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Autoteacher 12-17-2014 08:46 PM

Charts on tablet, pc, laptop or LCD off chartplotter
 
What works for you? Need to have larger display for vision. Have a Garmin 740S. Can we add a program, app or software that can be viewed as a chart plotter on a larger screen, LCD display or ? Needs to be real time like chart card in my garmin not from cell or satellite.

Thanks S.

windmill29130 12-17-2014 09:14 PM

I am using the Navionics app on my Samsung tablet. Love it!

hmason 12-17-2014 09:18 PM

Garmin Blue Charts on an iPad.

N4712 12-17-2014 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hmason (Post 291672)
Garmin Blue Charts on an iPad.

:thumb::iagree:x2

Doug 12-17-2014 10:09 PM

OpenCPN on a Windows 8.1 Laptop

rochepoint 12-17-2014 10:38 PM

Well here goes.......I collected too many Apps when they first started coming out to see which was better. My choice is Nobeltec on (1).PC or (2).Ipad.

PC:
Nobeltec Time Zero Odyssey on Dell PC Windows 8, Lower helm.
Nobeltec VNS 10 on Panasonic Toughbook with built in gps, Windows XP Upper helm.

Ipad:
Nobeltec TZ App
Garmin BlueChart
Navionics
Navimatics
Plan2Nav

Use Nobeltec on both PC's and TZ App pretty much exclusively for navigation. A nice program is Splashtop, it allows the PC navigation programs to be displayed and manipulate on the Ipad screen thru the boats wifi network.....:blush:

psneeld 12-18-2014 05:35 AM

Free is good for me and I prefer looking at a raster nautical chart over any vector chart.

Someday the vectors may become a quantum leap over rasters, but I haven't seen that yet.

So my vote is Open CNN on a laptop.

For a flying bridge, it is a toss up whether going with a dedicated marine product is better.

timjet 12-18-2014 06:11 AM

Some fly bridges , like mine, don't have room for a pc. And trying to balance a PC whilst doing 18 kts, mmmm, that would be a challenge.

ranger42c 12-18-2014 06:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Autoteacher (Post 291658)
What works for you? Need to have larger display for vision. Have a Garmin 740S. Can we add a program, app or software that can be viewed as a chart plotter on a larger screen, LCD display or ? Needs to be real time like chart card in my garmin not from cell or satellite.

Thanks S.


A search here will turn up several threads on the topic.

Plan2Nav, MX Mariner apps on tablets, MaxSea Time Zero on a laptop or iPad, etc.

-Chris

Sailor of Fortune 12-18-2014 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rochepoint (Post 291695)
Well here goes.......I collected too many Apps when they first started coming out to see which was better. My choice is Nobeltec on (1).PC or (2).Ipad.

PC:
Nobeltec Time Zero Odyssey on Dell PC Windows 8, Lower helm.
Nobeltec VNS 10 on Panasonic Toughbook with built in gps, Windows XP Upper helm.

Ipad:
Nobeltec TZ App
Garmin BlueChart
Navionics
Navimatics
Plan2Nav

Use Nobeltec on both PC's and TZ App pretty much exclusively for navigation. A nice program is Splashtop, it allows the PC navigation programs to be displayed and manipulate on the Ipad screen thru the boats wifi network.....:blush:

The nice thing about the Nobeltec products is both Raster and vector charts. Vector are more accurate . The nice thing about the vectors is the ability to layer detail as needed. It does take some getting used too.

rochepoint 12-18-2014 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sailor of Fortune (Post 291738)
The nice thing about the Nobeltec products is both Raster and vector charts. Vector are more accurate . The nice thing about the vectors is the ability to layer detail as needed. It does take some getting used too.

