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Old 14-06-2011, 16:09   #421
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Cross posted from another thread

I think that some folks might want to do so reading / research on the "technological imperative."

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The Technology Imperative states that if a new technology exists, we need it. Logic and business school lessons don’t matter.
The Technology Imperative

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Major critics of the pursuit of the technological imperative have been Jacques Ellul and Ivan Illich. Michael Shallis notes that:

The Chinese discovered gunpowder but chose not to develop the gun. We in the West generally accept the notion of the technological imperative which, like natural selection and evolution, inevitably leads where it will and precludes purposeful change, directed progress.
The imperative implies that the invention of a new technique demands its adoption and development, and although there are countless examples of 'useless' inventions that no one wants and which are not developed but fade away, the general tendency has been to pursue possible developments for their own sake. The technological imperative concerns that self-motivated pursuit and implies that it is somehow inevitable... Technology is promoted... as if the idea of the imperative was true.
(Shallis 1984, pp. 64-5).
Technological Determinism: The Technological Imperative
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Old 14-06-2011, 19:29   #422
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
And how many of you would be in favor of removing all channel markers and aids to navigation? ... Besides, they're costing the taxpayer a lot of money to maintain.
At a trade association meeting about 3 years ago, I had a cocktail with a senior Coast Guard guy. We discussed that the USCG is studying the idea of 'virtual channels', where they would spend the money and efforts on maintaining up-to-date digital information, accurate depth surveys, and remove the physical buoys in some long, well marked channels. Places like the Delaware Bay are an example, where the channel is very long and straight. Imagine if there were only about 12 physical buoys from Lewes all the up past the C&D canal, (instead of the 60 or so there now) placed only at bends and turns. The rest of the markers would still show up on chart plotters, but would not exist is the real world.

No one is in favor of removing all markers, but surely there are some that wouldn't be missed.

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Your chartplotters make them obsolete.Let's get a poll going; let's find out how much you REALLY trust those gadgets.
I ran a short channel a few years ago where 6 buoys had been washed away the day before in a storm. I checked with some local authorities first, and they confirmed that the buoys had been in their charted position before being blown away. The missing buoys are within the red circle on this chart below. It's a pretty narrow channel, and the day I went through, there we breakers on that shoal just inside the bridge.

I followed the channel based on my position on my chart plotter, and kept within the buoys on my screen. The buoys didn't exist in the real world. Many of you will think I was crazy, but it was a channel I had run in before, and I would have been stuck in NJ for weeks had I not taken that risk. It came off without a hitch. There is no way that I could have even attempted anything at all had I only had a paper chart.
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Old 14-06-2011, 21:43   #423
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what is our objective?

I think we ought to consider what we are trying to accomplish with charts, GPS, chartplotters, etc..

It seems to me there are two primary goals:

1) stay in safe water
2) avoid hazards

These are corollaries.

Both safe water and hazards are relative to the boat's position.

A GPS provides a geographical position, which in some parts of the world does not match the chart because of poor hydrography, differing horizontal datum points, etc.. I also remember reading about someone who had problems because the prime meridian was based on Paris, not Greenwich (really old chart, I presume).

A visual fix on a chart, even one with a misplace horizontal datum, will provide position which will be relative to safe water and hazards. A GPS fix on such a chart is meaningless.

When I teach passage planning one of the documents to which I refer is

Ship Passage Planning

It has the following statement:

Quote:
(a) positions obtained by electronic positioning systems must be checked regularly by visual bearings and transits whenever available;
I would recommend this document to all. I follow its principles.
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Old 14-06-2011, 23:37   #424
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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
At a trade association meeting about 3 years ago, I had a cocktail with a senior Coast Guard guy. We discussed that the USCG is studying the idea of 'virtual channels', where they would spend the money and efforts on maintaining up-to-date digital information, accurate depth surveys, and remove the physical buoys in some long, well marked channels. Places like the Delaware Bay are an example, where the channel is very long and straight. Imagine if there were only about 12 physical buoys from Lewes all the up past the C&D canal, (instead of the 60 or so there now) placed only at bends and turns. The rest of the markers would still show up on chart plotters, but would not exist is the real world.

No one is in favor of removing all markers, but surely there are some that wouldn't be missed.

