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Old 27-07-2011, 08:22   #181
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

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Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
Maybe someone addressed this before, but can we trust everyone else's sounder? You are relying on another person (not the government) to have calibrated everything correctly.

Is there a risk with this approach?

Just my initial thought when I read this.
There is not much risk. With crowdsourcing there would be data from many sources. If one boats depthsounder was off, it would be obvious.

I have been doing a beta test for Argus system, so I can see the potential of this system, especially in areas subject to rapidly changing bottom contours.
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Old 27-07-2011, 08:28   #182
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

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Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain View Post
That's not difficult - just need a WiFi gateway.

The iPad then can provide the full logging and live upload over it's internet connection too (or store and forward when a connection exists at a later time).

How great would it be for your chartplotter/iPad to be displaying soundings from boaters that went by the same path yesterday while you're collecting data and uploading it for the guy who's coming through tomorrow?
Good luck with that!
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Old 27-07-2011, 10:49   #183
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

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Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
Maybe someone addressed this before, but can we trust everyone else's sounder? You are relying on another person (not the government) to have calibrated everything correctly.

Is there a risk with this approach?

Just my initial thought when I read this.
How much are you trusting the government of Grenada to get stuff right? My cruising area is the Philippines and having observed government operations here on a casual basis, I suspect that the majority of forum contributors have better equipment which is likely calibrated more accurately than government contributions (if any). I notice that many of the forum contributors often have a fortune apparently tied up in multiply redundant GPS units, chart plotters, laptops, electronic charts, radar, depth sounders, and such. All I have at the moment is an old handheld etrex and a handheld fish finder along with an old laptop with some navigation software and free charts. The local government charts are mostly B&W and decades out of date. If I can connect stuff together I would be happy to contribute data points that few other cruisers would likely be putting into the system (or the government here) - BUT, I am new to all of this and would need an easy application to use and some clear instructions.

If there is an application, I suspect that there will be some instructions on such things as calibration and hooking things together so that there might be more confidence in the data points. It would seem that while first world governments have probably overpaid for military grade instruments and dedicated civil servants, they have the same need to figure out what their depth soundings that are connected to GPS coordinates really mean (based on tides and such - which is based on the time - date stamp) and that these programs have already been written - paid for by taxpayers, and therefore should be in the public domain. The difference in accuracy is not likely to be that much different from the millions of data points being collected and discarded constantly - data points that are being used by their collectors for their navigation and therefore the safety of themselves, their families, and their boats. Given that the data can be tracked by its originator - it should also be possible to rank the source over time by such factors as equipment and experience. There are likely programs written by DoD types for classifying the probable accuracy of intelligence data - early versions of which may also be declassified and in the public domain.
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Old 27-07-2011, 11:41   #184
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

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How much are you trusting the government of Grenada to get stuff right?
I don't, but I don't think the government of Grenada has ever done soundings. All the charts are mostly British Admiralty, and very outdated.

I do however trust people like Chris Doyle and Don Street who have done extensive soundings all over the Caribbean. I do trust that they use very calibrated equipment, and double/triple check things. As they also do with their GPS waypoints.

That being said (don't take this personally, its meant as a general statement), I would not trust any soundings or GPS plots you gave to me.

My boat is my home (as it may be yours too), and I don't trust anything anybody gives me unless I see it for myself, or its from a trusted source, like Chris and Don.

Maybe its just me, but I have met a lot of people that would say the same as me about this. Its not worth risking my boat to someone else's error, thats for sure.

I think some pretty good statistical analysis can be done on the data to help make sure things are OK. But I posed the question to see what thought had been given to it since its a very important part.

