Vector charts like ENC are a different animal. Coastal contours are represented by vectors- go north for x feet and then turn NW for y feet, etc, etc. Navaid data is given by a lat/lon type location and data for the navaid- type, light info, etc. All of this data is in a database which can be turned off or on in layers for display purposes.
Each chartplotter treats vector data differently. I don't think that there is a universally accepted symbol for a given navaid, like an unlighted daymark. So each chartplotter vendor chooses his own and each looks differently with vector data.
OpnCPN does a particularly bad job IMO with vector charts, so I don't use them. People like Raymarine and Garmin do a great job (or maybe its their chip cartography vendor) and so their vector charts look very good. But you have to pay for it of course.
David,I'm a little confused about vector charts. ENC's downloaded from NOAA using the*S-57 international exchange format is the vector charts used by OpenCPN and others, correct? Do Garmin and Raymarine also use these ENC's with their chart plotters? In other words is there only one source for US RNC charts - NOAA.
I'm guessing the chart plotters are the key to extracting the data from ENC's if all the ENC's are the same. Are there any other free or low cost chart plotters other than OpenCPN that do a good or better job of displaying ENC's.
My Garmin handheld displays charts in better detail than OpenCPN, so I will try OpenCPN with raster charts.