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.