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Old 02-24-2011, 10:36 PM   #1
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Track Up or North Up?

How do you have your GPS set? Do you run with it set showing the track up or set with north up?* I am accustomed to reading land maps and so I normally orient them with north up.* It seems to me that unlike a land map, having the track up on the GPS makes it easier for me to interpret what I am seeing through the windshield.

Waht are the advantages of either way?
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:41 AM   #2
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Track Up or North Up?

We run with our plotters all set to north up since that's the way paper charts are oriented and we're used to using paper charts in both the boat and the plane.

However we will on occasion set the plotter in the Furuno NavNet to course up and split screen it with the radar. While the orientation between the two is not exact it's close enough to help us determine if a target is a navaid or another vessel if we haven't been able to determine that when the plotter is in north up and the radar display is aligned with the centerline of the boat. The stand-alone plotters are always kept in north up. Neither I nor my wife have any problem interpreting the plotter chart display "backwards" if we are heading on a southerly heading, but both of us used charts for many years before using a plotter. Other people prefer the course-up orientation because the display then matches what they see out the windshield.

It's a matter of personal preference and what one person sees as an advantage another person may see as a disadvantage.* So I think the plotter display should be set to whichever orientation makes it the easiest and most intuitive for the individual to interpret quickly and clearly.

-- Edited by Marin on Friday 25th of February 2011 01:45:02 AM
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:48 AM   #3
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

Personel preference is to run north up most of the time.
When we run Hudson river (125Nm Battery-Albany), I do run course up ("Heads UP Mode").
If you are on an ICW trip , course up would make it easier, especially at inlet junctions where buoyage changes.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:00 AM   #4
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

I prefer course up except when planning then North up.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:38 AM   #5
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

North up on plotters, course up on radar.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:38 AM   #6
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

Course Up- Easier for me.

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Old 02-25-2011, 05:59 AM   #7
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

Course up. For me I can envision turns in a river, etc. easier if the "boat" is aligned with the "boat".
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:39 AM   #8
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

I'm with Keith, Marin and others*- Course up for radar and north up for plotter. As others have mentioned, north up when plotting helps when your paper charts are being used at same time.*That way you can read your paper charts without turning them all the time.

I bring to boating all sorts of*surface and underground surveying "history." Always North up or we'd never be able to tie things together. Interestingly, this has been a worldwide standard for many centuries, dating back to*ancient Chinese times, the inventors of the compass.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:50 AM   #9
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

I am "course up" for all because I can react quicker if I need to go left or right. I always ran "north up" until I ran into a sudden blinding rainstorm and had to stop and think whether I needed to go right or left to stay in the channel.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:51 AM   #10
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

I think it's "track" up for me. It makes it easier for me and far easier for my wife.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:43 AM   #11
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

Whether flying or boating, it's always "course up" for me because I don't want to do the mental gymnastics of flipping the map around in my head. Knowing whether to turn right or left in a instant might save your bacon. In the old days of flying , I used to fold the map and place it on my lap so it agreed with my flight path. With "course up" you achieve the same thing. Others I have known do "North up" but it just doesn't make sense to me.
I agree that all maps are printed with north up but it's the course of the plane/map that concerns me the most, not how the map was configured. If you see a landmark on either side of the plane/boat, with course up, it's immediately known what it is.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:48 AM   #12
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

North up plotter; course up radar.

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Old 02-25-2011, 09:25 AM   #13
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Track Up or North Up?

Course up and view furthest a head or center on boat.* The compass, gps, and radar are course up so why not the charts?* In poor visibility its easier to set the radar and charts the same size and course to comparing what is out there.

-- Edited by Phil Fill on Friday 25th of February 2011 11:00:08 AM
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:29 AM   #14
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Track Up or North Up?

I find both very useful, so I switch back and forth.* North up when planning, drift fishing, or anchoring, and course up when traveling.

-- Edited by RCook on Friday 25th of February 2011 10:50:50 AM
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:37 AM   #15
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

We are installing new electronics on our boat this spring and so I find this thread very interesting, as we have been contemplating that exact question recently. Until we're actually using the new system we won't know our preference, but it is interesting to see the wide range of perspectives here. Whatever works works.Sort of related, we have nav units in our vehicles, with my car using north up and my wife's using course up. I get really confused whenever she lets me drive her vehicle and I try to use the nav system.
On that note, by the way, if you are contemplating getting a nav system for your vehicle, don't go with the built in, they are terrible; go with Garmin, Tom-Tom, Magellan or the like.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:54 AM   #16
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

Quote:
Conrad wrote: On that note, by the way, if you are contemplating getting a nav system for your vehicle, don't go with the built in, they are terrible; go with Garmin, Tom-Tom, Magellan or the like.
**********Conrad, Are you talking about the factory Nav Units, or an aftermarket.

**********I have been thinking about a touch screen Alpine aftermarket-* Stereo, bluetooth, ipod, and Nav.* The reviews seem pretty good.* Any thoughts?

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Old 02-25-2011, 10:03 AM   #17
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

Course up usually, I like to lay the Radar image on the gps plotter when piloting and it seems easiest to me this way.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:15 AM   #18
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

Course up, easier for me to relate to my surroundings.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:15 AM   #19
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

Quote:
JohnP wrote:

*
Conrad wrote: On that note, by the way, if you are contemplating getting a nav system for your vehicle, don't go with the built in, they are terrible; go with Garmin, Tom-Tom, Magellan or the like.
Conrad, Are you talking about the factory Nav Units, or an aftermarket.

I have been thinking about a touch screen Alpine aftermarket-* Stereo, bluetooth, ipod, and Nav.* The reviews seem pretty good.* Any thoughts?

JohnP

*

Hi John, my negative comments are strictly about the nav units that are built in by the car manufacturers. The Alpine unit that you describe sounds great; Alpine has had a great reputation in the past. The things I would look for are intuitive use and map coverage. Unfortunately about the only way to really know how well they work is to spend a day or so in the real world with them, which is not easy to do before purchase.For example on the map coverage, I had a Garmin in a previous car that took me from Calgary to North Battleford Saskatchewan and back, no problem. My current vehicle (name withheld to protect the guilty) has no coverage for most of central Alberta so I fly blind on that trip. Going into BC gives similar results.
I have friends with Tom-Toms & Magellan that have similar successes as my Garmin)

*
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:33 PM   #20
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RE: Track Up or North Up?

I think this is very personal to the person driving and what they are comfortable with.**I prefer North up.* My husband prefers course up.**

When we had boat partners on a sailboat, everyone had their preference for what was displayed on the MFD at the helm*and whenever we switched drivers the new driver would spend several minutes fiddling to get the display the way they wanted.***Of course steering all over the place while they were doing so!
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