I ran a short channel a few years ago where 6 buoys had been washed away the day before in a storm. I checked with some local authorities first, and they confirmed that the buoys had been in their charted position before being blown away. The missing buoys are within the red circle on this chart below. It's a pretty narrow channel, and the day I went through, there we breakers on that shoal just inside the bridge.

I followed the channel based on my position on my chart plotter, and kept within the buoys on my screen. The buoys didn't exist in the real world. Many of you will think I was crazy, but it was a channel I had run in before, and I would have been stuck in NJ for weeks had I not taken that risk. It came off without a hitch. There is no way that I could have even attempted anything at all had I only had a paper chart.

Brings me back to the DMZ in Korea and the General's Memo. LORAN and GPS are not to be used for Navigating in Mine Fields.

Circluar Error Probable (CEP) is an old term Surveyors used. Even with Differential GPS (DGPS) you have it. When looking for accuracies, you have a lot of computations you work with and take the 'MEAN" of them.
Yep, Local KNowledge is a WHOLE lot better even in daylight than a GPS and a Chartplotter.
But hey, it's your boat, wallet and life so 'Go for it'!
PS: I like my OPEN CPN a lot. I even trust it more than I know I should...
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Old 15-06-2011, 06:33   #425
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by doug86 View Post
At a trade association meeting about 3 years ago, I had a cocktail with a senior Coast Guard guy. We discussed that the USCG is studying the idea of 'virtual channels', where they would spend the money and efforts on maintaining up-to-date digital information, accurate depth surveys, and remove the physical buoys in some long, well marked channels. Places like the Delaware Bay are an example, where the channel is very long and straight. Imagine if there were only about 12 physical buoys from Lewes all the up past the C&D canal, (instead of the 60 or so there now) placed only at bends and turns. The rest of the markers would still show up on chart plotters, but would not exist is the real world.

No one is in favor of removing all markers, but surely there are some that wouldn't be missed.

I ran a short channel a few years ago where 6 buoys had been washed away the day before in a storm. I checked with some local authorities first, and they confirmed that the buoys had been in their charted position before being blown away. The missing buoys are within the red circle on this chart below. It's a pretty narrow channel, and the day I went through, there we breakers on that shoal just inside the bridge.

I followed the channel based on my position on my chart plotter, and kept within the buoys on my screen. The buoys didn't exist in the real world. Many of you will think I was crazy, but it was a channel I had run in before, and I would have been stuck in NJ for weeks had I not taken that risk. It came off without a hitch. There is no way that I could have even attempted anything at all had I only had a paper chart.
It's interesting that you mention the Delaware Bay, because for me it provides one of the strongest examples of why paper charts are still needed.

Last year, some buddies and I did the Delmarva circumnavigation and I played navigator as we decided we'd rather sail the Delaware, at least as much as possible. We managed to do about the southern half of the bay by carefully threading ourselves through shoals. It simply would not have been possible without the larger scale chart that gave us the "big picture" and prevented us from trapping ourselves behind some bank of shoals. The chartplotter gave us only a very limited view and relying on it would have gotten us into very deep (or rather very shallow) water.

The skipper - a big fan of his chartplotter - was quick to realize that the paper charts were a sine qua non for that day's sail. Of course, we could have just motored up the channel the WHOLE way.
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Old 15-06-2011, 06:53   #426
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
The chartplotter gave us only a very limited view and relying on it would have gotten us into very deep (or rather very shallow) water.
Very new feature on chartplotters... very new... its called a zoom button.... or buttons....or even a lil joy stick type joystick... thats fun

Only been around for.... ummmmmm


You do seem to have an implanted idea that everyone who can use a chartplotter is a moron.

Weeese not!
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Old 15-06-2011, 07:21   #427
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Very new feature on chartplotters... very new... its called a zoom button.... or buttons....or even a lil joy stick type joystick... thats fun

Only been around for.... ummmmmm


You do seem to have an implanted idea that everyone who can use a chartplotter is a moron.

Weeese not!
It's not the zoom, it's the size of the screen.
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Old 15-06-2011, 07:58   #428
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
It's not the zoom, it's the size of the screen.
Go buy a 30 inch monitor. Thats about as big the goat feed you're using now on the Arc.


