The solution is so slow compared to panning and zooming and other functions of an on-line mapping tool like SkyVector. Zooming in and out is so slow it's a nightmare.
Thanks for posting this subject. This comes up a lot so I would like to give an explanation of the differences between vector and raster based charting engines. What follows may be a little lengthy but I want to provide enough background.
The AOPA Flight Planner uses vector charts rather than raster charts like SkyVector and other flight planning tools use. So the rendering performance will never be as fast since the method that generates the image you see on the screen is completely different from the other products. Each method has it's advantages and dis-advantages.
Vector charts re-render all of the text and chart objects every time you zoom or pan. Raster charts don't re-render when zooming and panning since everything is all in one large image. This is why it is difficult (and impossible sometimes) to read the information on a sectional chart when you are zoomed out too far. Vector style charts don't suffer from this condition since the text size is always the same regardless of zoom level. This eliminates some of the need to zoom in and out as often as you have to do on sectional chart based systems. Since text and chart objects are always the same size, regardless of zoom level, the need to pan and zoom a vector chart is less than the need when using sectional charts. Since we typically use larger displays on our computers, we can use vector charts at zoom levels that can cover our entire route of flight sometimes and have no need whatsoever to zoom or pan at all since everything is still readable.
Vector based systems also allow the chart object layers to be controlled by the user. You can pick and choose what detail you want and can create "hybrid" style charts that contain both VFR and IFR chart objects on the same chart. This can't be done with raster based systems since all the chart detail is in one layer and can not be changed other than switching the entire base chart.
Since we tend to use desktop based flight planners in the comfort and convince of our home or office, re-draw speed is not as much of a concern. However, when in the cockpit, we want something that pans and zooms quickly which is why most EFBs use raster based sectional charts. Having a desktop based flight planner that can send a route to an EFB (like the AOPA Flight Planner), gives us the best of both worlds.
This is not to say we are closing the door completely on supporting sectional charts in the AOPA Flight Planner at some point, but the system is designed around vector based rendering so it's not something that is trivial to modify for raster based charts. This is something we continue to evaluate and we may be able to do something down the road.
Hello, I know this is an old thread but I would like to see this ask be raised in priority. I love all the neat features AFP provides, especially with the bundled resources that AOPA has to offer. However, the rendering performance makes it a drag, pun intended, to use in 2018/2019. Vector rendering, along with available browser frameworks have improved significantly since 2015. For example, check out the web edition of ForeFlight with the Aeronautical map layer on.
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