Monday 16 July 2018

Using interactive Cruising Guides OpenCPN

 Getting an interactive Cruising Guide working using the embed links in OpenCPN waypoint descriptions. The embedded link can open the cruising guide to the correct page for an explanation of what your seeing.

For this demo I will use the Sail Malaysia Cruising guide. The Sail Malaysia Pilot is available for download from here and is used in conjunction with the associated GPX file, available for down load from Terry Sargent. Here is the Link  to Terrys Topics, use this download to obtain the latest information.   Keep in mind that this cruising guide is used in association with the waypoints and satellite charts downloaded from Terry. 

You can set up different or even your own cruising guides to open at the correct page, you will however need to follow the naming conventions as set out here, for example the link to the PDF file must be the same name as the file it is linking too.  

Help for setting up your Windows PC to use the GPX Layers is here.

Before starting make sure OpenCPN is not running, restart your PC if you want to be sure.

 Download the Sail Malaysia Pilot from the web site link above. The default location for Windows downloads is usually the folder called Downloads.

In this instance the file name will need to be changed to reflect the name embedded in the OpenCPN waypoint links, the - (dashes) will need to be removed.  More on testing for the correct file name further on. 

Once the file name has been changed copy it to C:\ 
As can be seen here the cruising guide has been copied to C:\ root folder.

Now is the time to start OpenCPN, make sure your copy is the latest version.

To use the interactive function of the Cruising Guide. Double click on the waypoint of interest. The information box will appear. The links part of the window should be displayed, however this will depend on the size of your information page. Scroll down to links and click on the Sail Malaysia Cruising Guide link.

Your default web browser will open and load the Sail Malaysia Pilot at the page corresponding to the point of interest.  Depending on the guide some will only open to the relevant chapter.

 As seen here the internet browser is open and displaying the Sail Malaysia Pilot at the page corrosponding the the area of interest.

If for some reason this didn't work as planned here is a quick way to check the link is looking for the correct file.

Open the waypoint information box by double clicking the waypoint of interest.

Right click on the link and copy the URL by left clicking in the Copy URL box.

 Open a notepad document and then right click in the blank document and paste the URL text.

Check the file name in this case  Sail Malaysia Pilot March 19th 2018.pdf is spelt exactly the same as the file in your C:\   Folder. If its not the file in the C:\ will need to be renamed to reflect the link file name.

If you would like some more cruising guides head of and down load one of Terrys topics, there is a lot of info and links to Sat charts, cruising guides, waypoints, and OpenCPN tips and tricks and general downloads, if you don't get the latest guide use the info to request the latest.

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