Friday, August 14, 2020

New: One-click download of Satellite Maps for any Point of Interest


Enhance your charts with the visual cruise-planning benefits afforded by satellite images. View detailed satellite maps of marinas or anchorages.

If you have ever approached an unfamiliar marina, or anchorage, with a slight apprehension due to insufficient or outdated details on your chart, fear no longer. With the latest release of the plugin, you can now download up-to-date Google Maps satellite images directly from OpenCPN and watch them render right on your chart, perfectly overlapping your raster or vector chart.  

Google Maps download for sQuiddio Points of Interest (POI) has been available for sometime from the squiddio web site. For OpenCPN users, however, this approach required a few extra steps (locating each POI on the web site, selecting the zoom level, copying the KAP file to the correct OpenCPN chart directory, updating the chart database).

You can now zoom in on one or more marinas, anchorage or any other type of sQuiddio POI, right click on the chart and select sQuiddio: Download Satellite Images for POIs from the contextual menu. Wait for the chart database to update and there you have it!

The how-to...

If you don't have the sQuiddio plugin installed, OpenCPN version 5.2 has a easy new way of downloading plugins in a semi-automated fashion through their new Plugin Manager (if not, you can always follow the instructions on the OpenCPN page).

Once you have the plugin installed and activated, to download Google maps for a set of POIs:

  • Zoom in/out in your viewport so that only the POI(s) for which you want to download maps are shown
  • Select sQuiddio: Download Satellite Images for POIs from the contextual menu. A separate map is downloaded for each POI and for each level of zoom specified in the Download tab of the plugin settings. The plugin follows the Google Maps zoom levels, the default values being 17 ( ideal for, e.g., seeing the layout of a marina ) and 15, useful when planning an approach to an anchorage or marina. You will be provided an estimate of the size of the compressed file to be downloaded, and asked to confirm the download.
The Chart Database will be automatically updated when the download is complete and the Google Maps will appear on your chart (Note: if you have created a Chart Group for your Google Maps, you may have to close out and relaunch OpenCPN in order for the maps to show)

To change the zoom levels of the Google Maps to be downloaded, as well as the directory where you want your maps saved (maps are saved as raster files in the KAP format), click on the sQuiddio plugin icon in the toolbar and go to the Download tab

You can also choose to download a Map to cover the entire viewport, in addition to the individual POI-specific maps. See the option Include Viewport Map in the Downloads tab