Maptech buys the Capn, Captain Jack's, SoftChart, &

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on May 9, 2006

Capn to SAIC

Another switcheroo in the business, and this one is complicated! Last fall, a huge outfit called SAIC bought IMAPS, which was a relatively short-lived conglomerate of small companies many of which had once been under the Pinpoint umbrella (and still are according to this antique site). Word had it that SAIC mostly wanted IMAPS’ military/aeronautics business and didn’t really give a hoot about the various recreational/commercial marine assets, which seemed born out by the apparent shutting down of Captain Jack’s and the enduring “temporarily offline” message above.

But now Nautical Technologies (makers of The Capn charting software) is at least partially confirming a rumor that’s been around for months now—that Maptech was acquiring some of the familiar brands that had been through the Pinpoint/IMAPS/SAIC mill. There’s some real irony here as certain of these assets were once Maptech’s most ardent competitors (there was even litigation). In fact, I was always a fan of Captain Jack’s print and online catalog of computer navigation products, which was quite complete except that it was missing all the Maptech products. Now does Captain Jack’s come back full of Maptech products? How will The Capn, SoftChart, and fit with Maptech’s similar offerings? I’m hearing interesting things about all this, but am waiting for official word from Maptech.

PS I have spoken to Maptech; all the brands involved are confirmed; and come back tomorrow for more details.


I am glad to see all of these navigation assets come under one roof instead of being sucked down the SAIC black hole. For several years I have been sending my customers to as an easy way to get small selections of charts.

Maptech has been extremly helpful in providing us the technical information needed to make BSB 4,5 charts work on the Mac platform.

Going forward I could see our MacENC product supporting Maptech (previously Softcharts) SENCs when and if re-released. Currently we support the RNCs and ENC's.

Congrats Maptech

Posted by: GPSNavX at May 9, 2006 10:19 PM | Reply

The way I see it, The Capn is gone. If Maptech decides to kill it, it is obviously gone. If Maptech decides to promote it, well, it's as good as gone too.

The Capn was the first navigation software that I ever saw (1995?). It was the first product of its type that I used on a boat. It broke new ground in so many ways. It was slowly passed over by other products but has a pretty loyal following still today.

A tip of the hat to Dennis Mills who made it all happen. It's sad to see it go to Maptech. God forgive them for they know not what they do (in so many ways)...

Posted by: Jeff at May 10, 2006 12:30 AM | Reply

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