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Author Topic: In search of ... charting, course plotting software  (Read 2356 times)

barney

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In search of ... charting, course plotting software
« on: December 24, 2012, 02:02:46 PM »
Folk,

A close friend of mine is a sailor, been sailing for ~twenty (20) years.  ~Seven (7) years ago, he became an ASA (American Sailing Association) certified instructor.  (He is a licensed Coast Guard Master for fifty-ton, working on a license (read hours) for 100-ton.)  He has several times moved boats under contract, the last time being from Galveston, TX to somewhere on the East coast of Florida.  Two (2) years ago, he opened his own school, which is doing very well as he starts into his third year.  He was ~eight (8 ) hours shy of a pilot license when he decided to devote his attention to sailing instruction.  OK, that's the background.

What we would like to find is charting software - preferably low dollar or free - that he can use to instruct his students in the art of plotting courses, then sailing those plotted courses.  He will, of course, continue to teach how to use paper charts, but most of his students are much more comfortable with a screen than with paper  ;).

NOAA provides both raster and SVG charts.  We'd prefer something that uses SVG, since the raster charts do not scale very well.  A software that works on WinXP/Win7 would be acceptable, but something for Android or (shudder) iOS would be preferable.  Personally, I'd like Android, since I have hardware that can use it.  We can test it on a B&N Nook Color, a Toshiba Thrive, or a Nexus 7.  (A chart station would be ideal, but they're very expensive, and not portable - this unit will be moved among at least three (3) different boats currently used for instruction.)

The problem here is twofold:  he gets, at best, three (3) to five (5) days off a month, seldom consecutively, and I just am not knowledgeable enough to know the appropriate search terms  :(.

So, any boaters here?  Doesn't matter whether power or sail, since charting will be the same in either case.  And it's quite possible that the avionics folk here might have software that would work, as well.

mouser

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Re: In search of ... charting, course plotting software
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2012, 05:17:02 PM »
longtime dc member JoTo is into the sailing scene, he might know.

4wd

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Re: In search of ... charting, course plotting software
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2012, 06:37:19 PM »

barney

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Re: In search of ... charting, course plotting software
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2012, 08:21:03 PM »
MX Mariner ?

Based on OpenCPN

Looks attractive, but it only does raster charts as near as I can tell.  However, Chris should be back sometime around Jan 3rs or 5th, so I'll run it by him, see what he thinks - he's the judge on this, I'm just the [inadequate] gopher  :P.

[addendum]
Looked at OpenCPN.  Looks good for Win, but no Android as yet <sigh />.
[/addendum]
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 08:33:21 PM by barney »

4wd

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Re: In search of ... charting, course plotting software
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2012, 01:03:50 AM »
Here's the Google Play store Marine Navigation search.

From a quick look over some of the apps it looks like they are all raster based.

[addendum]
Looked at OpenCPN.  Looks good for Win, but no Android as yet <sigh />.
[/addendum]

Wait, you would have looked at it when I mentioned it back here.....right ?   :P

Apparently there is an Android app in development.

barney

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Re: In search of ... charting, course plotting software
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2012, 01:49:48 PM »
Here's the Google Play store Marine Navigation search.

From a quick look over some of the apps it looks like they are all raster based.

[addendum]
Looked at OpenCPN.  Looks good for Win, but no Android as yet <sigh />.
[/addendum]

Wait, you would have looked at it when I mentioned it back here.....right ?   :P

Apparently there is an Android app in development.

I had totally forgotten that I'd already initiated the topic.  Comes of getting older, I guess  :-\ :( ;); maybe I need to start keeping a list  :-\ :P.  I did find a Win app that worked, at least to some extent, with SVG charts.  There's another I found through Active Captain that is currently in development, but not even an early beta released as yet.

Part of the reason I'm looking so hard for Android is the fact that Chris is a former telecom engineer - most of the stuff he worked with was Unix-based, so he's no stranger to command-line stuff.  That should make his transition into the Android world a bit simpler (he'll choke on or balk at Win8  ;D).  Might also be true of iOS - don't know it well enough to judge.  At any rate, I've been looking for this for a while.  The difficulty is twofold:  finding something that will handle SVG (as well as, perhaps, raster); finding something that is essentially portable, not tied to a single boat.  GPS capability would be nice, but not an absolute requisite.

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jpfx

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Re: In search of ... charting, course plotting software
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2012, 12:42:58 PM »
I like polar navy myself, they have a linux version and it runs with the free charts.
however I've not used it in anger yet as my sailing has primarily been using mkII eyeball.
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