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Old 18-01-2012, 07:43   #136
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Neither of those incidents have anything to do with electronics or autopilots. They are down to human error
Human error to be sure...

Caused by the subtle complacency engendered by a tacit belief in the infallibility of modern navigation electronics.

Paycheck bet says the Costa captain's defense will hinge on the "inaccuracy" of the navigation system aboard the Concordia.

Takers?

And oh yeah....

My Jepp C map is still showing the airport symbol for Meigs Field.

When it comes to accuracy of detail in charts useful for coastal pilotage...None beats the old Admiralty charts, as they drew land features with such remarkable precision it was still useful decades later(even if the lat longs were iffy) in visually fixing your relative position.

Wish they still made them the same way.

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Old 18-01-2012, 07:45   #137
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
NOT. Situational awareness at all times is the key. Except of course when you are single handing and need to sleep, eat, wash, shave, eliminate waste, or read.

Personally I would not sleep on autopilot. If I didn't have crew I would not take a trip requiring that. But if there are no boats around, nothing wrong with short trips away from the helm.
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Old 18-01-2012, 08:20   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors

Nick,

What I posted is accurate. Believe it.
Ok I do. So that means they are as stupid as I described it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors
Computers are used in the digitizing process for vector charts, i.e., creating an electronic chart (ENC) from a paper chart. In fact, this is mostly done by hand...don't know if you've ever seen a by-hand digitizing process take place....it's laborious, painstaking work. In an earlier life I was for a time quite close to the map and chartmaking process, working with the EROS Data Center, NOAA, and other government entities. Producing an accurate map or chart is much more complex than you might imagine, even with the aid of computers and satellites.

NOAA has two different sections which are responsible for the production of raster charts and of vector charts. They try their best to collaborate and coordinate in an attempt to make the electronic charts agree as closely as they can, and generally seem to do a very good job of it. Vector charts produced by other entities -- both public and private -- often seem not to have the same degree of care taken in their production.

While Google "charts" may be quite accurate insofar as coastlines are concerned, they can't/don't contain all the information found on nautical charts, particularly soundings, nav aids, prominent shore structures, obstructions, restricted areas, traffic lanes, etc., etc.

I'm sure NOAA would love to undertake a project to re-do all charting....are you prepared to finance it?

Bill
Ah you are talking vector charts while I am talking raster charts. But you could have known that when reading my post because a scan does not result in a vector chart.

So. Just to get this clear:

1. NOAA use pencil & paper to draw paper charts. No computers are used for creating the paper charts.
2. For digital raster charts, NOAA scans the hand drawn paper charts from point 1)

I still find this hard to imagine and think I need more than a "believe it" from Bill to be convinced that this is the way it's done. If it turns out to be true, some people <self-censored> for wasting tax payers dollars.

About digitizing to vector: please point me to documented errors in published/sold vector charts from this process. As so many errors are made by all the "less careful than NOAA" organizations, there must be plenty of documented cases around. I would rather state that NOAA chart production is clumsy and far below that of other hydrographic institutions. That this is caused by a lack of funding doesn't really matter in the end.
Also, markers etc. are changed all the time. These changes are plotted on both raster and vector charts in exactly the same way: by positioning data.

Then this chart revolution I am talking about: it certainly does not include hiring NOAA to start doing something lol. How about hacking a satellite and downloading it? You seem to forget that complete seabed mapping is done by satellite too. The only things that the satellites can't see is virtual stuff like traffic lanes that aren't buoyed. I would do gladly without those to gain the rest if it comes to that. But the same hacker will copy that info from a cmap world kit in a couple of minutes too. The thing is that this data exists but is deemed too accurate or too valuable or too dangerous to let into general posession. Just like the VOC thought centuries ago.
If NOAA published charts was all the charting that the US government had access to, we would have beautiful accurate charts.... like good enough to send guided missiles into the minute details that they prove to be able to hit. Accuracy that needs the improved GPS accuracy that the military has access to, so as to equal the accuracy if the charts and maps they use.

Eric Bauhaus started buying satellite data for his Panama cruising guide. It shows minute accurate detail where other charts just show "not surveyed" across shaded areas. Talk about improvement !

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 18-01-2012, 08:43   #139
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Of course charts are digitally printed, but where do you think the data that is on the chart or in the electronic system comes from? It does not magically manifest itself just because you'd like to think it into existence. To conduct actual surveys of the sea bed and coast line are hugely expensive and as such many areas don't get surveyed for years. There are areas in the Indian Ocean where the original data goes back to the 1870's! A lot of coastlines have been updated by way of satellite imaging, but beneath the surface it still needs to be surveyed, and that is a slow painstaking process. The best surveyed areas are those which are the approaches to major ports, particularly narrow seas such as English Channel, Malacca Straits etc. or areas where there is commercial interest such as seismic survey for the oil industry etc. It matters not what your actual navigational chart is, whether it is paper or electronic the source data is the same.
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Old 18-01-2012, 09:47   #140
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Now one says it's a computer print, but Bill has inside knowledge and says it is not!?

