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Old 22-03-2011, 03:12   #136
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

I'm beginning to wonder if the table mat I picked up at a Florida seafood joint a few years ago might be getting out of date. Surely those two cute dolphins in the top right hand corner must have splashed down by now?. I think I'll go back and pick up an updated table mat (If I can find the place again)...
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Old 22-03-2011, 04:49   #137
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

This has been fascinating reading. I was surprised that only 25% of text books are projected to be electronic by the year 2015 - although I suppose the number will be larger in reality. The same company predicts e-text books to be the dominant form of education with 7 years. I am studying e-learning, and strongly believe that within our lifetime we will see the end of paper, just like we saw the end of vinyl. I'm not particularly happy about it, though.

The incident with this Japan reactor has shown us how volatile our energy sources are. HWMO invested in uranium (I believe that's used to fuel nuclear stations or something, but I'm not sure) which has fallen in value drastically recently - since it looks like the American nuclear program (and probably others) will be set back.

Therefore, in the short term we need to revert to protecting our oil supplies. But they are still finite, even if the powers manage to secure further supplies from the Middle East. So, a massive power shortage really isn't that far-fetched, even though I am sure suplliers are working hard to find alternatives. We hope it won't happen, but it could.

Now, if that means students can't access online textbooks, then tough - they can't study. But if it means that sailors can't access the GPS or online charts or whatever, then that could be a hazard. If we don't have an alternative - of course.
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Old 22-03-2011, 06:10   #138
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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I'm beginning to wonder if the table mat I picked up at a Florida seafood joint a few years ago might be getting out of date. Surely those two cute dolphins in the top right hand corner must have splashed down by now?. I think I'll go back and pick up an updated table mat (If I can find the place again)...
Sure you can find it. Just plug the restaurant's name into your TomTom or Nuvi, and it will lead you right there.
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Old 22-03-2011, 06:20   #139
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

Tom Tom?, Nuvi?? Are they electric thingy's that need batteries and stuff? They probably cost more than the free table mats I've been using...
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Old 22-03-2011, 06:45   #140
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Tom Tom?, Nuvi?? Are they electric thingy's that need batteries and stuff? They probably cost more than the free table mats I've been using...
James, nice try, but you attempted to fake ignorance of electric thingys on a computer forum. And that computer probably cost more than the table mat. The emperor wears no clothes!
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Old 22-03-2011, 07:35   #141
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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"Dropping a bit" ?! Assuming we're talking about some digital chip that was faulty, we get a bit that is stuck to either a 0 or a 1. For distance to radar targets this means that on average, half of the calculated distances was right. So... now.. what's the story with 100% was wrong?? starts to sound like a software bug but that can't be "repaired", just replaced by newer software that corrects this bug. I therefore raise my BS flag

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Sorry, This "digital Radar" was produced in 1978 and was on a 95,000 GRT LNG tanker (LNG Gemini). It ran on a Varian 100 Mini-Computer, not a modern PC by any standard, software was loaded by cassett tape with a hand loaded hexidecimal bootstrap program. It had 1K of iron Core memory, iron core memory was a "doughnut" of Iron with three wires wraped around it, Positive, Negative, and Ground. There were 1028 of the Iron cores for a total of 1K memory. One Iron Core had a broken wire. And missing one bit would NOT devide the distance in half. The lowest bit would do that, but in a 16 bit word the upper bits could relate to 1', 2', 4', 8', 16'....etc. So missing a bit in the middle could offset the distance by 1 mile. I could have said 8256' but I said 1 mile, sue me. I did not expect to have to give a history lesson to explain an example of a hidden problem.
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:35   #142
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

Ok, I started this thread, so lets see if we can get back on track. Rather than rehash the old debate of "paper vs digital", what we should be discussing is "digital vs nothing(?)".