In the U.S. I certainly trust the NOAA charts, but only as much as I can trust anything this is potentially outdated the moment it is published. A good boater would not rely on one source of data, and I think using boats to collect data has the potential to be another point of data, but, I am cautious trusting other people's equipment, even if they are a close friend. However, for me, the greatest weight is going to be data from a trusted source, and Tom, Dick, and Harry out on Sunday for an afternoon cruise drinking beers does not instill confidence in me, sorry.
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Old 27-07-2011, 12:26   #185
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

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Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
That being said (don't take this personally, its meant as a general statement), I would not trust any soundings or GPS plots you gave to me.
The reality is that the future of electronic charts is this type of crowdsourcing. The processes that the Chris's, Don's, Nigel's, Eric's, and whoever else originally put together the data just isn't sustainable especially in areas that change because of shoaling and storms. Seriously, how often are they out in all places collecting and distributing their "trusted" data?

There's something more important going on here too than the move to digital data. I've been formulating a presentation about this exact subject. You see, I don't think it's the media that is really changing or really matters. It's not that electronic charts are better than paper ones. That misses the whole point.

The major change that has happened in the last decade is that there has been a shift from individual experts and "authorities" to "the crowd". It used to be important to read what some expert thought about a certain restaurant, movie, or even dishwasher. Now it doesn't matter. The guy who used to write restaurant reviews never got the same meal I got because the restaurants knew to be especially great to the reviewer. What matters now are UrbanSpoon, TravelAdvisor, AngiesList, and a thousand other places where real people give real results. It makes perfect sense for that trend to move toward hard data collection as well.

To be honest, I'd prefer living in a world where statistics, verification, and validation can be used to collect a community of data that is shared than hope that some authority isn't biased or motivated to sell me something instead of providing a good product. I'd trust what another boater told me on a dock long before I'd ever believe something I read in a book from a couple of years ago where they can't even get the phone numbers right. It's sort of akin to local knowledge being the highest quality information you could ever hope to get. I like that we now share this type of information among our own boating community.
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Old 27-07-2011, 12:47   #186
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

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Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain View Post
I'd trust what another boater told me on a dock long before I'd ever believe something I read in a book from a couple of years ago where they can't even get the phone numbers right.
So if I gave you a set of waypoints into a reef anchorage, your would believe me before waypoints from a reliable cruising guide that thousands of people have have used successfully. I guess we differ here.

Anyway, I am not trying to spawn an argument, which seems to be the trend these days on CF. I was only asking a question, to make sure people think about how to make the data so reliable, its better then other sources. I hope you do really well at it and its the best source of data for boaters!
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Old 27-07-2011, 12:51   #187
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

Kiltym:
Sure, crowdsource data from Tom, Dick, and Harry drinking beer on a Sunday afternoon should be used with caution, but in Grenada, isn't that still better than the Admiralty Charts that date from Lord Nelson's day?

That is the big advantage of crowdsource data. It is not only more up-to-date than traditional sources, but the more sources there are, the more confident we can be in its accuracy. This applied not only to soundings, but to ActiveCaptain ratings.
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Old 27-07-2011, 13:18   #188
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

I read this as everyone saying the same things, but nobody is listening to the other.

Please take the crowd source debate to another thread, and let's keep this one for the iPad!
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Old 27-07-2011, 14:35   #189
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

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Please take the crowd source debate to another thread, and let's keep this one for the iPad!
But we sort of are. Maybe a couple of postings got into the benefits of crowdsourcing but it all happened because of the discussion about the iPad being a great example it being a device that's perfect for it.

Only an iPad-like product has low cost, data import capability, data transmission/connectivity, and data display, all in a mobile package. The iPad fits so well into boating helms because it can do all of those things. I don't think much has been talked about it in that way though.

Instead of a discussion about what's possible, do we really needed another rehashing of the different weather apps available?
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Old 27-07-2011, 14:55   #190
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
I read this as everyone saying the same things, but nobody is listening to the other.