Satellite seabed mapping includes depth readings by the way. Nobody needs to go anywhere to update maps. The military don't go inside industrial smoke stags to map them out but can throw guided missiles into them nonetheless.

ciao!
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Old 18-01-2012, 09:53   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveT
Unfortunately not everybody knows the charts are wrong?

In the case of cheating for exams I knew one of the officers and he surely did not cheat his exam. What he did do was allow himself to believe one source of information over another more old-fashioned one. Absolutely human error, and if it did not exist there would never be a plane crash, ship running aground, doctor screwing up etc etc. People do make mistakes, unfortunately in some lines of work the consequence are a bit more visible to the general public than others!

If anyone on this forum can say they have never made a mistake then either he is the second coming of Christ or a liar.
There's no " old fashioned " source. Paper charts today are printed electronic versions. That's all. What is present is complacency. That's a human failing.

There were many many positional errors that caused accidents, when all there was was sextants and paper.

The systems have got more sophisticated the " nut at the wheel " hasn't
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Old 18-01-2012, 09:53   #142
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by sidmon View Post
Human error to be sure...

Caused by the subtle complacency engendered by a tacit belief in the infallibility of modern navigation electronics.
Is my autopilot being driven by my chart plotter the root cause for complacency?

I don't think so.

The 2 definitions for complacency:

Quote:
1) self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies

2) an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction
I draw my opinion mostly from one word in #2 - uninformed!

I believe the problem today is that 'systems', be it on a boat or airplane, have developed into complex entities and there is too much emphasis during training put on how to operate the 'system' verses what the system is actually doing to assist in navigating/driving the vessel. In thinking about AirFrance 447, it's my opinion that the younger pilots on that vessel spent more time in training on how to operate the 'systems' and less time in what makes an airplane fly. Airbus 3xx airplanes are not designed to work with nose up 40-60 degrees and full power on the engines. Had the pilots paid more attention to that vs. trying to feed the flight computers with 'pull-up, pull-up' data, the outcome would have been different. (lower the power, point the nose down, gain airspeed and get the plane back to flying, then deal with the 'systems').

Back to boats.

I'm well aware of what the systems on my boat do for making the task of getting from point A to point B easier. I think the key is actually knowing how to get your boat from A to B without the use of the systems. Hence, then one knows and appreciates how to use the systems to make the mundane tasks associated with overall project less mundane. There is a valid argument in putting too much trust in the 'system', but a prudent operator, who knows the limitation of the 'system', always and continually engages multiple checks to evaluate if the system is operating as expected.

I wouldn't state that the use of 'systems' leads to complacency, although I'll admit to a small amount of laziness, because complacency as per the definition, involves some level of 'uninformed'. I'm well aware that my chart plotter/autopilot combo will run me anywhere I tell it to, including the beach, swallow water, and any/all objects between A and B.

I'm informed! And lazy!
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:00   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidmon

Human error to be sure...

Caused by the subtle complacency engendered by a tacit belief in the infallibility of modern navigation electronics.

Paycheck bet says the Costa captain's defense will hinge on the "inaccuracy" of the navigation system aboard the Concordia.

Takers?

And oh yeah....

My Jepp C map is still showing the airport symbol for Meigs Field.

When it comes to accuracy of detail in charts useful for coastal pilotage...None beats the old Admiralty charts, as they drew land features with such remarkable precision it was still useful decades later(even if the lat longs were iffy) in visually fixing your relative position.

Wish they still made them the same way.
In the case of the Concordia the captain has admitted he knew the area well and he simply gave the order to turn just too late. The fact that the Concordia had passed this close ( or very nearly) before also lead to this madness. This was not an issue of electronics it was an issue of poor judgement, a situation that electronics cannot fix.

Whether under full manual control using paper and sextants or with full electronics, sea faring is littered with accidents caused by poor judgement. While integrated bridges have made ships safer and unfortunately lowered manning requirements, it has not improved the basic functionality of the human controlling it.

Dave
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:25   #144
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

The photo below is the source data of the actual chart this ship is navigating on right now, off the coast of West Africa. As you can see the source data is pretty ancient. The two ECDIS we are also using and which are loaded with Admiralty Vector Chart System have EXACTLY THE SAME SOURCE DATA! What makes you think Navion, Jeppesens or anyone else has anything more up to date? Most hydrographic offices employ survey vessels and it is not all done via satellite. However if you wish to believe it is so - go with it.
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:49   #145
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Now one says it's a computer print, but Bill has inside knowledge and says it is not!?

Satellite seabed mapping includes depth readings by the way. Nobody needs to go anywhere to update maps. The military don't go inside industrial smoke stags to map them out but can throw guided missiles into them nonetheless.

ciao!
Nick.
Nick, NO satellite can "see" beyond just a few meters depth below the sea surface and derive an accurate depth.

Bathymetric chart data comes from sonar -if not lead as amply indicated in the above shot from a high end ECDIS- soundings.

And as mentioned above, a whole lot of that data is ancient.

