FYI: Voyage Plan Documents and Collections

Coastal Explorer has always stored your navigation objects in “Navigation Object Files” (aka “Voyage Plan Documents“) and used the standard File New, Open, Save, and Save As commands along with the Windows File Explorer to manage those files. That was fine when using Coastal Explorer on a single system, and made it possible to plan a voyage on one system and then send the file to another to navigate with, but we think it would be better to always have all of your routes, tracks, and other marks on all of your devices all the time without needing to copy them around yourself. Continuing to use the old files wasn’t going to allow that, so we came up with a new way to store things.

In Coastal Explorer on the iPad and iPhone, the old files have been replaced with something we are calling a “Collection” (at least for now; we might come up with a better name later). A collection contains a set of navigation objects, just like the files did before. However, these collections are not actually separate files that can be manipulated with something like the File Explorer, but are part of a larger database that holds all of your collections and that facilitates the new synchronization features. All of the collection features will also be available in Coastal Explorer on Windows soon.

Like with Voyage Plan Documents, Coastal Explorer will have a “currently open collection” which is what is shown on the chart and is where newly created navigation objects will be stored. By default, Coastal Explorer will create a collection called “My Routes” but you can rename that and create other collections in order to organize your objects however you want.

We have also added the ability to easily move objects to a different collection. With collections, you can select an object and use the “Move to another collection” command and pick the destination. To do the same sort of thing with the older files, you would need to use the Cut command, open the destination file, and then use the Paste command.

The commands to open and create collections are all on the “Voyage Plan > Files” page for now since that’s where the similar file-based commands are in Coastal Explorer on Windows. As we add the new collections feature to Coastal Explorer on Windows (which will continue to also support the older files), this wording will be changed to better reflect the fact that these are not files.

Since most people will already have objects that are stored in the old-style files, the new system has a way to “import” those files into a new collection. This is done with the “Voyage Plan > Files > Import Voyage Plan Document or GPX File” command which will create a new collection containing all of the objects found in the imported file. It is important to remember that the import is “one way” in that a copy is made of each of the objects and changes to the new copy will not be reflected in the original file.

Be sure to install the latest update (1.0.0 build 34 as of today) in order to get the ability to create new collections, edit collections, and move objects to different collections. All of these functions are now available and should work, though we will continue to make improvements during the beta test.


How do I update or install the newest version

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Thanks for the info Brad. I have noticed in the past using CE for windows that on a long voyage, for example the job we did up in Alaska last summer, that after having input several thousand waypoints and dozens of routes that CE would start to bog down. Will there be a similar problem with the new “file” system? Does it index the navigational objects differently so as to not slow the program down?

@billeilers When I opened up testflight the option to upgrade was there.

It’s all new code, so there will be a new set of problems. :wink: Of course, it’s entirely possible that some will smell just like the old ones.

Seriously though, we hope the new collections features will make it easier for people to organize their objects in a way that works for them as well as their system, and we have done work that we hope will allow collections to be very large before causing performance problems. However, the more marks/waypoints/routes that are on the screen (or nearby on the chart), the slower any system is going to get. About the only thing we could do to ensure the system doesn’t eventually get bogged down is to place limits on how many objects are allowed in a collection or that are allowed to be visible at a time.

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I like the way that the collection is synced with other devices. But how is it done? Is it via Bluetooth, sharing a common WiFi connection, a “cloud” connection (Rosepoint account server)? Most important is, does it require an internet connection, which we don’t often have on the boat away from the dock?

Sorry I forgot one more question… is there a mechanism yet to share part of a collection with another CE user?

Collection synchronization is currently only via “the cloud” so it requires an internet connection. However, we realize that won’t work for many people who want to use multiple devices while underway so the system has been designed to also be capable of supporting direct synchronization between two or more devices. I’m not sure when that functionality will be available, but I do expect that it will be.

Not yet. Sharing is part of our plan, but it will probably only happen with an entire collection rather than parts of a collection as we think that will greatly simplify the user experience of controlling what is shared.

Is there a way to combine the routes in more than one collection to one collection.

Yes…at the bottom of the property page for each route (or other object) you will find an option to move that object to a different collection. For now this can only be one one object at a time, but we will be added a way to select and multiple objects later.

Thanks. I have now fingered out how, on my iPad, to auto create a route on navionics and import it to CE on The iPad and move it around to collections. Now if I could find a way to transfer it to CE on the laptop it would be complete. Without being on line of course!

I have found that I can transfer files back and forth between the PC and my ipad (as gpx files) with the file sharing feature in itunes

I’m trying to get this to work between my laptop and iPad. Currently I store my .nob files on Dropbox - and I have that folder on all my devices. The first time I tried to access Dropbox from the iPad app I think I could browse to the folder but could not select the .nob file. Subsequent Dropbox accesses just get a spinning “Loading”.

#1 - Should I be able to load a .nob file on the iPad? If so, what’s the recommended way of storing the file on the iPad. I can drag and drop other types (.jpg, .pdf) between Dropbox and Files but not .nob files.

#2 - Another reply in this thread said something about synchronizing via the “Cloud” - er, what “Cloud” app / site / access is this talking about?

  1. Yes, you should be able to do this. We can do this here in the office and other best testers are able to. We’re not sure what’s going wrong at your end. You definitely shouldn’t need to drag anything, though. If your drop-box is properly associated with your device, it should show up in Apple’s Files app. If it can show up there, it would be accessible from the CE App. Here’s some info from Apple on using the iPad OS file-system. Use the Files app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
  2. Not sure which thread you’re referring to. Could be iCloud, which relates to #1 above, or the Cloud syncing feature which we’ve recently added support for. Currently, until we update the Windows version of Coastal Explorer to support this, you can only share between iPad and iPhone apps.

I have imported routes into an earlier beta version that seem corrupted. Is there a ways to delete those (or any for that matter) routes? Thanks very much, Dan

If the route is visible on the chart screen, you can right click and delete. Or click on the route planner tab top left menu, then find the route under the routes header, then right click delete.

@RVZephyrRon: You must be thinking of Coastal Explorer on a PC; iPads and iPhones don’t have “right clicks”.

The delete command for routes and other objects is currently at the bottom of the Properties for the objects. So you can tap the object on the chart and then tap Properties in the tip that pops up, or use the browser to find the object in a list and then tap the Properties option there. Either way, you will see the page of properties for that object and the Delete option will be at the bottom.

We’ll be making this a bit easier in the future as well as making it possible to delete multiple objects at once.

Sorry, forget which forum I was on :grin:


I see no way to delete a collection under Voyage Plan/File/Collections.