Yes but I am "old" school and love Raster, can't get my head around looking at Vector. Guess I should use them more often and get with the new look.....:facepalm:

Skinny 12-18-2014 10:58 AM

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.n...89932746_o.jpg


https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...98873118_o.jpg

I like to run Open CPN on a cheapo netbook because:

1)power consumption is low
2)hardware purchase is super cheap now that everyone wants a super fancy tablet
3)HDMI output can go to pretty much any type of monitor
4)display on larger TV
5)going to flybridge? unplug and go upstairs
6)stolen...ok, go buy another one
7)doubles as fully functioning PC
8)can overlay additional information if you buy N2K components

I eventually would like to have the netbook above my helm where all the current electronics are. Take the current electronics and hang them up top. Keep TV screen where it is. If I install a wifi router on board, I can then dial my iPad up to simply display what is onscreen of the netbook. Then I can take that wherever I want. No special programming, no fancy purchases, no high dollar components that lose value instantly, etc. :thumb:

Then again we are talking a 79' Mainship so this is light speed ahead in terms of value:rofl:

Marin 12-18-2014 12:28 PM

We WAY prefer vector charts to raster. Raster are simply pictures of charts. Zoom them up, they get less sharp. Vector are razor sharp no matter how much you zoom in. They have layers you can turn off or on depending on what you want you see and the information you want to have. The text layers are separate from the chart layers so the charts can be oriented any way one likes and the text will always be right side up.

If we had to operate our three boats with raster charts it would be taking a giant step backwards in our view.

No Mast 12-18-2014 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rochepoint (Post 291780)
Yes but I am "old" school and love Raster, can't get my head around looking at Vector. Guess I should use them more often and get with the new look.....:facepalm:

I had the same "learning curve." I still use raster mainly for shipping channels and entrances, but have grown used to the vector charts when out in open waters. Maybe I'll continue to shift, we'll see.

To answer the original question, besides the Simrad chart plotters built in, we use an iPad with the Garmin app (and Active Captain) together with a laptop with Nobeltec (with AIS and GPS routed it).

I know the Nobeltec has a larger entry cost, but I think it is a remarkable product. On the other hand if we were only cruising locally, I don't think it is necessary.

No Mast 12-18-2014 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marin (Post 291816)
We WAY prefer vector charts to raster. Raster are simply pictures of charts. Zoom them up, they get less sharp. Vector are razor sharp no matter how much you zoom in.

Yes, and this is part of the reason I prefer the raster charts for channels, entrances, etc. On the vector charts you can easily zoom in past the accuracy of the data.

N4712 12-18-2014 12:40 PM

Charts on tablet, pc, laptop or LCD off chartplotter
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Marin (Post 291816)
We WAY prefer vector charts to raster. Raster are simply pictures of charts. Zoom them up, they get less sharp. Vector are razor sharp no matter how much you zoom in. They have layers you can turn off or on depending on what you want you see and the information you want to have. The text layers are separate from the chart layers so the charts can be oriented any way one likes and the text will always be right side up.

If we had to operate our three boats with raster charts it would be taking a giant step backwards in our view.


I feel the same exact way. Maybe because I'm younger and grew up using vector.

mattkab 12-18-2014 12:45 PM

OpenCPN running on a CubieTruck and connected to the mounted 42" 32" LCD TV.

If we were ever to start cruising for longer term (we do weekends and daytrips 99% of the time) then I'd replace the 42" with a smaller more power efficient TV. Even something in the 22" range will normally consume ~40 Watts. This one is higher than that, and even more wasteful as it runs off a dedicated inverter.

https://mvcesc.files.wordpress.com/2...005_175023.jpg

Marin 12-18-2014 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by No Mast (Post 291819)
Yes, and this is part of the reason I prefer the raster charts for channels, entrances, etc. On the vector charts you can easily zoom in past the accuracy of the data.

I guess it depends an the quality of the vector chart. We have never experienced zooming in past the accuracy of the data (all of our plotters use C-Map). When we are in our marina and we zoom all the way in we see our boat sitting in our side of our slip. We routinely navigate passes that are less than 100 yards wide. Zooming in all the way does not eliminate detail, it simply blows the detail up larger on the screen. And that detail is every bit as sharp as it is when the display is zoomed out. And the lettering on the display stays the same nice, readable size regardless how tight or loose one is zoomed in on the chart.

A nice thing that can be done with the layered vector charts and that our new and newer plotters have is the ability to have all the lighted navaids on the chart light up. So if the lighted red buoy at the entrance to our marina has a one-long, two-short flash pattern, that's what it does on the chart display, too. Lighthouse patterns are there, as well. We don't run at night, but if we did this could be a very useful feature. And if one doesn't want it on for some reason, it's a menu selection to turn the lights off.