There is a largely unrecognized human factors problem here. And that is the beautiful presentations on those screens WILL lull the unsuspecting -or less than careful- into trusting them implicitly.

Its happened in enough aircraft cockpits, and ship's bridges to deny that the problem is something more than simply idiots at the helm.
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:50   #146
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Now one says it's a computer print, but Bill has inside knowledge and says it is not!?

Satellite seabed mapping includes depth readings by the way. Nobody needs to go anywhere to update maps. The military don't go inside industrial smoke stags to map them out but can throw guided missiles into them nonetheless.

ciao!
Nick.
Nick,

Please don't accuse me of saying things I didn't. I did NOT say it is not a "computer print". I said that there's no central computer DATABASE from which vector and raster charts are created. They are both created from paper charts. Of course, as I stated, a computer file is produced by the (manual) process of digitization, and the chart is printed from that file. That file does not comprise a database. Actually, the vector charts are produced from several computerized files, containing various layers of data. If you care to call that a "computer print" and think it comes from a central database, so be it. But it isn't. The basic data derive from the paper charts, and they are the controlling source.

Re: your comment on soundings from satellites and other comments above -- such as taking pot shots at how NOAA produces charts -- I'm sorry to say that you're WAY out of your depth, my friend. Give it up. Stick to something you know something about, like electronics.

With respect,

Bill
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Old 18-01-2012, 10:57   #147
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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In the case of the Concordia the captain has admitted he knew the area well and he simply gave the order to turn just too late. The fact that the Concordia had passed this close ( or very nearly) before also lead to this madness. This was not an issue of electronics it was an issue of poor judgement, a situation that electronics cannot fix.

Whether under full manual control using paper and sextants or with full electronics, sea faring is littered with accidents caused by poor judgement. While integrated bridges have made ships safer and unfortunately lowered manning requirements, it has not improved the basic functionality of the human controlling it.

Dave
My bet still stands that Schettino will blame his electronic charts. And that his career long reliance on them was a significant factor in this accident.
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:00   #148
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Okay, I searched and found this:

http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/mcd.htm

Which confirms that all traditional paper charts from NOAA are created from electronic master charts, just like the raster electronic charts. Good that I didn't take Bill's word for it this time (I was pretty sure he was wrong but he brought it Iike if he was drawing them there daily himself, so needed to research this again.

I agree with Steve that they are exactly he same. Sometimes companies like Jepessen charter survey vessels and get an advantage for some specific area that others don't have. I saw them doing that with C-Map charts brought out in 2006 for some areas in Colombia and Panama that were uncharted or very inaccurate before that. I just ordered a new chartkit from them and am wondering about any changes to be found.

For Turks and Caicos I used digitized pen drawings fom. Charter captain! Guess what, they were accurate enough for us with 6'2" draft on an average 7' deep vast area of water.

About the satellites: although hydrographic offices start using sme satellite data, I am not saying that they only use satellite... not at all! I am saying that more accurate data exists but they don't have access to it. Accuracy is an interresting thing, where many aspects must be matched to maintain it. For example, if your chart has a 20 meter accuracy, but your positioning system (ie GPS) is 10 meter accurate, then your navigation is still not better than 20 meter accuracy. Surely all undersand that and say duh! so try to follow me now: the least accurate link determines the most accuracy possible. Our charts are much less accurate than our GPS. So why does the military need a more accurate positioning? Right, because they have charts that are more accurate than the public GPS accuracy!

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:04   #149
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Okay, I searched and found this:

Marine Chart Division

Which confirms that all traditional paper charts from NOAA are created from electronic master charts, just like the raster electronic charts. Good that I didn't take Bill's word for it this time (I was pretty sure he was wrong but he brought it Iike if he was drawing them there daily himself, so needed to research this again.
.....
Nick.
Maybe it's a language thing, Nick. This is from the NOAA site you referenced, and confirms exactly what I said (bolding mine):

"ENCs are first “built” by taking the raster (i.e. paper) chart, and creating a vector data set. In many NOAA charts, high accuracy information about important features are embedded into the ENC. For example, if high accuracy channel limits are available, that information would be embedded into the ENC rather than vectorizing it from a small scale raster chart. Other critical features like wrecks and obstructions are transferred from highly accurate source information."

B.
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:10   #150
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidmon View Post
Human error to be sure...

Caused by the subtle complacency engendered by a tacit belief in the infallibility of modern navigation electronics.

Paycheck bet says the Costa captain's defense will hinge on the "inaccuracy" of the navigation system aboard the Concordia.

Takers?

And oh yeah....

My Jepp C map is still showing the airport symbol for Meigs Field.

When it comes to accuracy of detail in charts useful for coastal pilotage...None beats the old Admiralty charts, as they drew land features with such remarkable precision it was still useful decades later(even if the lat longs were iffy) in visually fixing your relative position.

Wish they still made them the same way.

Yes, had them the first time I sent to Mexico. All the charts down there are a mile or so off in places but with the great topography, it was very nice to take compass shots off various peaks etc...

Oh , and regarding integrating an auto pilot....YES!... You will then be in training to replace a certain Italian cruise ship captain!
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