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Old 15-06-2011, 08:04   #429
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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It's not the zoom, it's the size of the screen.
I think it's the zoom and not the size that matters. The zooming has to be instant. If you have that you get all the benefits in a remarkable way that needs to be experienced. It's sort of like watching a movie on an iPhone. You get lost in the movie and don't really realize it's on a tiny screen.

As a test of this, I piloted my 53' trawler from the Penobscot Bay in Maine to Key West in 2005 using only a 2.5" x 2.5" screen on a Palm Treo. Zooming was instant with every US chart on the memory card. Except for one overnight passage using the autopilot, I manually steered using only the Palm. I did use radar a couple of times using the larger Raymarine head but I only used it in radar mode.

Needless to say, I survived. It was quite fun. To this day, I mainly dock the boat and move over the "last mile" using the same 2.5" screen on the flybridge. I've gotten quite used to it.
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Old 15-06-2011, 08:07   #430
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Go buy a 30 inch monitor. Thats about as big the goat feed you're using now on the Arc.


30"?! You can't possibly be serious! I'd need an onboard nuclear reactor just to power it up.
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Old 15-06-2011, 09:25   #431
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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It's not the zoom, it's the size of the screen.
+1

I like being able to look at a smaller scale chart laid out on the table to get a sense of where we are going and what to look for. Having the rest of crew being able to see the chart as well is a real plus.

Walking a set of dividers over a chartplotter screen just seems wrong.
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Old 15-06-2011, 14:06   #432
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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Walking a set of dividers over a chartplotter screen just seems wrong.
OMG I sure hope you teach traditional navigation and not modern with chartplotters heheh

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Old 15-06-2011, 14:14   #433
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Re: Death to PAPER ! More Nails in the Paper Chart Coffin . . .

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OMG I sure hope you teach traditional navigation and not modern with chartplotters heheh

ciao!
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I teach both; traditional, then electronic.
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Old 15-06-2011, 14:24   #434
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Re: Cross posted from another thread

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I think that some folks might want to do so reading / research on the "technological imperative."

Many of the technical revolutions in recent years have been dismissed as being “Elegant solutions for which there was no known problem”. And in truth, sometimes they have been just that. (Anyone want to buy a little used hand held potato peeler?)

But GPS and Chartplotters most certainly do not fall into that category.

I use paper charts as a “Sanity Check” and a laptop as a backup just in case all else fails but my experience with my chartplotters in terms of reliability, accuracy and very high level of detail (Yes Virginia, there really is a Zoom button) makes me very glad to have them onboard.

Like all of you who have followed this thread from its beginning (You should be ashamed of yourself Doug) I’m familiar with most if not all of the arguments pro and con and although I found it all very interesting, what leaps out at me is that the answer to the original question has nothing to do with modern or traditional navigation methods.

Nor is it an argument for one technology over another, rather, it is an opportunity to determine what combination of methods and technologies works best for you in allowing you to navigate confidently and safely.

Never losing sight of the fact that as of yet, there are no replacements for the age old “Mark 1 Eyeball” and the often underrated “Mark 1 Ear Hole”……James
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Old 15-06-2011, 14:42   #435
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I'd have to say the OPs premise is. Unfortunately , true. The main reason is the production and distribution of paper charts is time consuming and expensive.

As commercial shipping drives all decisions, it's only a matter of a few more years until a complete transition to vector charts will be complete. At this point the economics of digital only chart production will be overwhelming

Even today for example the best European charts are produced by the respective national hydrographic agencies. Assembling a comphrensive set of paper charts is very difficult and time consuming not to mention very expensive. Yet navionics or c- map have gone to all that bother and encapsulated all this national data in one place. It's just not on paper.

It's this factor that will ensure the supremacy of digital data

Talk of failures in GPS etc are wide od the mark. The equipment is reliable redundant and cheap. Those who advocate traditional methods miss the fact that interpretation errors are common., even using the humble visual fix relies on significant interpretation. Navigation history is replete with fatalities due to faulty Interpretation. Today such errors are significantly fewer even though shipping speed, size and traffic density have increased enormously.

As to leisure sailors. The debate is in practice over. While many sailors carry backup charts. These are often passage planning types and arnt much good for pilotage. Most sailors rely completely on GPS position determination and that's a fact of life. I can calculate latitude using lunar distance, but that matters not in the onward march of GNSS. In a few years we will have European , Chinese, Russian systems as well. It's over but for the talking.


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