Based on our experience with vector charts in all our plotters (Furuno, Standard Horizon, and Echotec) I cannot fathom why one would want to use a pixel-based chart display that gets blurry when expanded, that makes words fuzzy and too big, etc.

To me, the difference is like comparing 4K High Definition video to the 525-line standard def video of the 1980s.

PS- Another great ability of vector charts is the overlay of real-time current data. This is particularly useful in this area with its wide current range and associated strong currents. On the Furuno on our PNW cruiser (the Echoec plotter, while vector, is too old to have this feature) current direction and speed data is only layered over the places where it can be important. So mainly the narrower passes through the islands and the channels that experience strong currents. There will be an arrow showing the direction and a number showing the speed, both tied to the current time of day. Not a substitute for a proper current guide, but a very useful feature at times.

River Cruiser 12-18-2014 02:04 PM

In unfamiliar areas I run one screen showing a large area and use the iPad to get in close to follow a track and see everything the chart will show, I use Garmin BlueChart Mobil on my iPad. The Standard Horizon cp590 at the lower helm will split the screen to do the same.

Rsysol 12-18-2014 02:42 PM

I just bought a Chromecast device for my 42" flatscreen. Now, using my andriod phone and the Furuno app, I can display my electronics on the big screen while lounging in the salon.

I just hollar up to the wife in the pilothouse when I feel the need to correct her driving!

No Mast 12-18-2014 02:56 PM

Marin,
If we ever meet and you're running my boat, i want you looking at vector charts. I entirely understand you are more comfortable with them. For me, I would rather look at a raster chart if i was traversing that 100 ft wide area, and then concentrate more on what my depth under the keel is and where the boat is. If i was doing it at night, rather than a chart with blinking marks, I'll rely on the radar to show me where they are in relation to us. Just my comfort level.

I think it boils down to sometimes I would rather have less options and settings on viewing my chart actually. Keep it simple, and don't distract me with options and settings I guess.

Marin 12-18-2014 04:05 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Well, everyone has their own preferences and what they are comfortable with. To me, the advantages and flexibility of vector charts are so glaringly obvious that to be honest I didn't think anyone even supplied raster charts these days until this thread. Nobody I know personally who uses a plotter on their boat has raster chart displays. I have for years now assumed they had gone the way of eight track cassettes.:)

In narrow passes, unfamiliar harbor approaches, etc., the vector plotters give us outstanding clarity of detail no matter how zoomed in or out we are, while the depth sounder and radar continue to be the same valuable tools they've always been. For us, navigation is a matter of using all the systems available to us just as it is in a plane, rather than focusing on just one system. So when we are in fog, for example, we are actively using both plotters (with different displays on each one), the compass, the radar, the depth/speed display, the intercom, the horn, our eyes and our ears. But not the bell.:)

When we are navigating in good visibility, nothing changes other than we don't have the intercom on, we aren't using the horn, and we don't give the radar as much attention as we do when the visibility is poor or nonexistant.

Below is an example of what I'm talking about with regard to what I believe is the superiority of vector displays. These screen shots were just taken off my iPad 2 using a charting application called Navimatics. This is not a plotter app but a chart app. While not nearly as detailed as the displays on the big plotters on the boats, and the iPod 2 is not as sharp as the displays on the plotters, they are still vector charts and so will serve as illustrations. I have no idea who creates the vector charts for Navimatics.

The charts show a narrow, dogleg passage between a pair of islands in lower BC near Sidney. This passage averages 170 yards wide and has shallow, rocky ledges all over the place, lots of kelp, etc. It also gets very strong tidal currents running through it. The upside is that it shortens the time it takes to get from the one side of the islands to the other; the alternative is to run around them. But it's critical to follow the right path through the pass, and this can be made fairly challenging when the current is running. We've been through it several times and it's always an interesting experience.

The first screen shot shows an overview of the passage. The second shot is zoomed in as far as Navimatics will go on where the dogleg course changes have to be made. The chart plotters on the boats will go in much tighter than this if one wants to, with no loss of detail or clarity.

