New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world which makes their nautical charts available for free.
Others include the USA, Brazil, and Argentina. Here’s a good listing of the worldwide nautical publishing agencies. And the USA is the only country which has placed in the public domain the tide and current
harmonics needed by DeepZoom to create animated current displays.
Instead, each country has a semi-functional website where you can license charts and download them in a bewildering array of formats.
Or you end up just paying your charting application to handle the licensing on your behalf.
Since this is a low budget operation, I can’t justify the rather exorbitant licensing cost for charts from each national government publishing entity.
If DeepZoom ever grows up to play in the big leagues, it will need to face this issue.
I started the original incarnation of DeepZoom sometime around 2008, mainly to learn web technologies and because I couldn’t find a good web visualization of tides and currents.
While sailing and kayaking in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, I would sometimes find myself making little or no progress against a substantial tidal flow, so it’s been easy to become obsessed by the topic of tides and currents. Plus, I spent formative years of my youth with the wharf rats under the industrial docks in Everett, Washington, where tides were the main event.
The original version of DeepZoom was built with Silverlight, and then a version followed for Windows Phone. The Windows Phone version was actually kind of nice, responsive, and presenting a reasonably easy environment for me, the developer. But overall - What a fiasco!, having both technology platforms fail so spectacularly. Thanks, Microsoft!
Eventually I rebuilt everything using web technologies like Bootstrap and D3. It worked well enough and then I got distracted imaging neurons at the Allen Institute for Brain Science for a few years.
Being largely homebound for the duration of Covid-19 provided an opportunity to rework DeepZoom yet again, this time switching to Quasar/Vue as the primary client framework. And then came unbridled feature creep: trips, routes, markers, tracks, pilot charts, wikipedia, and the ability to share trip plans with others.
I’m much indebted to Morgan Conrad for help with wind data wrangling and Chris Mulverhill for Coast Pilot processing.
Where to next?
I’m often at a loss to figure out what features to prioritize next.
I’m just trying to include all of the tools I like to use when planning a voyage of a day, week, or months. If you have any suggestions,
I’d love to hear from you on the discussion forum.