Please take the crowd source debate to another thread, and let's keep this one for the iPad!
I had an interesting conversation with the folks at Garmin this morning. One of the future things they are looking at is to give the next generation MFDs more capabilities, and the look and feel of the current tablets but with a waterproof and sunlight viewable unit that can be used in the cockpit in any weather. Their new touchscreen is the first step in that direction. As one manufacturer moves in that direction, the others are sure to follow and of course each wants to out do the others. In my opinion, the very near future will bring us true marine units with the best of both worlds, tablets and plotters. But, none of the manufacturers I have talked to recently have any future plans to bring their MFDs into the realm of a full computer. Of course that too can change. For now, I think the current line of tablets, iPads included, are good additions to our onboard systems but never a substitute for them. Chuck
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Old 27-07-2011, 15:04   #191
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

Here is an example of Raymarine's current release,
Raymarine e7 Multifunction Display
As an example. Chuck
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Old 27-07-2011, 15:34   #192
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

The reality too is that if you take an iPad, make it sunlight readable, make it watertight, and provide heat removal (which competes directly against sunlight readability), you'll end up with something closer in cost to an MFD today.

It's quite unlikely that someone is going to take an iPad and add all of those things to it also although I'd expect to a couple of those features added at higher cost eventually. Being somewhat water resistant and sunlight readable would open all kinds of markets like police, surveyors, and other mobile workers. All of us in boats would just go along for the ride and take advantage of the development.

The thing that I've been exploring lately is, what happens when you have all of these extra screens on your boat? Today about 50% of boaters have phones that are high resolution enough to be chartplotters; many have iPads that can be plotters; laptops have been plotters for years; even the new crop of TV's with things like SmartTV, Google TV, and other competing capabilities allow apps to be run and can be plotters. But do we need 12 different chartplotters on our boat at the same time?

I don't think so.

I mean, how many different views of the buoys up ahead do you need to see?
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Old 27-07-2011, 18:28   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain
But do we need 12 different chartplotters on our boat at the same time?

I don't think so.

I mean, how many different views of the buoys up ahead do you need to see?
For me, two is the right number with backup. My workflow for route planning is different than my workflow for navigating underway. My iPad with iNavX and Navionics charts is great for route planning. However, I like using the chart plotter at the helm with radar overlay and links to AP and wind instruments underway. What I'm looking for is a wifi multiplexer that let's me upload routes from the iPad to the chart plotter. At that point, I'm a pig in shi!t.
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Old 27-07-2011, 18:58   #194
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

My iPad is my primary ELECTRONIC plotter. I have an OLD Garmin GPS126 for NEMA data, and leave it set to the course/speed/distance page, otherwise the iPad runs the show. My eyes however are my primary means of navigation where navigation counts
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Old 27-07-2011, 19:23   #195
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Re: The Marine iPad . . .

my .02 cents worth - I've seen on many sites information that, when I got to the area in question, was totally wrong. Why? Because that information came from an inexperienced recreational boater, lacking experience.
I've read where certain areas of the ICW, to give an example, are virtually impassable when in fact, there is no problem whatsoever - the poster was not right in the channel - although he felt he was. But others depend on this information, thinking that the site operator has checked it out when that patently isn't the case. A lot of these internet sites with recommendations given by users are only as good as their users and that's the problem. There is NO guarantee that the user has the knowhow to make a proper judgement.
One chartbook out there, I won't mention the name, at one time showed at least three anchorages given the author that were not safe. The author had NOT checked them out, and this was a print publication. The situation is FAR worse in online guides.
One of them, a cruise ship uses that river every night, needing the entire channel. I discovered that one the hard way, having to move out of the way at half past midnight. Another is the entrance to a large creek with a shrimping community a half mile down. Anchor there and you completely block their ingress and egress. The third, and lord knows how this got through, was in a marked channel.
How do I know this? I do this work professionally, I make a point of checking these things out for the people who buy my Sailing South video or who contact me via SAIL magazine, Waterway Guide or TheSailingChannel for information.
But to depend on user input from non pros, especially on internet sites? Only as the most casual sort of guidance. But to risk my boat on them?
Not a chance.
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