I cannot imagine driving a boat through this kind of terrain with anything less than the clarity and flexibility of a vector plotter. And as described earlier, on our newer plotters any lighted navaids will portray the actual light color and flash pattern if that's of value, and in this particular passage, the direction and speed of the current through here is displayed in real time.

Again, these are iPad screen shots from a charting app. They are not shots of the display on one of our plotters.

No Mast 12-18-2014 04:20 PM

Oh great, Now I feel old too :)

Guess I better spend a bit less time alphabetizing my 8-track collection this winter and I'll play around with vector charts more.

Skinny 12-18-2014 04:26 PM

What's an 8 track? :)

Budds Outlet 12-18-2014 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skinny (Post 291893)
What's an 8 track? :)

Its what we put in our cars because our reel to reels wouldn't run on 12 volts.

dwhatty 12-18-2014 08:00 PM

What about the 45s?

Tidahapah 12-19-2014 05:37 AM

I'm with Marin on this one.
Having been at sea for over 40 years and using chart plotters for the last 20 I haven't had a raster chart ever. Always hated they way they blew up when zooming in.
Always vector , accuracy has never been a problem and I travel thru the uncharted (virtually) Great Barrier Reef all the time.

My new Garmin system radar overlay and all is terrific but i do miss my Nobeltec and will probably get it back up as a standby unit. I run this via a very small footprint fanless computer ( Compulab Intense ) but may transfer it to a dedicated laptop to make it more portable.
I also want it back as so far I have not been able to transfer all my old fishing and anchorage marks over to the Garmin system

mbevins 12-19-2014 07:02 AM

Marin got it right. I've been running PC navigation for 12 years. I've always run vector chart's. I can't see why anyone would want to use raster.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Trawler

Skinny 12-19-2014 08:54 AM

I think it boils down to personal preference and hardware. I have no issues with raster because I'm not viewing it on a 7" screen. I think whatever chart gives the captain enough information to navigate safely and effectively works, everything else is just bragging rights. Running a vector chart plotter with a raster backup on a laptop is a pretty good setup.


Just think, 15 years ago all you had was a set of coordinates in front of you on a 4 color display. I go from blip A to blip B and use a paper map to make sure there is nothing in between them. It's all relative :)

nmuir 12-19-2014 10:01 AM

I use OpenCPN on an old cheapo laptop (a discard from work - too old to run current software fast enough). More than capable for OpenCPN.

I have both vector and rastor charts loaded - in some cases the rastor ones are better - dependent on location. Most cases I use the vector. Open CPN lets you toggle between them.

I also run a touchscreen monitor - a restaurant POS station (ELO brand) so is it somewhat splash resistant. Purchased off eBay for under $100. Most of the functions one uses when underway can be run via the touchescreen so the laptop is out of the way. Dimming for night running is fine.

I have AIS connected to the laptop via simple USB with AIS targets via OpenCPN. Works well and a highly recommended.

I also have an iPad with Navionics for backup, which works well. Too bright for night-time use though even when dimmed down as far as possible.

tpbrady 12-19-2014 12:57 PM

I've been running Coastal Explorer for 9 years and use raster, vector, or CMAP depending on location. Most of the time I use CMAP. At times I run split screen with different charts on each screen. I run on either a Dell laptop under Win 7 or an HP laptop on Win 8.1.

Solved the two helm problem by running a USB cable to the upper helm and installing a Lenovo 14 inch USB monitor on a RAM mount. My Bluetooth trackball works at the upper helm so I have full control. That way I don't need to transfer routes between computers. It worked well last summer.

Tom

Larry M 12-19-2014 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nmuir (Post 292024)
...I have AIS connected to the laptop via simple USB with AIS targets via OpenCPN. Works well and a highly recommended.

What AIS receiver are you using?

snakeriveridaho 12-19-2014 03:11 PM

I don't have much experience, however; at this time, I prefer paper charts. The Kingfisher, a 37 foot Nordic Tug, has a great, large chart table. You can unroll a full chart with plenty of room for navigation equipment. I have only chartered one other trawler, a 32 foot Nordic Tug. There was not a good place for paper charts. This spring we are chartering a 41 foot American Tug. Unfortunately, in the photos, it looks like there is not a good place for full sized paper charts. We got spoiled on Kingfisher! We will have a couple of other adults with us in the spring so we opted for 2 full size cabins and beds.

