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Old 12-20-2014, 01:10 PM   #45
Richard W
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City: Florida USA and Ontario Canada
Country: The 3rd Rock from the Sun
Vessel Name: anytime
Vessel Model: 2007 Chaparral 270 Signature LOA 29'
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 303
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.
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