I have a full OSGeo4W (64bit) installation on my Windows 10 laptop. I'm using it for Quantum GIS, Python et cetera. There is a osgeo4w64/apps/gdal-dev folder in the installation.

I want to achieve this; http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f134/opencpn-13653-50.html#post322600

Which installs some extra packages ('frmts' from here; https://github.com/OSGeo/gdal/tree/trunk/gdal/frmts/bsb) and makes use of it. Now my question(s);

  • what are these 'frmts', some sort of plugins for GDAL?

  • Are they already installed on my OSGeo distribution?

  • If yes, where, so I can uncomment the line.

  • How to download and install this package?

1 Answer 1


The frmts directory is not a set of extra packages or plugins (though some drivers are implemented as a plugin if so defined in the makefile), it contains source code for all of GDALs raster drivers. Some are compiled by default, some aren't as they require third-party (sometimes proprietary) SDKs or libraries.

The BSB driver is compiled into GDAL by default (unless it has been disabled on purpose by the OSGeo4W build)

You can see if you have it by calling gdalinfo --format BSB from your OSGeo4W shell command prompt. You should see:

Format Details:
  Short Name: BSB
  Long Name: Maptech BSB Nautical Charts
  Supports: Raster
  Help Topic: frmt_various.html#BSB
  Supports: Open() - Open existing dataset.
  Supports: Virtual IO - eg. /vsimem/

Note that BSB support is read-only and you can't use OSGeo4W to install a read-write BSB driver.

What your linked forum post was doing was modifying the BSB driver to allow read-write access and then rebuilding GDAL.

You could do this yourself if you have the toolchain to build GDAL from source. You would need a compiler, such as Visual Studio, and all the development sources/headers etc for GDAL and third-party libraries. However, building GDAL is not easy if you have no experience in compiling native software from source.

If you want to try:

  • The current source code (GDAL 2.3) for the BSB driver can be found from trac.osgeo.org/gdal/browser/trunk/gdal/frmts/bsb
    – user30184
    Feb 20, 2018 at 7:38
  • Thank you, that puts a lot in place.. As I now understand, I should get the source files, modify one file and then compile/build a new GDAL installation. I'll look into some 'build' tutorials...... Feb 20, 2018 at 10:26
  • Still, there is no easy guide to compile GDAL? Is it e.g. possible to let someone build it, and then transfer it to my computer? Feb 20, 2018 at 10:41
  • 1
    @Willem, of course that's possible. That is how people deliver pre-compiled software. See also edit for more building details, though there's no easy guide because GDAL is a complex piece of software with many build options and lots of dependencies.
    – user2856
    Feb 20, 2018 at 10:52

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