Panbo

C-Map PC Planner 10.0, bellissimo!

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 29, 2005

 C-Map Max port info pcplanner3

A C-Map question this morning reminded me that I’d meant to comment on my experience with the company’s latest PC Planner product. I’ve always liked the concept: bring home your chart card, stick it in Planner’s reader and use it to do fast, detailed route making on a PC, then bring the routes back to your plotter on a user card. These days Planner is a pretty mature program and also nicely shows off the goodies in C-Map's newish Max chart cards. Check out the streets, detailed harbor info, multi-shaded contours (land too), and even a yellow real time current arrow in the screen shot above (bigger here). The program can also display Max’s perspective view, animated nav lights, and harbor photos. I may have razzed C-Map last spring for its Max marketing, but I like the charts and PC Planner.

And I’ve wondered why Navionics has not yet introduced a similar product. (I have been told it was “about to happen” several times, including quite recently.) Even Garmin users can’t plan on a preprogrammed data card, though they can get the same effect by buying BlueCharts on a CD and making their own card (note that the new G2 charts will not be available on CD, at least at introduction). 

At any rate, the question asked this morning was the cost for Malaysian C-Map charts for use on a PC. One reason for the long introduction is that PC charting programs supporting C-Maps can generally read them either from the CD version or from a card via the reader (SOB has a good explanation of the hows and whys here). A "Wide" size CD unlock code for the Malaysian area, either Max or regular NT+, costs about $250 and includes maybe 100 charts (you can drill down to name, scale, etc. detail using C-Map’s online catalog). I’m still working on prices for the applicable cards, which come in two possible sizes for the area; they’re likely a little higher, but can also be used in a dedicated plotter. I was surprised that I couldn’t find these prices online; I think Bluewater usually has such info but their system is down. Any suggestions for other online sources of worldwide electronic charts?

Comments

Is it really true that a C-Map user card reader practically cannot be purchased separately? C-Max user cards are available, but the only reader that I could find had a price of 170 € !!! While the PC planner on top of that added the price only 20 €? I refuse to believe that you do not want to sell the reader alone! Please tell me that you really do sell the reader alone (at reasonable price of course). The memory card by itself has also one of the highest prices I have seen for 2GB memory capacity!

Posted by: Erkki Attila at June 26, 2008 4:18 PM | Reply

Erkki, You have to use the special C-Map card reader to access its cartography files, the same as you do with Navionics cards. I believe that's because the files are tightly encrypted on the cards. And I think that's largely because years ago some sailors hacked a C-Map CD of world charts and it's been circulating among the cruising community ever since. Which cost the commercial chart makers a lot of sales. In other words, the theft of intellectual property probably hurt all of us willing to purchase charts fair and square. At any rate, the various cartography cards and card readers are not as off-the-shelf as they look.

Posted by: Ben at June 27, 2008 9:11 AM | Reply

I bought and tried the PC Planner and every time I opened it my entire computer crashed. I tried to contact everyone involved with the PC Planner to fix the issue if possible and received NO response or support from anyone so I returned the unit to the retailer we bought it from.

Posted by: Chuck at June 27, 2008 11:49 AM | Reply

Hey Chuck
The problem you had probably came about as a result of the spam filter which is pretty strict. Try e-mailing 'pcplanner' at 'c-map.it' and I'll try and sort you out.
Lloyd

Posted by: Lloyd at July 29, 2008 7:29 AM | Reply

Leave a comment