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Author Topic:   Open Source Navigation Programs
Hoosier posted 04-13-2011 07:41 PM ET (US)   Profile for Hoosier   Send Email to Hoosier  
Here is a multi-platform navigation application that is [an open-source collaborative project and is called OpenCPN].

jimh posted 04-14-2011 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Dave--Let us have your comments and impressions of this open-source program. I have tried several different navigation programs and found that there can be a considerable variation in the speed of chart re-draws when panning or zooming.
David Pendleton posted 04-14-2011 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I've never heard of this project. It's very intriguing.

Since I know, and use VC++, I think I'll try and get it up and running.

Thanks Dave.

K Albus posted 04-15-2011 12:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I loaded OpenCPN on my laptop and goofed around with it for a couple of months last summer before we went to Isle Royale. I preferred the raster charts to the vector charts for that area. Unfortuntely, I forgot to pack my laptop for the trip.

I had also tried Sea Clear II, which is also free. I preferred OpenCPN.

K Albus posted 04-15-2011 12:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
By way of further explanation, I didn't think that the vector charts for the area added anything over the raster charts, and the raster charts had a more familiar feel to them.
David Pendleton posted 04-15-2011 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I downloaded the source and built a copy. I haven't done much with it, but it looks well written.
Hoosier posted 04-16-2011 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I copied this from the Polar Navy thread.
"One thing I found is that when an application is multiplatform the versions may not be identical, in OpenCPN the Mac version lags the Windows version. I have a Mac at home but use a Windows netbook when mobile. I also have a GPS dongle for the netbook so I can use it as a realtime chartplotter."

I played around with it a bit last year but did not get my proficiency level up very far. Right now I'm having to relearn how to get the chart files I want loaded out of the library since their only description is the chart number. Last year I was focused on the North Channel and Georgian Bay and that area doesn't have many good, free, vector charts.
It will read a GPS dongle and plot ownship (or owncar) position. (Being able to load a commercial street database would be a cool feature.) I found the ownship icon to be distractingly large and didn't find a size editing feature. Also, these comments are based on last year's versions, today things should be a lot different.

Based on my very limited experience with Open CPN and only watching the Polar Navy video, Polar Navy looks much more "productized" and polished.

jimh posted 04-16-2011 12:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To Dave Pendleton--Can you explain why you chose to compile your own binary executable file from the open source code instead of just using a pre-compiled binary distribution of OpenCPN?

What compiler did you use?

David Pendleton posted 04-16-2011 07:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I compiled my own because I wanted to see the source and step through it in a debugger.

I used Microsoft Visual C++ 2008.

I've only played with this a little bit. I think the rendering engine is pretty good. I only have a couple of IENC charts from the ACOE. I need to obtain more in other formats to make any sort of comparison.

I don't like the UI much, aesthetically that is.

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