Of course, we always back up our navigation with the chartplotter/GPS.

Kirk

mbevins 12-19-2014 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tpbrady (Post 292049)
I've been running Coastal Explorer for 9 years and use raster, vector, or CMAP depending on location. Most of the time I use CMAP. At times I run split screen with different charts on each screen. I run on either a Dell laptop under Win 7 or an HP laptop on Win 8.1.

Solved the two helm problem by running a USB cable to the upper helm and installing a Lenovo 14 inch USB monitor on a RAM mount. My Bluetooth trackball works at the upper helm so I have full control. That way I don't need to transfer routes between computers. It worked well last summer.

Tom

I run CE as well. I switched over from another product in July. I'm currently using the NOAA supplied vector chart's
Is there an advantage in your mind to paying for the CMap versions?

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Trawler

psneeld 12-19-2014 07:54 PM

While some vector charts may actually be more accurate...a lot of you are kidding yourself if you think the vast majority are.

I have current data overlay on my raster charts and they often have more data such as bridge info and some notes that some of the vector charts I have used didn't.

I have navigated a ton with both and neither form has kept me off the rocks/bottom or put me on them....it's usually something other than style of chart.

Whichever you can interpret quickly and find useful is the best for you....for certain type of work....sure vectors can be more practical. For general pleasure boating nav....either is just as useful...it is only preference at that point.

nmuir 12-19-2014 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry M (Post 292066)
What AIS receiver are you using?

I use a 'EM TRAK MARINE ELECTRONICS B100 AIS Class B Transceiver'. simple and (reasonably) inexpensive.

Marin 12-19-2014 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 292147)
While some vector charts may actually be more accurate...a lot of you are kidding yourself if you think the vast majority are.

.

The accuracy and data content of a vector chart is totally dependent on the person, code-writer, programmer, or computer that generated the data base that drives the plotter to display the chart layers. I have read of inaccuracies people have found with C-Map and other brands of charts in the Caribbean for example. We have not found any in the cruising we've done in this area, but we obviously have not checked every detail of our C-Map vector charts against every detail of the real world.

And raster charts, which are essentially pictures of paper charts, will reflect any inaccuracy that may have ended up on the paper chart.

So you pay your money and take your chances either way.:)

The plotter is just one tool. As such, it's not smart, in my opinion, to put all one's reliance on it. This is why we have two plotters at the helm of our PNW cruiser, augmented by our iPad charting application, augmented by the big paper chart book the iPad sits on top of. All these are augmented by our eyes, which in turn are augmented by our inerhent sense of caution and common sense.

At the top of the navigation heap is what we call our Golden Rule of Boating. And that is that if my wife and I do not agree on the best course of action we stop the boat until we do.

(We did not come up with this; it was told to me by Bob Hale, the long-time publisher of the Waggoner Guide, the most popular cruising guide for this area. It's a rule he and his wife established after they'd had a disagreement about the best way to get through some small islands and reefs. I believe it ended up as a sidebar in the guidebook.)

Richard W 12-20-2014 01:56 AM

The discussion here about chartplotters and apps, and especially the charts made me revisit my understanding of the state of things. It cannot hurt to have yet another backup on my Mac. So sometime earlier this week I have downloaded OpenCPN, plus some NOAA raster and vector US charts. I could not get any Canadian charts … I am sure they are available somewhere for download for a fee.

Some background ... in addition to waterproof paper "raster" charts based on government issued charts, I use two Garmin chartplotters at helm with their BlueCharts G2 Vision charts loaded, plus an iPad. The iPad is loaded with various nav apps and charts that are available from the vendor who offers the app. I use iPad, and specifically Navionics app and charts, as a backup and route planning and tracking tool.

Back to OpenCPN and NOAA charts … NOAA charts, especially raster charts have not added anything to what I already have … actually as the raster version is concern, I prefer the paper charts as the user interface is much better and faster … :)

When it comes to charts, IMO, the difference between NOAA raster and NOAA vector is not that significant. The real difference between charts comes from the added value provided by different chart publishers and/or app vendor. Please look below, and draw your own conclusions.

