Forum
CE & Active Captain
by Caribdis on 30-Mar-2018


I searched and didn't find this subject mentioned here; apology in advance if it has been.

Recently came across this article: https://www.panbo.com/activecaptain-data-delivery-changing-but-free-access-assured/

It appears Garmin is going to continue with AC, but as of late May 2018 due to Euro privacy requirements, in a different form that will require third party apps to rewrite code in order to run this 'new' Garmin AC app.

Will CE do this?

Support for Active Captain
30-Mar-2018 jeff

Rose Point is a company of boaters; we appreciate the affinity our customers have for this feature. We hope for continued support and are engaged in a process with the new owners. We will announce our intentions when we have concluded our assessment of the pending changes.

We Love Rose Point Coastal Explorer combined with Active Captain!!!!
03-May-2018 editwiz

We Love Rose Point Coastal Explorer combined with Active Captain. Rose Point has been a progressive and innovative company. You have invested and worked closely with Companies like Digital Yacht and continue to expand the capabilities of CE.

Understanding the risks associated with the potential separation of both products, I'm surprised that more users have not weighed in on there positive experiences as it relates to the integration of AC and CE and how these two products work together overlaying AC directly on CE charts.

This two very powerful products provide extensive safety due to the contributions individuals make to "aids to navigation". I grew up on both platforms and cannot live without the combination of the two.

Thanks Rose Point for working closely with the new owners of AC!!!!!!!!

ActiveCaptain going forward
19-May-2018 miltbaker47

Just a reminder to CE users that, if I understand it correctly, after May 23, 2018 Garmin will no longer support ActiveCaptain as currently integrated in Coastal Explorer. That means that for CE users, it's a good idea to do a synchronization within the next few days to be sure the latest info from ActiveCaptain is in CE on your computer(s).

Word on the waterfront a month or so ago was that Garmin would soon be releasing an SDK (software developer's kit) to Rose Point, and other companies whose navigation software has ActiveCaptain integrated, so the companies could begin the process (if they choose to) of integrating the "new" ActiveCaptain into their code.

So, the big question: has the SDK been received and studied by Rose Point and, if so:

1. Has a decision been made at this point whether or not Coastal Explorer will integrate the new ActiveCaptain in CE going forward?

2. And, if so, what's the estimated time frame for release of (perhaps a Beta) incorporating with ActiveCaptain?

I'm sure I'm not the only one waiting on pins and needles for an answer!

Many thanks,

Milt Baker

21-May-2018 Rose Point Staff Member brad

We have finished updating Coastal Explorer to use the new ActiveCaptain. However we still have not received approval from Garmin on our implementation, nor have we accepted the terms of their usage agreement. We might need to get our lawyers involved in negotiating the agreement and we have no control over when Garmin might provide approval, so I'm afraid we have no idea when (or really even if) we will be able to continue to support ActiveCaptain.

ActiveCaptain implementation problems
21-May-2018 rcassano

Brad, I see you are not alone with getting the new Garmin ActiveCaptain implemented. The App "Sea IQ" for the iPad has, for now, abandon AC in favor of Waterway Guide. From what I've heard Waterway Guide's crowdsourced data is professionally checked and edited unlike ActiveCaptain. Believe me, I like AC, but to be honest there are a lot of contributions from AC members that are just old information or incorrect which makes the data hard to rely on. Have you considered an alternative like Waterway Guide? Once attorney's get involved it could take years to sort out - I'm too old for that:)

22-May-2018 Rose Point Staff Member brad

A lot can happen in a day...

After a few tweaks, we have accepted Garmin's API usage agreement and they have approved our implementation.

So far all testing has been done on a "staging" server and we now have the keys to the "production" server. However, right after we got the keys, Garmin shut the production server down so it can be rebuilt for their big launch tomorrow. Theoretically it will work the same as the staging server, but it uses different addresses and keys so we need to make sure those are correct. The plan is for the production server to come online tomorrow morning and we will immediately begin testing with it.

As long we don't run into any big problems, I expect we will be able to make an update available here sometime tomorrow.

Good work
22-May-2018 ppharman

Brad kudos to you and the gang at CE, thank you for a job well done. I know there are some details to complete.

Patrick Harman

One more thing!
23-May-2018 rcassano

Gee, while you're at it and since Garmin is being so gracious, any chance they will throw in the "Keys" to allow purchase of Navionics charts on CE? .... I guess not. Just thought I would ask.

Coastal Explorer Update Preview
23-May-2018 Rose Point Staff Member brad

Here's a "preview" update that works with the new ActiveCaptain: UpdateCE4-18142-1827.exe

Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. The new ActiveCaptain uses a completely new database that will need to be downloaded before any points of interest will appear. As long as you are online, everything should be automatic (unless you've disabled automatic sync's, in which case you'll need to start one on the Settings page). This download is about 34 MB.

2. We identified a problem with some character conversions in the ActiveCaptain data. The effect of this problem is that some characters, most notably degree signs, quotes, apostrophes, and dashes, will appear garbled (either completely, or just along with an extra strange character). This is a problem in the new master database and appears in about 3,000 points of interest and reviews. We have informed Garmin and they are working on a solution. When the problem is fixed, a very large update will be needed to get back in sync. This large update will need a stable internet connection to complete.

3. To submit reviews, you will need to create a new Garmin ActiveCaptain account, but you can "merge" in your old ActiveCaptain account. More details on Garmin's site: Will I be able to keep my existing ActiveCaptain community account after the transition?