As paper charts continue to get less use, they will get more expensive to produce and buy. This starts the cycle of death for this kind of technology. The change will be similar to what happened in the film industry. Did you know that Kodak stopped developing Kodachrome last year? The film industry died because the demand for the product dried up; everyone switched to digital cameras. I see this same thing happening to nautical charts, to the point that their use will be limited to large ships who can afford the space and expense to actually print them on board, underway.

The advantages of digital charts will eventually overwhelm the cries of traditionalists, minimalists, purists and enthusiasts. The advantages include: portability (digital charts can be delivered over wireless connections and carried on tiny chips), continuously updated, redundancy (you can have 3-4 digital copies of the entire world catalogue , on different media even, all stored in less space than a shoe. Try that with paper), affordability (already, digital versions of NOAA charts are free to all).

Yes, the drawbacks are there, but surely a solar powered chart plotter solves the "what happens when your batteries die" objection. Hey, what happens whey you drop your sextant overboard? What happens when you spill a can of paint into your chart drawer? Lets just agree that every system has potential flaws, and not one is foolproof.

So, tell us how are you preparing for this digital future, rather than argue that it won't happen, or those who promote it are somehow lazy incompetent sailors who aren't worth a salt.

Reminder: every single person who adds to this thread is by definition a digital technology user. None of you mailed your post in to the forum on paper, so don't pretend that you will never switch. Those keys under your fingertips betray your claims of hatred for all things digital.

The Buggy Whip, the telegraph, the payphone, slide film.... the paper chart?

Sure am glad for spring! Airing out the boat...
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:45   #143
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

I think someone needs to question the presumtption that paper charts are more expensive then digital. The cartography cost the same. Printing is more expensive then digital distribution but how much have you spent on reproduction equipment. Some of its inexpensive and some of it's not. Some people have probably spent a lot on their chart plotters and spend on a regular basis keeping up with technology changes. I don't know how the costs break down but there is a more significant profit component to digital. It changes what you're paying for. The areas you are buying charts for is going to make a difference as well. It may well be cheaper to use paper charts if, to use an example local to me, you are never leaving the waters of the south coast of BC.
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:06   #144
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Originally Posted by doug86 View Post
...
Reminder: every single person who adds to this thread is by definition a digital technology user. None of you mailed your post in to the forum on paper, so don't pretend that you will never switch. Those keys under your fingertips betray your claims of hatred for all things digital.
...
First, I agree with you. Every system has it's drawbacks. Electronic will take over (for good or bad).

But I gotta say that relying on electronics to post on a forum is quite different than relying on them for my life.

I love my electronics. But as long as reasonably possible I'll keep paper charts around. Consider it my security blanket. It may not really be necessary, but I feel better having them around.

Having said that, since electronic charts are coming, I completely agree with examining the drawbacks and exploring the solutions. Even if I keep paper charts, I'd like my electronic charting to be a safe and reliable as possible. I'd MUCH rather have them work than have to fall back to paper alone.

-dan
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:24   #145
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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First, I agree with you. Every system has it's drawbacks. Electronic will take over (for good or bad).

But I gotta say that relying on electronics to post on a forum is quite different than relying on them for my life.

I love my electronics. But as long as reasonably possible I'll keep paper charts around. Consider it my security blanket. It may not really be necessary, but I feel better having them around.

Having said that, since electronic charts are coming, I completely agree with examining the drawbacks and exploring the solutions. Even if I keep paper charts, I'd like my electronic charting to be a safe and reliable as possible. I'd MUCH rather have them work than have to fall back to paper alone.

