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Old 10-02-2010, 14:15   #1
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Comparison of Chart Rendering in Various Nav Programs

Some comments on another forum the other day prompted me to create a comparison of how different navigation programs actually render the charts.

I think most of them do a pretty bad job. And it's a feature that's not often discussed.

So if you, like me, care about how your charts look one the screen, check it out!

Journeyman 60 - Navigation Programs - Chart Rendering Comparsion

/jesper
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Old 10-02-2010, 14:28   #2
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Jesper
Thanks, very interesting comparisons.

Paul L
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Old 10-02-2010, 18:33   #3
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THX!

Some problems viewing with Firefox 3.6.

b.
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Old 10-02-2010, 22:25   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Some problems viewing with Firefox 3.6.
More specific please?

(FF3.6 is my primary browser, plus I tested in 3.5 and IE7 too...)
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Old 13-02-2010, 18:57   #5
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Jesper - what platform have you used, in particular to test PolarView? I am curious because the font for soundings looks to be none of the ones we have chosen. This is somewhat an oversight on my part, on Windows we ask OS to give us a font by name, but perhaps we need to be more "strict". That font does not look as nice as what I want it to be using If this is a Mac - there may be a different issue, I guess. In any case I'd like to take a look at it.
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Old 13-02-2010, 21:55   #6
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The PolarView shot is made on Windows XP SP3.

I think the colors you have chosen could also use some tweaking. Now they have a distict green tint (My monitor is i1Display2 calibrated). This is not surprising if you are developing mostly on Mac which has a warmer default color temperature than a PC.
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Old 13-02-2010, 22:05   #7
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By the way, if you want a more in depth analysis with some constructive criticism, send me a mail!
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Old 13-02-2010, 22:08   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesperWe View Post
The PolarView shot is made on Windows XP SP3.

I think the colors you have chosen could also use some tweaking. Now they have a distict green tint (My monitor is i1Display2 calibrated). This is not surprising if you are developing mostly on Mac which has a warmer default color temperature than a PC.
I develop about equally on all our supported platforms, certainly Windows and Mac get a thorough walk-through for appearance purposes. That said, PolarView quite specifically avoids any color-matching (it ain't easy on Mac but it's possible and helps speed it up a quite bit). This actually results in slightly different views on properly calibrated monitors It may be worth adjusting colors for each system, using some sort of a profile (I'll have to handle that in some custom manner) - I am considering that.

On the topic of raster charts, would you consider the following image to be an improvement/same as/worse than the current raster chart view you saw in PolarView:

http://images38.fotki.com/v1219/file...7554117/nv.png

I am very interested in your opinion (as well as anyone else that wants to weigh in on that), since I've been looking at this stuff for too long and at this point have hard time being objective.
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Old 13-02-2010, 22:10   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesperWe View Post
By the way, if you want a more in depth analysis with some constructive criticism, send me a mail!
Very interested, already posted here in the open But I'll be glad to have an additional offline discussion - not to flood this thread with off-topic stuff. If you don't mind - reply to me at Polar Navy - using either direct email or a form.
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Old 13-02-2010, 22:36   #10
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This actually results in slightly different views on properly calibrated monitors.
Yes, I am calibrated at 6000K (midway between PC and Mac, works good when doing design work) so my colors come out closer to the Mac. If I turn calibration off I get a the typical PC monitor with a color temp of about 6500K-7000K, on which your current colors come out very greenish. Matter of taste of course but I would say you would be hard pressed to find a monitor where your current colors some out looking like anything people are used to from the paper charts.

Quote:
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On the topic of raster charts, would you consider the following image to be an improvement/same as/worse than the current raster chart view you saw in PolarView: ... I've been looking at this stuff for too long and at this point have hard time being objective
Eh... I say waaay too long if you can't tell the difference:


To the right: Current Polarview: Text is mostly unreadable. Depth and height lines are randomly broken. To the left, you posted image. Problems fixed.
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Old 13-02-2010, 23:43   #11
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Just for fun I made some colormap tweaks from the shot I have in my comparison.
Left is current PolarView, right is something not perfect but what I would call improved. Less greenish anyway. The fonts are screwed up unfortunately since I can't access the original image layers.

