15.1.10

OziExplorer OZF format specification + open-source decoder!


Yesterday I was testing the OZEX project, which intends to be an open-source replacement for the popular OziExplorer software. The most interesting on OZEX is that it is able to decode and display the Ozf2 and Ozfx3 binary files on Linux and other platforms and that the decoder is completely open-source!
I know about other nice and open-source projects targeted to OziExplorer users with an advanced GUI and interesting features, look at the QLandKarte GT screenshots for example.

This is for the first time I see open-source implementation of the OZF2 and OZFx3 binary format!
It would be excellent to create a decoder also in the GDAL library (as a driver) because it would bring the OZF reading/decoding functionality into several open-source projects.

I have submitted to the gdal svn a documentation of the format derived from the source codes, some sample files as well as links to the OZEX GPL code. More sample files can be generated with the img2ozf utility (runs well under Wine).
Unfortunately I am now busy on another projects but I hope that some of the GDAL developers finds a bit of time to do the coding of the OZF driver...

GDAL already has a preliminary support for the OziExplorer's .map files (textual metadata, think of advanced ESRI World File with included info about the map projection), but support for the binary formats from the OZF family (version 2 and version 3) would move the compatibility to a different level.

OziExplorer is a very popular in the GPS and GeoCaching community. Support of the maps generated or georeferenced with this software in the OSGEO open-source tools would be great! I hope to see it in the near future in MapTiler, GRASS, QGis, MapServer, GeoServer and all the other FOSS GIS tools! Anybody interested in the coding for GDAL?
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