Below is a series of screen captures with some comment. Since I have dumped the OpenCPA, the NOAA charts are shown using demo MacECN application that I happened to have on my Mac. Click on images below to see full size and more details.


NOAA Raster chart ... using MacENC application …

http://www.trawlerforum.com/attachme...cd2f3d0ea3.jpg

NOAA Vector chart ... using MacENC application …

http://www.trawlerforum.com/attachme...6e31998533.jpg

NOAA Vector chart ... using MacENC application … zoomed …

http://www.trawlerforum.com/attachme...3c0f1cd835.jpg

Navimatics app and chart ... seems to be derived from NOAA vector chart … does not offer much if any enhancements to NOAA charts … the app supports ActiveCaptain and I use it for AC data mostly …

http://www.trawlerforum.com/attachme...0b75411676.jpg

Garmin BlueChart app and chart ... seem to provide some enhancements to NOOA charts … they are very similar to the charts I see on my Garmin chartplotters minus the bathygrahic data and satellite imagery overlay available on GARMIN chartplotters with BlueCharts G2 Vision charts installed … but the BlueChart app supports Active Captain … note the US/Canada border problem ...

http://www.trawlerforum.com/attachme...eecebf2bb1.jpg

Navionics app and chart … they offer some added value but the app does not support ActiveCaptain (yet?) … normal view … the dotted shallow area is an app feature that allows user to highlight the shallows, it is set at 6 feet here ...

http://www.trawlerforum.com/attachme...3ece110de1.jpg

Navionics app and chart … zoomed view with bathygraphic data …

http://www.trawlerforum.com/attachme...78492a28dc.jpg

Navionics app and chart … zoomed view with bathygraphic data and satellite imagery overlay … one thing worth noting here is the updated and correct placement of all human made structures on the shoreline …

http://www.trawlerforum.com/attachme...1a10ffac62.jpg

Hope this helps ...

ranger42c 12-20-2014 06:42 AM

Not sure I can understand how a vector chart can be inherently more accurate than a raster chart.

There's a bridge nearby -- but with no clearance given on at least one of the vector charts I have (NOAA and C-Map, maybe both, can't remember). That clearance data is clearly included in the raster chart.

If a given vector chart is developed from a given raster chart, I don't see how it can be more accurate... and would have expected instead that the process could actually have added some inaccuracies. Like that bridge clearance, or lack thereof.

Or...

Perhaps the chartmaker added some value. How? By including data from some other source? OK, I'd think it's not the vector-hood-ness (?) of the resulting chart that might make it more useful, but rather the additional source material that wasn't available on the counterpart raster chart.

??

The only sorta-kinda example I can think of off-hand is the marina info C-Map included in their charts. Of course, that info wasn't available on the raster charts of the same areas. But that doesn't (to me) make the C-Map vector charts more accurate per se; instead it makes them useful because they include additional information.

Perhaps another example might be where vector chart features are updated (with source data from somebody, somehow) even though the counterpart raster chart hasn't been updated since Cap'n Cook's days. I think that can happen? Again, not sure vector-hood-ness is the heart of the matter here. In this example, it's about chart currency, and the same new source data could just as easily have appeared in the raster version... had the raster chartmaker gotten a round tuit.

??

Anyway, I certainly agree with Scott and others: individual preference rules. At least within the limitations of the presentation medium, given some plotters will only display one or the other style, given large paper charts can sometimes be awkward, etc.

FWIW, we use both styles, side-by-side. Not a recommendation, just an observation.

-Chris

Larry M 12-20-2014 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nmuir (Post 292189)
I use a 'EM TRAK MARINE ELECTRONICS B100 AIS Class B Transceiver'. simple and (reasonably) inexpensive.

Thanks! :)

JDCAVE 12-20-2014 12:33 PM

Charts on tablet, pc, laptop or LCD off chartplotter
 
Sailor of fortune said "Vector are more accurate". Why would you believe that to be true? 3rd party suppliers of Vector charts for Canadian waters would have to source their information from the Canadian Hydrographic Service, which produced the information on the raster charts to begin with. Just because there are zooming capabilities on the Vector charts, or because they have that pseudo 3d look, doesn't make them inherently more accurate. It depends on the original sounding data.

