Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finally - Free International Charts


From the SSCA Web Forums. The original post is http://forum.ssca.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=12581d. This is great news - a start in the right direction.  I am going to do some more research and get back to you later.
Recently NGA has release a lot of charts worldwide through this site:http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/OnLineViewer.html
These charts are the old DMA charts, quite a few are updated though.
The website displays these charts through a software called "Zoomify", and each chart is made up of thousands of small picture tiles.
The pictures behind the website can however be De-Zoomified, and converted to a full chart picture, through freely available scripts.
We are a few members of the OpenCPN community, who has started a project to do just that, and save the full pictures for later conversion to BSB/kap electronic chart files. Compare to what happened to NZ LINZ chart picture files.
Read more about the project here:http://opencpn.info/en/ and here
https://github.com/ngacharts/ngacharts/wiki
A few preliminary test charts are available for download here:
http://opencpn.xtr.cz/ngacharts/test_kaps/

This is a very big project, and even though we are trying to automate as much as possible, a lot of human interpretation of the pictures are needed.
Any interested users of this board are welcome to help us. The first task is to download the pictures in form of thousands of tiles and stitch them together, with the help of a script. The so prepared pictures is then uploaded to a central server with ftp. All you need is a computer and a good INTERNET connection. Help is available to get started.

Thomas





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