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Scalawag
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to find out where to download charts compatible with OpenCPN specifically for the Great Lakes.
 

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Scalawag
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Downloaded all the charts for michigan. Thank you ma'am!



Very cool, took me a minute to figure out the green bars at the bottom of the OpenCPN window screen are for selecting different scales of chart but now it is an amazing resource.
 
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Administrator
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Thank you, Rich, but I doubt it.

(Knowing more about navigation than many here, I mean. I am 100% sure that I'm a woman, however.)

:)
 

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I'm just a sofa sailor at this point, but I think I saw an OpenCPN release announcement where automatic government chart downloads were now built in. If you have the latest version of the software, poke around a bit or check their website.
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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I'm just a sofa sailor at this point, but I think I saw an OpenCPN release announcement where automatic government chart downloads were now built in. If you have the latest version of the software, poke around a bit or check their website.
I'd be interested in knowing what version this is. I just downloaded, for the first time yesterday, OpenCPN 4.0. It looks like you can't just click on one region (say Eastern Pacific) and get all the charts; you have to download each individual chart. I had a friend looking with me who had an earlier version of OpenCPN and he couldn't find how to do this. Is that option no longer available? How does one get all the charts downloaded at once? I would think this would be an issue when downloading again to get the most recent updates.
 

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Ok, finally figured out where i saw this. Check the OpenCPN facebook page. On Monday they posted "New Chart Downloader and Updater plugin released". That's why you're not seeing the option in the base software. It's a plugin. The plugin "lets you download, install and keep up to date the navigational charts provided by various free governmental sources..."

PlugIns | Official OpenCPN Homepage
 

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Hi
Do you think Opencpn has good working charts for Puget Sound?

thanks
Welcome to the message board.

OpenCPN does not have charts. It is a great program for displaying charts, with real-time display of GPS, AIS, and instrument data if you have those things connected.

But you have to supply the charts yourself. If they are good, then OpenCPN has good charts. If they are lousy, then OpenCPN has lousy charts. If you are in the US and you download the charts from NOAA's website, then they are both good and free. ;)
 

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Americans a lucky that their charts are free... I understand the reason and see the philosophical reasoning, but figure you are still lucky... but wondering about American chart coverage in the Great Lakes. I'm on the West Coast, but on Lake Superior or any Great Lake shared by both countries, do the large scale charts stop right at the border?
 

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Americans a lucky that their charts are free... I understand the reason and see the philosophical reasoning, but figure you are still lucky... but wondering about American chart coverage in the Great Lakes. I'm on the West Coast, but on Lake Superior or any Great Lake shared by both countries, do the large scale charts stop right at the border?
Why not look for yourself?

Interactive Catalog
 

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Why not look for yourself?

Interactive Catalog
Thought you might save me the slight trouble of downloading. I will if no one pipes in. I do notice on the West Coast that different US charts, when flying over the border, seem to fade to smaller scale at different points and at different degrees of small-scale-ness if you get what I mean.
 

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Thought you might save me the slight trouble of downloading. I will if no one pipes in. I do notice on the West Coast that different US charts, when flying over the border, seem to fade to smaller scale at different points and at different degrees of small-scale-ness if you get what I mean.
Is this too much trouble?
  1. Go to the page I linked
  2. Zoom in on the area
  3. Click the chart area
  4. It shows the scale
  5. No downloading required
 

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Hadn't played with that before. And didn't realize the service the link involved. Interesting toy. Thanks
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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652 Posts
Ok, finally figured out where i saw this. Check the OpenCPN facebook page. On Monday they posted "New Chart Downloader and Updater plugin released". That's why you're not seeing the option in the base software. It's a plugin. The plugin "lets you download, install and keep up to date the navigational charts provided by various free governmental sources..."

PlugIns | Official OpenCPN Homepage
I love the OpenCPN chart downloader but a caution - in its current implementation you can do nothing else on your computer while it runs. It keeps putting up pop-up boxes that prevent you from doing anything else. Also, you may very well get a "not responding" message while using it. Just wait, it will catch up.

Fair winds and following seas :)
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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Also ask around to see if you can get a copy of the CM93 charts - these are old charts (note the 93) but they cover the entire world. You don't have to worry about updates, there are none. But they make a nice background when you care to explore other places. Also, once you go into the automatic chart downloader you will be offered New Zealand charts. Not only do they cover New Zealand but a lot of the western Pacific. Another great resource for daydreaming.

Finally, two more plugins -
1) ge2Kap lets you layer a Google Earth photo on top of your charts (this also works where OpenCPN just displays a lot of brown "dirt.") This lets you see details of an area where either you don't have charts or you want to get a better visual idea of what you will see as you come in.
2) sQuiidd.io lets you download crowd sourced data about marinas, fuel docks, etc. Yes there are other services such as Active Captain but sQuiidd.io is integrated into OpenCPN. If you and your friends all join it will keep track of all of you (it sends logs of your boat's location in OpenCPN.) It also tracks you via AIS (although the coverage is spotty as are all shore based AIS tracking systems.) If you have a Spot it will also update your location from that data. (For deLoreme InReach users they are working on that interface as we speak.) Their focus seems to be more on integration of existing data than building an "everything for everybody" site from scratch.

Fair winds and following seas :)
 

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Also ask around to see if you can get a copy of the CM93 charts - these are old charts (note the 93) but they cover the entire world. You don't have to worry about updates, there are none. But they make a nice background when you care to explore other places. Also, once you go into the automatic chart downloader you will be offered New Zealand charts. Not only do they cover New Zealand but a lot of the western Pacific. Another great resource for daydreaming.

Finally, two more plugins -
1) ge2Kap lets you layer a Google Earth photo on top of your charts (this also works where OpenCPN just displays a lot of brown "dirt.") This lets you see details of an area where either you don't have charts or you want to get a better visual idea of what you will see as you come in.
2) sQuiidd.io lets you download crowd sourced data about marinas, fuel docks, etc. Yes there are other services such as Active Captain but sQuiidd.io is integrated into OpenCPN. If you and your friends all join it will keep track of all of you (it sends logs of your boat's location in OpenCPN.) It also tracks you via AIS (although the coverage is spotty as are all shore based AIS tracking systems.) If you have a Spot it will also update your location from that data. (For deLoreme InReach users they are working on that interface as we speak.) Their focus seems to be more on integration of existing data than building an "everything for everybody" site from scratch.

Fair winds and following seas :)
The 93 in CM93v2 does not mean the charts are from 1993. The latest CM93v2 charts are from July of 2012. This was the last time these charts were updated before they were switched to V3 which is encrypted.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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The 93 in CM93v2 does not mean the charts are from 1993. The latest CM93v2 charts are from July of 2012. This was the last time these charts were updated before they were switched to V3 which is encrypted.
Actually the biggest problem with the CM93v2 charts is that they are based on old data. This is very apparent when you get off the beaten track. Some charts have last survey dates of 1899! That is why I like ge2Kap so much. When you georeferenced the Google Earth satellite photo to the chart you sometimes find that the chart is way off. I was doing a passage in the Caribbean where both OpenCPN and my Garmin multifunction display had me going across land. I was, at the time, working my way up the center of a channel. LOL

Fair winds and following seas :)
 
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