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Old 11-02-2011, 15:07   #1
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Coastal Explorer 2010 Charts Less Clear

I am a long time Cap'n (pre 2000) user and just licensed a copy of Coastal Explorer 2010. While in the process of learning CE, I noticed the charts were not as clear on CE as on the Cap'n.

I used the same BSB charts on both programs - running side by side on the same computer. Even interchanged the two on the available monitors.

In every case, the Cap'n was "better focused" and significantly easier to read in tight spots.

Clearly, the data was the same!

What must I do to Coastal Explorer to bring the charts into better focus on Coastal Explorer?

Thanks stu@shearwater-sailing.com
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Old 11-02-2011, 22:25   #2
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Focus

I have the same problem on Coastal Explorer Express. The display seems to be defocussed in some way Maybe it is better on Coastal Explorer 2011 But 399 is a lot to pay to find out.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:54   #3
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I'm running Coastal Explorer 2010 and expect to upgrade to CE 2011, but would not use the program in "production" since there may be critical hidden features that the Cap'n will reveal.

I contacted Rose Point and will post their response.

Thank you for affirming the problem is not likely in my computer alone.

Windows XP/Professional

/Stu
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:51   #4
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What area charts are you looking at? Are those charts of Great Lakes by any chance?
(What I am getting at here is - what's the original raster chart projection? )
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Old 12-02-2011, 13:39   #5
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I set up a side-by-side comparison of 11464, the Blackwater Sound area of the Northern Florida keys. Used the default raster chart load from Coastal Explorer and extracted the single chart for the Cap'n side of the test.

There was a clear distinction in the two renderings of the same raster data file - several areas show up as passable in the Cap'n rendering (and the paper chart), that were blocked or obstructed in the CE rendering.

I was thinking of loading the demo version of Polar Navy to see if it agreed with the Coastal Explorer or the Cap'n.

Every program has strengths and weaknesses - after 10 years of deliveries with the Cap'n, I am prone to compare any tool to the tool I know. In almost every area, I find the Coastal Explorer superior, thus I recommend it to the owners when I deliver their boats - and several have purchased the software.

This twist makes it hard to purchase the CE software myself (I'm testing using an owner's third license). Unless I can resolve the issue of rendering differences, I'm sort of scratching my head and asking, "which waterway do I want to travel, the Cap'n or the CE version?"

Any idea if the evaluation version of Polar Navy will render at full fidelity?

The file I am comparing is d:\Charts\BSB_ROOT\11464 as distributed by CE, Blackwater Sound to Matecumbe: 11464.KAP I believe it is identical to the free download from NOAA.

The problem is not unique to Blackwater Sound. It seems to occur everyplace I looked, it is just that I know that area has many tight passages and consider quality rendering important in the Keys.
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Old 12-02-2011, 14:41   #6
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Can you post some screen shots?

BSB raster files are just scans of paper images. I'm having a hard time understanding how it can show different on different software, except for color and/or intensity differences.

-dan
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Old 12-02-2011, 17:55   #7
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Yes, BSB charts are just scans and all rendering software should produce the exact same image given the same data. But, that is not what happened.

If I knew how to include an Image, I would be happy to do that. I can e/mail a side by side screen print to you if you wish. /Stu
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Old 12-02-2011, 18:39   #8
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You can post images in here.

If you use the basic editing mode, there should be a link or button that says something about "Advanced Mode", or "Go advanced".

Then, on the top row of buttons, use the paper clip to attach screen shots or pictures.

Or, you can e-mail them to me. Just go to my Home Page link in my signature, scroll top the bottom, and click on "webmaster". But if you attach them, others can see and maybe have ideas I don't.

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Old 12-02-2011, 19:33   #9
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I attached the screen shots you sent.

I'm repeating what I said in my e-mail for the readers.

The charts are different charts. Note one says "Fixed Bridge" while the other says "Bascule Bridge". There are other differences as well.

This is not a problem with Coastal Explorer or Capn, but differences in the charts.

They are probably from different years, and maybe different providers. One looks like it was scanned at a better resolution.

-dan
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Old 12-02-2011, 19:42   #10
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I've been a Coastal Explorer user for 4 years but have always used vector charts. I fired up CE in raster mode and was able to confirm the fuzziness that others here have mentioned.

I suspect that this is a re-sampling issue. When a raster image is displayed at other than it's original size, each new pixel is created by an algorithm that considers the pieces of the original pixels that overlap the new pixel. There are several common algorithms, such as "nearest neighbor", "bilinear" and "bicubic". There are some definite tradeoffs between speed and quality when choosing.

I compared the screens of CE with that of some raster display software I wrote (which means I know exactly how it works). My code, which performs bicubic interpolation, gives a much better image than CE.

I'm acquainted with Brad Christian, the author of CE and know him to be a very sharp guy, so this is a bit surprising. My experience with Rosepoint has been good, but I can say that raster charts have never been a high priority for the company.

If this is a bug, the fix will be trivial. If a choice, you will need to lobby for change.

Charlie
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Old 12-02-2011, 20:00   #11
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[IMG]C:\Documents and Settings\Stu.TINY.000\My Documents\Shearwater III\Coastal Explorer and Cap'n image comparison[/IMG]

Dan is correct in the charts used in the original test were different. The Cap'n and Coastal Explorer use different selection rules for picking the chart for a given area.

This time, I created a file with only one chart - so I'm fairly sure the same original image was used both times. As with the original test, the Cap'n image contained navigation data that was more usable (to my eyes) than the CE data rendered from the same data set.

I may have goofed again, but I really think they are the same source and the difference is one of rendering.

Still can't figure out how to post the images - the results are above.

Lost in chart land, /Stu
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Old 12-02-2011, 20:03   #12
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New screenprint with identical charts.

Now we can see the difference is not due to the chart.

I would not have guessed there could be so much difference due to rendering method.

-dan
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Old 12-02-2011, 20:10   #13
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Charlie,

Thanks for the input. I posted here because I wasn't sure if the differences were CE or something incorrectly set in my instance. With help from Dan, it looks like the side by side makes it fairly clear that CE is different (maybe not as "good") as Cap'n. This is probably a design choice rather than a bug, but I'm hoping Brad sees it and upgrades CE.

Dan, thanks for publishing the screen shots - I can't imagine why I can't do it from here.

/Stu
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Old 12-02-2011, 22:02   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captstu View Post
Charlie,

Thanks for the input. I posted here because I wasn't sure if the differences were CE or something incorrectly set in my instance. With help from Dan, it looks like the side by side makes it fairly clear that CE is different (maybe not as "good") as Cap'n. This is probably a design choice rather than a bug, but I'm hoping Brad sees it and upgrades CE.

Dan, thanks for publishing the screen shots - I can't imagine why I can't do it from here.

/Stu
It could also be the the Cap'n is not as true as CE. The only was to know for sure, is to compare these screen shots to the real map.
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Old 12-02-2011, 22:40   #15
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I have compared PolarView, Open CPN SeaClear and Coastal Explorer Express and the results are the same. CE display is fuzzy when compared to the others At higher zoom levels the CE display pixellates before any of the others. I agree it is not a bug but a design choice. I cannot afford BSB4 charts to compare
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