Maybe other people can weight in on preferences?

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Old 14-02-2010, 02:21   #12
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Interesting project.. Very systematic

In my opinion the most significant difference between the various packages is the display of the deep water route, which would analogously apply to traffic separation schemes. These are of great importance for small craft imHo in determining the commercial shipping routes. On the raster chart rendered you can see the usual "contrast colour/see note" type entry, on some of the vector renderings (including opencpn) it's a very faint zigzag that could be an undersea cable or anything of the sort. Polar simply omits it. Garmin does a pretty good job of making it bold and green, although I'm not sure green is the right colour for that. Find attached a screenshot of OpenCpn on location with cmap, the deep water route is purple and arrowed and very distinct

Regarding the colour schemes, I do actually prefer all the greenish/blueish display types, as white, though being the customary colour for paper charts, seems too bright on a (backlit) computer screen
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Old 14-02-2010, 05:44   #13
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PolarView does not "omit" it (see screen shot below). I believe the symbology is quite visible.


PolarView, however does two things:
1) permits user to turn off certain object groups (including various navigation lanes).

2) Automatically removes certain object groups based on chart type, location and scale to keep the view readable. Generally speaking, any object is guaranteed to be visible at chart's native scale or below and many non-essential objects will disappear as you "zoom out".

I would guess that the latter is why the route lane is not visible at a given scale on that chart. I am sure a case can be made that it was scaled out earlier than desirable, since for an approach chart this one is pretty extensive.


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Interesting project.. Very systematic

In my opinion the most significant difference between the various packages is the display of the deep water route, which would analogously apply to traffic separation schemes. These are of great importance for small craft imHo in determining the commercial shipping routes. On the raster chart rendered you can see the usual "contrast colour/see note" type entry, on some of the vector renderings (including opencpn) it's a very faint zigzag that could be an undersea cable or anything of the sort. Polar simply omits it. Garmin does a pretty good job of making it bold and green, although I'm not sure green is the right colour for that. Find attached a screenshot of OpenCpn on location with cmap, the deep water route is purple and arrowed and very distinct

Regarding the colour schemes, I do actually prefer all the greenish/blueish display types, as white, though being the customary colour for paper charts, seems too bright on a (backlit) computer screen
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Old 14-02-2010, 05:48   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesperWe View Post
Just for fun I made some colormap tweaks from the shot I have in my comparison.
Left is current PolarView, right is something not perfect but what I would call improved. Less greenish anyway. The fonts are screwed up unfortunately since I can't access the original image layers.

Maybe other people can weight in on preferences?
I see what you mean now. Yes, the greenish color of water is that way on all systems - this was selected precisely because it is not as bright and "washed out" as pure white-blue combination. Arguably not everyone likes greens (I don't but I like aquamarine just enough).
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Old 14-02-2010, 06:00   #15
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Yes, the greenish color of water is that way on all systems - this was selected precisely because it is not as bright and "washed out" as pure white-blue combination. Arguably not everyone likes greens (I don't but I like aquamarine just enough).
Two things come into play here:

1. Different people like different colors. Fine.

2. Recognizability = Safety. If I have a chart displayed on the yacht screen, I'd like everyone in my crew, including those who are less experienced, to immediately recognize what is what on the display. Green water is not what they are used to. So it takes them 3 seconds longer to get oriented, and in those 3 seconds we might make the wrong descision.

(I realize I am coming at this from the angle of a sail racing skipper used to very difficult waters, which means I have some particular viewpoints. If you want to get a feeling for what I mean, take a look at the 2 Youtube links I posted in the bottom right of the first page of the Chart Rendering Comparision )
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