that using a GPX editor caused a problem as it wouldn't accept the values used by OpenCPN for the style of Icon. I only use 2, the standard Anchorage Symbol and the Dive Flag symbol for anchorages that are also good dive sites. The GPX editor I tried to use choked on the values used by OpenCPN. Maybe Terry has some ideas on this.
I've always thought it would be great if we could find a way to share these GPX files and their corresponding Cruising Guides. I'd also like to see OpenCPN have a directory we could use to store the Cruising Guides that we know will never be deleted or overwritten so everyone could put them in the same place. That would also allow us to only need to specify the PDF name and page number of the guide and OpenCPN could then supply the path name.