TatukGIS menu


DK Developer in the U.S. Launches a CD-based Recreational Water Access Guide

May 03, 2001

Chris Conklin (www.semaps.com) moved the development of his interactive Chesapeake Boat Launch Guide from a competing GIS software product to the TatukGIS Developer Kernel in September, 2001. He released the first version of the Guide based on the DK in March, 2002. This article about the Guide recently appeared in the Chesapeake Bay Magazine.

The Searchable Ramp - New CD-ROM maps the way for those in search of boat ramps and launch sites.

By David B. Bowes, May 2002, Chesapeake Bay Magazine

Paddlers and trailer boaters are no longer up a creek without a computer, you might say. Chris Conklin of Chantilly, Virginia, a software developer - and, more important, a canoe and kayak guy who has explored the Bay extensively - has created the Chesapeake Boat Launch Guide, a CD-ROM brimming with the information that trailer-boaters and car-toppers need.

Using a computerized map, the guide identifies 500 primarily noncommercial boat ramps and launch sites in the Maryland and Virginia portions of the Bay and in most of Delaware. (Conklin says he hopes to add about 500 public ramps located at commercial marina to the CD by next year.) "What makes this [Chesapeake] application unique", according to Conklin, "is the ability to load topographic maps, navigated these maps by zooming and panning, and then query the launch sites symbols for further information."

When you move the cursor across the small- and large-scale U.S. Geological Survey maps that come with the software, symbols appear denoting ramp-only, beach-only, public, commercial and private facilities. Clicking on a symbol retrieves information about the site or ramp, including a detailed description (driving directions, phone numbers and, in some cased linked websites) as well as photos showing the terrain and ramp conditions. You can also opt to view an alphabetical listing of ramps and sites to search by name, location or type (public, commercial, private). By clicking on an item in this "data-grid", as Conklin terms it, the ramp or launch site, along with its latitude and longitude, can be located on the map viewer.

Conklin stresses that his guide is not a navigational tool. The topographic maps can be printed, but they don't contain aids to navigation. The software does, however, allow you to map out the legs of a water trip, with directions, distance and coordinates printed as text or superimposed on the maps.

Conklin, who grew up near the Gulf of Mexico and explored its shoal-draft coast as a youth, is motivated by more than profits: "I feel that public access in many places is an endangered species," he says. "We are losing the heritage of public landings to privatization because there are few defender of this public resource." He says his contribution is to "document what we have, call attention to what we could lose, and to say where we could have more."

The guide, which costs $25, is a Windows based application that can be operated from a CD-ROM drive or a hard drive. He issues quarterly updates to the disk, the first of which is free, and offers substantial discounts" on updates thereafter. Conklin is developing a new product, "Chesapeake Water: Trip, Tours, and Trails," that will include water trail information and his own scouting reports, Conklin, who runs Southeastern Maps in Chantilly Virginia, may be reached at 703-802-0455 or chris@semaps.com.

Reprinted with permission of the author.
October 19, 2001

"So, far I think I have done well with DK. I am doing things with it that CartoVCL never dreamed of. I really like the DK OnPaint features. A special note on data handling, I have tied the shapefiles records into data tables made with DBISAM, an embedded database engine. What is really nice is to query the data table via the OnPaint and have only the result appear as symbols using the OnPaint feature. There is no install, as long as the PM_Data folder is in the same folder as the Point_Maker.exe, the app runs. If you run Point_Maker look at the label flash label feature is much like DK's label draw. I use a Raize Button that has TColor, which I make yellow. Would you believe it took me two days using Map Object to build a class for this? With Raize button and DK it took me 5 minutes! I plan to send you the code - all five lines. I look forward to continuing my learning process with DK."

Chris Conklin
Southeastern Map Resources (SeMaps)
Chantilly Virginia, USA