I chatted with one of the Individuals from the Canadian Hydrographic Service at the Vancouver boat show last January, and he mentioned one of the biggest issues with Cdn charts lies not with the soundings, but with where these are placed on the charts. They still rely on some soundings that were taken pre WWII, and the spatial coordinates may be quite inaccurate. Such inaccuracies "ground truth" the best Nobeltec Vector charts.

Vector charts do not provide the same level of land detail (height contours) etc which I appreciate when I'm running about. I have both vector and NOAA charts for Puget Sound on my Coastal Explorer program and find I go back and forth between the two when I'm traveling south of the fence.

Jim
Sent from my iPad using Trawler Forum

Richard W 12-20-2014 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDCAVE (Post 292279)
I have both vector and NOAA charts for Puget Sound on my Coastal Explorer program and find I go back and forth between the two when I'm traveling south of the fence.

This exemplifies the confusion and explains some misunderstandings ...

The NOAA charts come in two versions ... you can have NOAA raster and NOAA vector chart. They both look similar and are equally accurate as are based on the same data.

One cannot compare chart technology (raster/vector) with chart source/content as provided by creator/publisher. These are two different qualities/criteria ... one is the technology or method used to render a chart, another is content, and specifically quality and accuracy of the data used to create a chart.

Marin 12-20-2014 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ranger42c (Post 292239)
Not sure I can understand how a vector chart can be inherently more accurate than a raster chart.

They aren't. As I understand it, vector charts are created by digitizing data from paper charts. As such, there is a risk of inaccuracy if mistakes are made in the digitizing process. That's why if one prefers the flexibility and user advantages offered by vector charts it's important to use vector charts created by a reputable and proven company.

This is why we have selected C-Map charts for the plotters on all our boats. The plotter manufacturers we use are Furuno, Standard Horizon, and Echotec (no longer in business).

The reasons we prefer vector charts have to do with their flexibility of use as I've described earlier in this thread. To us, vector charts have rendered raster charts into the equivelent of stone tablets in terms of user-friendliness, variety of information, and ease of use.

The vast superiority of properly designed vector charts like C-Map is all about what they make possible operationally, not their accuracy which, if they are digitized correctly, is identical to raster or paper charts. They can be as accurate as raster charts, but I see no way they can be more accurate.

Jeffrey S 12-20-2014 02:05 PM

The confusion is about accuracy versus precision. Both raster and vector have identical accuracy. They both come from the exact same source. But since the vector charts are comprised of data points and objects, they can be zoomed to a much greater level and still look clean and crisp - that's providing more precision.

The big danger with vector charts is that the added precision provides a false sense of accuracy - you see a much larger channel drawn so you feel like being in the center of it means you're really in the center. But as the vector data is zoomed past its accuracy limits, you're only fooling yourself about where the channel actually is. The visual center on the zoomed in vector chart can be (and often is) way off center.

This is one of the advantages of raster charts. As you zoom in too far, the pixel replication makes the image look worse and you don't get that false sense of knowing where things actually are located. They get blurry and give you extra information about accuracy that is quite valuable.

Vector charts, however, are much smaller and allow for object queries. They also allow the text to be scaled to your preferences (meters, feet, fathoms) and the underlying data can be used for collision avoidance - as you're approaching shallow water, a vector chart rendering product could warn you (some do) because they actually have depth regions and can detect as you're approaching a shallow one. The recent Volvo race grounding could have easily been avoided with a variety of products that use vector data to warn in advance of approaching shallow water. There's generally no depth data behind the pixels of a raster chart. They're just pixels.

Raster charts, however, are created with hand placement by cartographers with careers of experience in the best ways to provide as much data as clearly as possible. They've studied cartography and learned it as an art. And raster charts are wonderful works of art - you see tables, bags, wall hangings, etc all made from raster charts. I've never seen a vector chart wall hanging. Vector charts are drawn from a database by programmers (like me) who have spent their careers learning how to develop software. I have never yet met a cartographer who was one of the programmers of any of these products. They write code to render the data programmatically. It will never look as good as a raster chart drawn by a pro and it will never convey as much information. Vector charts can only hope to layer the missing information through interactivity.

