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Old 03-08-2010, 18:45   #1
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Garmin Handheld Question , , ,

Do any of the Garmin handhelds take optional SD cards that incorporate the cartography from the Explorer Chartbooks? I see that the Garmin 78sc has a build-in base map of the US and Bahamas but I can find no reference on the GARMIN web-site as to where they got the charting data. Is it Explorer Chartbook based for the Bahamas?

And what is BlueChart g2 Vision? BlueChart g2 with pictures?

Does anybody know of a handheld that uses Explorer Chartbook data for the Bahamas?


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Old 04-08-2010, 05:36   #2
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I would ask Monty or Sara Lewis, (authors), about wether or not Garmin uses explorer charts. I know that was the case before, but not sure about current maps or post the question on thier blog site
Bahamas Chatter
or Garmin Blue Chart G2 Vision

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Old 04-08-2010, 06:15   #3
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Just looked at the Garmin web site for Marine maps.

Garmin | BlueChart g2 Vision

Not having one yet, I'm not familiar with the process, but if your's accepts an SD or "Card" then I'd think it would be rather straight forward to update.

I've always liked Garmin's interface and user simplicity. I suspect that if you have issues with it their "help" line would be of great assistance, as would any of their service centers. I found that they were in regards to Aviation systems.

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Old 04-08-2010, 12:16   #4
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I have only had cheaper, older Garmins. None of them will use anything except Garmin charts. Could be different for newer or more expensive models.

It's hard to know exactly where the data for different charts come from. But, for US charts, it just about always originates from the NOAA government data. It may have been vectorized, or maybe the raster images cleaned up and possibly some updates that the government ones don't have, but for all practical purposes, it's the same base data.

Much of the foreign charts also have origins that can be traced back to single sources.

Raster charts are converted to vector charts two basic ways. From the raw data that an agency uses to create the raster charts, or by looking at the raster charts and converting by hand (or maybe someone kind of simi-automated recognition software, and then finish up by hand).

So, there are usually more difference between vector charts in a particular region than in raster charts.

These differences are mainly: How accurate they converted from raster. How many detail charts are included in the set. Are the colors, fonts, symbols, etc. that are used easy to interpret?

The hardware used can also affect some of the same things.

IMHO, to choose a system, first look at the areas you are going to be in (and secondly, any areas you THINK you might go in during the useful life of your equipment), then look for (and ask opinions on) the best charts for those areas. THEN look for what equipment can support the chart type(s) you need for the coverage you require.

BUT, all equipment is not created equally. Maybe you find that the one you find that can handle all the charts you need is very expensive, or it doesn't have the flexibility you desire (like AIS or integrated radar). So now, you have to decide where to compromise.

You might decide the only way is to go with a PC so you can have multiple software packages that support a wide range of charts. Or a dedicated plotter that has coverage for the majority of the range.

Odds are, you are not going to find the perfect system. You will be balancing compromises. Power consumption vs. complexity vs. flexibility vs. expandability vs. usable life vs. redundancy vs. cost vs. chart quality vs....

I wrote this kinda quick, so I'm sure there are omissions, or statements that should have been qualified, but hopefully there is a useful point or two in there some where.

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Old 04-08-2010, 13:08   #5
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yes. garmin uses explorer charts as the basis for their bahamas charts and chips. that is true whether it is preinstalled or whether it is on the g2 vision. I have a Garmin plotter and checked this out to be sure when I got it. You can see it on their website - check the notes

The g2 vision cards have some really cool (not really necessary but cool) features like satellite pictures of harbors (nice when coming into a new harbor), 3d views of where you are going, etc. But they are expensive.
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