In the long-running thread on whether paper charts
are still necessary, the point came up that land topography may not be shown on an electronic chart.
Another poster pointed out that such topography is important to sailors, especially racing
, because it affects how the wind
flows out over the water
It occurred to me it's also rather important for selecting an anchorage, and for interpreting radar
But to me there's a more crucial purpose for this information.
It tends to be forgotten, now that we (almost) always know where we are.
There was a time, when within sight of land, that charts
were used mainly in order to find out where we were.
When the GPS
era, their purpose changed almost overnight: we used them mainly to show us where we were.
I'm guessing that's why land topography is no longer considered to add value to electronic charts.
I think this about-turn might be at the bottom of why GPS
keeps sneaking into the paper vs electronic chart discussion. Because (AFAIK) what I'm raising here is a largely un-discussed, and potentially controversial link, I thought it merited a new thread.