Vector Charts for OpenCPN

Today, Hydrographical Offices all over the world are producing their official vector charts in S-57 format. NOAA provides free vector charts for the US in plain S-57 format but in most countries they are licensed under not free encrypted formats derived from S-57 like S-63 or oeSENC.

oeSENC Charts

OpenCPN Encrypted System Electronical Nautical Charts (oeSENC) are the most economical quality vector charts available. We receive S-57 data directly from Hydrographical Offices, encrypt them in the oeSENC format and deliver chart sets for their individual use in OpenCPN. If your navigation zone is available this should be your first choice.

S-63 UserPermits

S-63 charts are official vector charts with worldwide coverage. However, many popular cruising areas are very poorly covered as the main focus are the requirements of commercial shipping. They have a relatively high price as well. We sell S-63 UserPermits, a key that entitles the OpenCPN user to license S-63 charts from a distributor. O-charts.org has entered into agreements with S-63 Valued Added Resellers (VAR) like ChartWorld that are offering direct distribution channels.

1. Install OpenCPN 1.0.13, or above, for Android 4.4, or above, from the Play Store.

2. Install oeSENC plugin for OpenCPN from the Play Store to be sure your device is compatible.

3. Go to o-charts shop and license the chart sets you are interested in.

4. Back to OpenCPN, Options → Charts → oeSENC charts → Add/update oeSENC chart sets and login with your o-charts access data.

5. Follow on screen instructions to assign and download on your device the charts sets you licensed on the o-charts shop.

oeSENC

Before licensing, please read the Frequently Asked Questions at the end of this document.

1. System is the computer you will use for OpenCPN. The chart set will be created for this system and can only be used on it. Download and install the oeSENC plugin (only for OpenCPN 4.6 version and above).

2. Go to OpenCPN, Options → Plugins → oeSENC and enable it. Create a System Identifier file (Fingerprint) for your system pressing the Preferences button. More info.

oeSENC

3. Go to o-charts shop and license the chart sets you are interested in.

oeSENC

4. Go to My oeSENC Charts page and create a System identifier there uploading the Fingerprint file and give it a System name.

oeSENC

5. Select a System Identifier for each chart set you have licensed. Once assigned, it can not be changed. If your computer gets damaged, you are allowed to select a second System Identifier for each chart set as a backup. In that case, create a new System Identifier for the new computer.

oeSENC

6. Make a Request clicking the button that will appear on the column Last requested and the chart set will be processed. Processing time depends on the chart set size, the queue on the server and the network charge at that moment but will be never more than 2 hours.

oeSENC

7. You will get an email with a link to download your chart set. You can download it from My oeSENC Charts page too. The UserKey is added to your chart set and automatically detected by OpenCPN. You can see when an update for that chart set has been published on the column Last update. You should visit this page from time to time to see if a new update is available.

oeSENC

8. Install your charts on your OpenCPN system as usual and you are done!. If you have not downloaded your chart set in a week, you will have to make a new Request. After a year from purchase you will not be able to make a Request again for that chart set.

oeSENC

Frequently Asked Questions

What OS is oeSENC plugin ready for?

oeSENC charts will work on Windows, Mac, Android and Linux systems (included ARM boards).

And if I install the software in a Virtual Machine?

It will not run there. We have to prevent the system from being cloned.

Can I use oeSENC charts on iOS?

No. There is no version of OpenCPN for iOS.

What happens if I update my Operating System?

You should not have problems with normal security updates, but version upgrades are unpredictable and could make your charts unusable.

What happens if my charts become unusable or my computer dies?

You are allowed to set a second system for each chart set as a backup in case your computer gets damaged.

As how many systems counts a dual boot system?

Each HW/SW combination is an individual one.

What happens if I update OpenCPN?

Nothing. Your oeSENC charts will work as expected.

What happens when my licence expires after a year from purchase?

Your chart will not disappear but you have to buy it again if you want to update.

Can I use oeSENC charts on a different software than OpenCPN?

No, oeSENC charts will work only on OpenCPN.

S-63

Before licensing, please read the Frequently Asked Questions at the end of this document.

1. System is the computer you will use for OpenCPN. The chart set you license from a VAR for this system can only be used on it. Download and install the S-63 plugin (only for OpenCPN 4.2 version and above).

2. Go to OpenCPN, Options → Plugins → S63 and enable it. Then, go to OpenCPN, Options → Charts → S63 Charts → Keys/Permits tab and create a System identifier file (Fingerprint) for your system pressing the Create System Identifier file button. More info.

S-63

3. Go to o-charts shop and buy an UserPermit.

S-63

4. Go to My S-63 UserPermits page and create an InstallPermit there uploading the Fingerprint file and selecting the UserPermit.

S-63
S-63

5. Go to the VAR shop and buy as many S-63 chart sets as you want providing the UserPermit number.

6. Download and uncompress your S-63 chart sets files.

7. Go to OpenCPN, Options → Charts → S63 Charts → Keys/Permits tab. Enter your UserPermit and test it pressing the New UserPermit button. Enter your InstallPermit and test it pressing the New InstallPermit button. More info.

S-63

8. Go to OpenCPN, Options → Charts → S63 Charts → Chart Cells tab. Install Cell Permits by using the button Import Cell Permits to find the file PERMIT.TXT inside your S-63 chart sets. Import your S-63 chart sets by pressing Import Charts/Updates and finding the folder ENC_ROOT. More info.

S-63

9. OpenCPN will create the necessary eSENC files and your are done!.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why S-63 charts?

They are the official and generally the most up-to-date chart material available. Vector charts for chart plotters used for the leisure market are at best derivatives (some will have some added features).

Why do I have to pay for the UserPermit?

We have to run this operation and respond to the IHO on a permanent base. The structure and costs are kept to a minimum. In case we have a great success economical speaking, funds will go back to OpenCPN.

On how many systems can I use my charts?

The standard states one machine but in practice up to 5 installs are tolerated.

As how many systems counts a dual boot system?

Each HW/SW combination is an individual one and requires its own InstallPermit.

And if I install the software in a Virtual Machine?

It will not run there. We have to prevent the system from being cloned.

I had to re-install my OS. Now the InstallPermit is not valid any longer.

Please generate a new InstallPermit.

My PC died. Can I recover the charts?

Yes, and this case will “cost” you an InstallPermit for your new machine as well.

Can I have my InstallPermit and the charts on a USB stick and carry them between different systems?

This would be a hardware dongle solution. We feel that it is not viable for us to send USB sticks or DVDs all over the world. That's why we opted for a soft dongle. So, the answer today is - no.

What does S-63 charts cost (and why are they sometimes so expensive)?

The retail price is fixed by the individual HOs. Their customers are from the shipping industry or official bodies like governments, not the leisure market. This is a recognized issue and the reason why there are very few users of S-63 charts from this group, for now. We will need a lot of lobbying to get better solutions and better prices. Help or support from those who have the right contacts would be appreciated.

Can I use the UserPermit to buy charts for other chart software than OpenCPN?

No, the UserPermit is only valid for one kind of system – OpenCPN in our case.

My temporary license will time out. What will happen?

The chart will not disappear, but there will be a warning displayed.

OpenCPN is open source. Where is the code for the plug-in?

To work with S-63 we have to ensure that no copies of the unencrypted cells are accessible during the execution of the software. Therefore, the plug-in has an open-source part and a binary. Similar to the commercial BSB4 or nv-chart plug-ins.