Bottom line...both are good, different, and complement each other - we always have both showing to help make decisions when confusing situations come up.

Richard W 12-20-2014 02:10 PM

The way I see it ...

Technology:

Vector based chart can be zoomed in and out without loosing visual quality as it is rendered from data using formulas and not from pixels. Vector chart can layer multiple sets of data coming from various sources, the layers can be manipulated and/or switched on and off as desired.

Raster chart is a flat single layer rendering of a traditional paper chart of fixed scale. Trying to zoom it beyond intended scale only enlarges the exiting image by creating "bigger pixels" and not more detailed rendering.

Data source and quality:

Either chart type, raster or vector, is only as good as the data used to create it.

The vector method allows for more data and data layers to be "hidden" behind it to be used as/when needed. Some chart publishers use NOAA or official government charts to create their vector cartography (like Navimatics). Some (like Navionics and perhaps others) use multiple sources of data to enhance the base NOAA charts.

The vector method allows for this ... does not mean the vector chart is inherently better, the various data sets that can be put behind it can make it better.

Marin 12-20-2014 03:28 PM

We use only vector charts in our plotters for the reasons I've stated. However, we also have the relevant paper charts at the helm at all times. When entering waters we are not very familiar with and that pose some challenges we use both. The paper charts give us the "real world" view to compare the plotter displays to.

So far we have never experienced the position drift Jeffrey mentioned as we've zoomed in on our C-map vector charts but that's not to say it can't be there in other locations or with other suppliers' plotters or charts. It's certainly something to be aware of and guard against lest one end up where they don't want to be.

JDCAVE 12-20-2014 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard W (Post 292302)
This exemplifies the confusion and explains some misunderstandings ...

The NOAA charts come in two versions ... you can have NOAA raster and NOAA vector chart. They both look similar and are equally accurate as are based on the same data.

One cannot compare chart technology (raster/vector) with chart source/content as provided by creator/publisher. These are two different qualities/criteria ... one is the technology or method used to render a chart, another is content, and specifically quality and accuracy of the data used to create a chart.


I'm not confused at all. The NOAA charts are raster. The CE charts are Vector. I can switch between them within the CE plotting software.


Jim
Sent from my iPad using Trawler Forum

tpbrady 12-20-2014 03:50 PM

Mbevins

I found the CMAP charts scaled better than the NOAA vector charts in some areas when zooming in. CMAP included detail that the NOAA vector chart didn't include that you could see on the raster charts and kept that detail as you zoomed in. Alaska charts are all over the "map" so to speak. When I have steamed through land they generally all agree I have steamed through land. I'm glad the boat didn't notice any lack of water.

Tom

JDCAVE 12-20-2014 04:05 PM

Charts on tablet, pc, laptop or LCD off chartplotter
 
1 Attachment(s)
I agree with Jeffery's comments wrt raster vs vector, except for the comments about accuracy vs precision...
""Both raster and vector have identical accuracy. They both come from the exact same source. But since the vector charts are comprised of data points and objects, they can be zoomed to a much greater level and still look clean and crisp - that's providing more precision."

That's not precision. As a statistical term, precision refers how the repeated results of an experiment or sampling of data matches the other observations. Accuracy is a term to quantify bias, i.e. how close you are to the bullseye or systematic error.

I borrowed this slide from http://www.sophia.org/tutorials/accu...d-precision--3

Attachment 35568

It was a constant debate that went on all throughout my career!

Precision with your plotter probably has more to do with how precise your GPS puts your location on the chart rather than the chart itself which has to do primarily with accuracy.


Jim
Sent from my iPad using Trawler Forum

Richard W 12-20-2014 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDCAVE (Post 292334)
I'm not confused at all. The NOAA charts are raster. The CE charts are Vector. I can switch between them within the CE plotting software.

Sorry, I was ... you meant your NOAA charts are raster.
The NOAA charts come in both, vector and raster, formats.


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