4. The new ActiveCaptain does not support routes. If you have saved any routes and would like to retrieve them, Garmin has a page for that: How do I download my routes from the ActiveCaptain Community? (this page appears to be broken right now; hopefully it will come back soon)

Signing into the new AC in CE4-18142-1827.exe
23-May-2018 rcassano

This is a minor point, but in CE4-18142-1827 when I go to, Settings/Accounts and sign into ActiveCaptain using my Garmin User name and Password all works well, however, in the ActiveCaptain box the blue "Sign in" link never changes to indicate that the sign in was successful. The only way to know is to open the chart and click on Places.

Shouldn't there be some indication of a successful sign in?

23-May-2018 Rose Point Staff Member brad

Yes, that would be nice. But with the new API there isn’t currently a way for Coastal Explorer to know who, if anyone, is signed in. However, signing in is only required for posting reviews and if we try to post a review when you are not signed in, we get a specific error code back which will cause Coastal Explorer to prompt you to sign in (and then the review will be posted),

CE4-18142-1827 working in Surf City, NJ
24-May-2018 Ben Ellison

Thanks, Brad! I was surprised due to the error message, but I can now see new AC data on CE, specifically an edit and review on the Surf City anchorage that I put into the new AC Community site last night. CE also let me comment on the nearby Boat Ramp, but that comment seems to have vanished. But, then again, even Garmin's own AC app does not seem to be updating right this morning, so you may be the first.

CE User Observation

Brad,

As always, thanks for all you do! AC working after update.

When I go to update "USER NAME" field in CE under Accounts Settings "Not Set",a browser opens to my User Account. The account will say that a User and email exists and will not update the "USER NAME" in AC accounts. I know my AC account is working because I just posted a comment in AC. Now there may be no relationship between the USER for AC and CE.

You and your Team are the best!

24-May-2018 Rose Point Staff Member brad

The top box on the Accounts page is for for your Rose Point account which is primarily for the blog feature in Coastal Explorer and this forum. (Since your username is "Not Set" in Coastal Explorer and yet you are "SEA DWELLER NAVIGATION" here on the forum, you have two accounts. They can be merged if you want. More info in this topic.)

The box below that is for ActiveCaptain. For the most part, you don't really need to use the Accounts page to sign in to ActiveCaptain as any attempts to post reviews when you are not signed in will show a message about needing to sign in and a button to let you do it.

24-May-2018 Rose Point Staff Member brad

Ben, I see a review from you on one of the Surf City points now. I think all of the reviews go through a review process before going live, so maybe that's what happened...

What was the error message that surprised you?

Kudos to Brad and the Rose Point team
25-May-2018 miltbaker47

I'm with Patrick: kudos to Brad and the Rose Point team for making the decision to continue to support ActiveCaptain. I'm just one of the tens of thousands of mariners who've contributed to AC over the years, and I personally find ActiveCaptain one terrific addition to my navigation suite.

That said, having suffered through more than a handful of beta tests in my professional life, I'm wondering whether non-techheads like me (who tend not to be early adopters) might be well served to let things settle for a month or two or three with the new ActiveCaptain before trying to get up and running with the new Coastal Explorer/ActiveCaptain integration.

Brad, do you have any thoughts or recommendations on that? The choice seems to be live with what we have for a few months before moving ahead with sync or suffer through some ups and downs while it all comes together. Your counsel would be most welcome!

Many thanks,

Milt Baker

25-May-2018 Rose Point Staff Member brad

The old ActiveCaptain service has been shut down, so the choice isn't really between living with what you have now and "suffering through a beta"; the choice is between using ActiveCaptain and not using ActiveCaptain.

I don't think Garmin thinks of what they have now as a "beta" either. It has had some issues, and will probably continue to have some, just like any new software or service (I just heard they don't plan to fix the character conversion problem for a "few weeks".) But really it's not that complex, so these problems will probably get ironed out fairly quickly and most will probably be minor.

As far as Coastal Explorer goes, I expect we will release an official (automatic) update on Monday. (It's ready now, but we don't make releases on Fridays...)

25-May-2018 miltbaker47

Thank you, Brad. Glad to hear it's not so complex! Still, I was thinking that with my latest sync three days ago there's ActiveCaptain data in CE on my laptops so I can continue to use that and move to the new CE release later. That makes sense to me and I can always manually check for late ActiveCaptain updates if needed. Seems to make sense for a late adopter like me.

Milt Baker

28-May-2018 SauvyB

Can I assume you will not be modifying CE version 3 to use the new AC database? I didn't like the version 4 options so never updated. Thanks for keeping AC as an added option!

29-May-2018 Rose Point Staff Member brad

You are correct, Coastal Explorer 3.1 will not be getting updated for the new ActiveCaptain. Because of the way Garmin shut down the old ActiveCaptain service, you will still be able to use any ActiveCaptain data you already have as long as the PC does not go online while Coastal Explorer is running. However, the data will never be updated and you cannot post reviews.

Garmin’s new ActiveCaptain Community site
29-May-2018 miltbaker47

Ben Ellison has an update on Panbo focused on what's what's good and what's not on Garmin's new ActiveCaptain Community site. Ben tells it like it is, and, if you use ActiveCaptain and plan to continue, it's worthy reading:

https://www.panbo.com/garmins-new-activecaptain-community-site-whats-good-and-whats-not/

Milt Baker