-dan
I agree with you and Doug: Paper charts will ultimately become museum artifacts but, like you I like to keep them around "Just In Case". However, although I class myself as a "Safety First" guy, I must confess that although I keep my charts handy, I find myself referring to them less and less...James
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Old 22-03-2011, 14:12   #146
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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I think someone needs to question the presumtption that paper charts are more expensive then digital. The cartography cost the same. Printing is more expensive then digital distribution but how much have you spent on reproduction equipment. Some of its inexpensive and some of it's not. Some people have probably spent a lot on their chart plotters and spend on a regular basis keeping up with technology changes. I don't know how the costs break down but there is a more significant profit component to digital. It changes what you're paying for. The areas you are buying charts for is going to make a difference as well. It may well be cheaper to use paper charts if, to use an example local to me, you are never leaving the waters of the south coast of BC.
While I admit my view is biased to the US, how much cheaper than FREE can you get (all NOAA charts for the USA are free to download)? There are a number of FREE chart plotter programs (OpenCPN has its own sub-forum here at CF) that run on a basic computer. Hardware costs? Well, as I have already discussed, the fact that you post here is proof that you already own all the "hardware" needed (your computer) with the exception of a $35 USB GPS receiver.

So, the economics for cruising in the USA are pretty clear. If you own a computer and a very cheap GPS receiver, you need not spend any more money to have a full blown chartplotter. Not a dime more. How the heck are the paper publishers going to compete with those economics?

Here is a question for you Humm, how much would it cost to obtain a printed copy of every single NOAA chart to cover the coast of the USA? And, how much of your time will be required to keep every single one of those few hundred charts up to date and current? And, how much would that stack of paper weigh?

Now, as to charts for the rest of the world, I think other governments will quickly follow our lead, as they too will want to see the savings that come with the elimination of their chart printing office. They might not give the charts away for free like we do, but a digital version will certainly be cheaper than a paper one.
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Old 22-03-2011, 14:24   #147
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

A spanner in the works

Quote:
A new report warns that society has become ‘dangerously over-reliant’ on satellite navigation systems, just two weeks after such a system was declared safe for guiding aircraft from space.

The report, by the Royal Academy of Engineering, focuses on our increasing reliance on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and the current limited use of GNSS-independent back-ups. It also highlights the vulnerability of GNSS to interference — both artificial, through surreptitious ‘jamming’, and natural, from solar flares and space weather.

The report comes after the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) was certified for ‘safety-of-life’ operation in aviation — for the first time, space-based navigation signals have become officially usable for the critical task of vertically guiding aircraft during landing approaches.



Read more: Satellite navigation systems are vulnerable, warns report | News | The Engineer
The report itself is at:

http://www.raeng.org.uk/news/publica...ems_Report.pdf
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Old 22-03-2011, 14:32   #148
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

I'm not writing this on the computer I use for chart plotting. It wouldn't be practical to use this computer aboard.

Many folks buy expensive chart plotters and backups or dedicated computers and upgraded electrical systems to support them. "Free" raster charts are available in the states I understand but not here or many places and vector maps aren't free. The U.S. gov't is still paying the same for the cartography whether you download or use print.

I'm not saying it can't be cheaper but it might not be depending on the individual. I don't know the cost of charts in the US but the C-MAPS vector charts cost quite a bit in general. Here in Canada paper charts are reasonable in cost, well made and you can get books to cover areas that are very cost effective.

Yes, if you have a computer on your boat anyway and plan on maintaining it, use free software and have free electronic charts available then you can call it free. Many people don't.

Governments will still keep producing the cartography and I doubt that printed charts will disappear. To the government agencies creating the maps why would it make a difference how the end user uses them and therefore why would printed charts go away? If the gov't stops printing them someone will step into the void.
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Old 22-03-2011, 14:36   #149
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Governments will still keep producing the cartography and I doubt that printed charts will disappear. To the government agencies creating the maps why would it make a difference how the end user uses them and therefore why would printed charts go away? If the gov't stops printing them someone will step into the void.
The Canadian government will continue to print and sell charts and other paper publications because they require us to use them.
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Old 22-03-2011, 14:46   #150
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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The Canadian government will continue to print and sell charts and other paper publications because they require us to use them.
They require you to use nav lights and PFD's, but they don't manufacture them.

Question for the Canadian friends: Does the Gov't require you to update the chart? How old a chart complies with this regulation?
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