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Category: Charts

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Lowrance Announces Software Update for HDS Carbon, Gen3 and Elite-Ti Displays

Tulsa, Okla. – Lowrance®, a world-leader in fishing electronics since 1957 — announced today the release of a new software update for HDS Carbon™, HDS Gen3 and Elite-Ti displays that includes sonar enhancements, new automatic routing functionality and improvements for C-MAP® charting. At the heart of the release is FishReveal™, an exciting…

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Humminbird Introduces the FishSmart App

RACINE, Wis., March 14, 2018 – More than ever, anglers rely on their smartphones for communications on and off the water. Now, the new Humminbird® FishSmart® app puts the power of LakeMaster®mapping in anglers’ hands and delivers a more convenient path to important software updates for Humminbird fishfinders.

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ActiveCaptain: Data delivery changing, but free access assured

Within minutes of announcing Garmin’s acquisuition of ActiveCaptain in May 2017 commenters here and elsewhere immediately began to worry about its future. On Wednesday evening, the Polar Navy announcement above poured fuel on that fire, suggesting that the many non-Garmin charting apps and MFDs which display ActiveCaptain cruising information would lose access to the database this May. But that quote is not the whole story by a long shot. Actually, Garmin is emphatic that AC data will remain freely available to developers and users…

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Computer-assisted groundings? Bad Navionics charts?

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Despite incredible advances in chart availability and chart plotting, keels keep banging on reasonably well charted ledges and reefs all over the planet. Why? I’ve made far too many navigation errors to play the righteous scold, but I am taken aback by the tendency of boaters to blame technology and especially the recent trend toward castigating chart manufacturers like Navionics as if perfect data is a possibility or even an entitlement…

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Is it true news that “NOAA wants to stop making NOAA charts”?

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I’m a longtime fan of Landfall Navigation and I’m sure their intentions were good when they emailed this call to action Friday afternoon. But please don’t file a comment or call your congressman without looking deeper into the “news” that NOAA plans to discontinue all (paper-chart-like) raster files. In my read the end of rasters is only a far future possibility suggested in a recently published National Charting Plan that has some real meat (discussed below), and I’d be flabbergasted if it happened soon, or ever at the expense of important chart detail. Let’s judge NOAA on facts, not fearful conjecture…

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Garmin acquires ActiveCaptain, now what?

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This morning Garmin purchased ActiveCaptain and I have no idea if that will turn out to be good news or otherwise. Will this large and growing database of crowdsourced cruising information change now that it belongs to a major electronics brand? I have no bold opinions but I do have lots of questions I hope to discuss…

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Cartography lessons learned searching for the best charts of Cuba

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Pardon my photography, but the point is that many detailed, up-to-date, and well-crafted official paper charts of Cuba do exist. Unfortunately, they’re not easy to own and the good work of the Cuban hydrographic service is also not yet fully available in any electronic form. In fact, many “current” electronic Cuba charts are based on shockingly old data with substantial chunks of critical cruising detail missing. But visiting boaters do have at least one good current chart choice – GeoCuba is moving into the modern world, and the back story reveals chart issues every navigator should understand, with a Cuban twist…

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A Camden boat grounding dissected, can crowdsourcing help?

aground_in_Camden_mooring_field_blurred_cPanbo.jpgThe identities of the yacht and its operators are irrelevant. But how did they go hard aground in a highly used harbor during a clear summer day? Was it just a dumb mistake or was a lack of chart detail partially to blame? Should the USCG or the town of Camden better mark the danger? Did marine electronics somehow contribute to what was at least an embarrassing incident? Can crowdsourced data help? I’m not sure about the answers but I have assembled a lot of information for discussion…