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Accueil du site > OpenCPN > High-Tech’Plugins > « MarinePoi » : WP versus POI « Place Of Interest »

Rubrique : High-Tech’Plugins


« MarinePoi » : WP versus POI « Place Of Interest »Version imprimable de cet article Version imprimable

Publié Décembre 2011, (màj Janvier 2012) par : Pil-Poil   

Copyright : Les articles sont la propriété de leurs auteurs et ne peuvent pas être reproduits en partie ou totalité sans leur accord
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Mots-clés secondaires: cartographie

(La version française est ici)

Which use ?

Road maps software’s use « POIs » (places of interest) which are a convenient way to visualize the main features of a particular place : hotels, banks, car parks, shops, etc ... Such features can be attached to marine waypoints, giving information about mooring, harbours, etc ...

Some marine chart software, like OpenCPN, are able to display hypertext links attached to a waypoint. These links may be used to attach to every desirable waypoint many usefull informations. « Gpx » is one of the commonly used language describing waypoints, and MarinePoi is an easy tool to add hypertext links to waypoints in the « gpx » format.

Summary :

  • « MarinePoi » creates a library of « POIs » of harbours, anchorage places, or any type of place of cruising interest. The « POIs » are stored in « gpx » files which is a file exchange format for GPS and navigation software.
  • « POIs » may be visualized by MarinePoi for those using a navigation software which is not able to display hypertext links embedded in waypoints.
  • « POIs » may be visualized by some marine charts software reading the « gpx » format, like OpenCPN
  • « MarinePois » can import « gpx » files exported from other softwares like OpenCPN.
  • Caution : if the « gpx » file exported from a navigation software contains both WP and routes, then MarinePoi retains only the WP to turn them into Pois. The routes will be removed in the resulting « gpx » file. The basic function of « MarinePoi » is to create « gpx » files of Pois only.
  • « POIs » files created by MarinePoi may be shared with your friends, and we intend to open a « gpx » file sharing space in « »

Installing MarinePoi

Download :

  • MarinePoi v1.2j (19-1-2012) : MarinePoi
    • Uninstall a previous version if necessary
    • Unzip and run « setup.exe »
    • The software was tested with Windows XP, Vista and W7. During the installation process, a « warning » may be displayed if your PC contains more recent libraries than the compiled version of MarinePoi. Go ahead.
  • Google Earth V6.1 : Google Earth and run « setup.exe »
  • Demo file : Porquerolles
    • Unzip « » in an empty folder. The folder contains « Porquerolles.gpx » and other text and image files describing this place.

Each « gpx » file created by MarinePOI may contain 100 Pois and should be dedicated to one particular geographical area. The number of POIs for an area was limited to 100 to avoid the need of a search engine. These « gpx » files can be visualized by MarinePoi as well as imported like waypoints by OpenCPN displaying the hyperlinks embedded in the POI-waypoints.

During the creation process with MarinePoi, and internet connexion is recommended to collect the longitude, latitude, and all useful hypertext links describing the POI.

MarinePoi window (Courtade anchorage)
OpenCPN window (Courtade anchorage)

Using MarinePoi :

  • Regional options in Windows for numbers must be set as 123 456.789 etc … Otherwise (if set as 123 456,789) coordinates are not properly obtained from Google Earth
  • Translate MarinePoi into your language by editing the file « langueSELF.txt ».
  • Foreign characters (extended Ascii codes) like “é, è, à, ù, ñ, etc …” should be avoided in files names, folder names or path names. Although MarinePoi manages these characters properly, OpenCPN under certain circumstances does not .
  • A backup « gpx » file in the « tmp » folder is created each time a « gpx » file is opened by MarinePoi
  • OpenCPN V2.5.x manages web links in an unusual way. MarinePoi was adapted to this feature of OpenCPN. However MarinePoi can display POIs by itself and does not require the use of OpenCPN.
  • At startup of MarinePoi, wait for Google Earth has finished loading
  • Create or open an existing « gpx » file of POIs
    • Create an empty folder to store the new “gpx” file and all documents (pictures, text files, Pdf, etc ..) describing the POI’s stored in the “gpx” file. Use a folder name identifying the geographical area concerned with the POI’s described in the “gpx” file, like the demo-file « Porquerolles » which is a small island.
    • “1” opens an existing “gpx” file or let’s you create a next file
    • “2” lists the POI’s of the “gpx” file. Use the “Porquerolles.gpx” file for example
    • Selecting a POI in “2” shows its position and name in “3” and “4” and its location on the Google Earth satellite image

  • Add, remove POI’s in the “gpx” file :
    • Coordinates of a new POI or to modify a POI are obtained by « 3b » picking up the coordinates of the centre of the Google Earth image.
    • Modify a POI selected in « 2 » using « 5 modify » , « 3 » and « 4 », validate with « 7 »
    • Create a POI selected with « 5 create », « 3 » and « 4 », validate with « 7 »
    • Suppress a POI selected in « 2 » using « 5 suppress », validate with « 7 »
  • Add or link useful information to a POI :
    Information are linked to a POI by means of hypertext links to files in your PC or to web pages. Any type of file can be used, Word, Pdf, HTML, text file, etc… Up to 6 links are supported by OpenCPN, but more than that may be added to a POI.
    • Store all files linked to all POI’s in a « gpx » file in the same folder as the « gpx » file
    • A special text file “the-poi-name.txt” may be created using “6” and validate with “save” before closing the text window.
    • A link to internet may be added with “8” and “9” then validate with “12”
    • A link to a file in your PC may be added with “10” and “11” then validate with “12”. The file must be in the same folder as the “gpx” file.
  • Display or delete information linked to a POI :
    A POI and the related links may be displayed without using OpenCPN.
    • A link selected in “13” may be displayed or suppressed using “14” or “15”
  • Other items of the main menu :
    • “Save” stores every modified parameter during the session
    • “Quit” exits the software

Some tips for daily use

  • Open a folder (no accented character in the path) for each « gpx » file with a name recalling the area of the POIs. This folder will contain only one « gpx » file containing all POIs for the area. In the test file, the folder is called « Porquerolles.Poi »
  • All files (images, text, PDF, etc) that you want to attach to all POIs in one « gpx » file must be in the same directory as the « gpx » file containing the POIs. This allows sharing the folder with friends who can use the POI with the same software seamlessly.
  • Save the Google Earth image of each POI, and link it to the POI to be able to display the image even without an internet connection on board. The copy of the Google Earth image is obtained with Ctrl-Alt-C "or the menu of Google Earth.
  • Google Earth is useful for various things. If the Google cache memory is set to a large value in your PC, you can view offline places that you visited previously.

Desirable improvements :

  • All improvements you may suggest after testing MarinePoi.
  • Your comments are welcome in English.
    • Click on « Répondre à cet article » (Comment this paper)
    • Or click on « Répondre à ce message » (Reply to this message)

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