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Old 22-11-2014, 03:50   #1
bcn
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SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ: Vector charts for Scandinavia and Baltic

We would like to draw the attention to a thread in the neighbor forum here:
Navionics pull software from Google Play Store?
Discussion starts about that point.

The story has the background of a pilot test GST - that's the Danish Hydrographic Office - conducted last year.

The issue are vector charts - actual ones on base of the S-57 builds of the HOs - for the leisure market AND to explore the use of electronic charts as "primary mean of navigation for leisure crafts".

A report in English is here:
https://www.iho.int/mtg_docs/rhc/NHC...e%20Course.pdf

Very exciting and important issue. And GST sees themselves as the spearhead in this discussion in the frame of the IHO. So something we should pay attention to.

What we would like to see is an open minded discussion to define what would cover our needs in the most appropriate way. But what we observe is very little communication and the preparation of a business model - that's my fear - that will oblige to go to some kind of "wheel mark approved Hardware and Software".

Limiting in a very serious manner the options we have nowadays.

We have been told "This is in the hand of the GST directory and when we are ready you will see a press release".

So: sailors in Scandinavia and the Baltic keep sharp look-out and report please here about your findings and opinions.

We will try to talk to GST as well and come back with the findings

Hubert
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Old 22-11-2014, 04:07   #2
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Re: SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ: Vector charts for Scandinavia and Baltic

GST i using the company TrueHeading as a partner in the tests.
Seapilot - True Heading

An obvious worry is that they are limited to iphones and windows 8.
For this kind of thing I would expect that applications should cover all major platforms. To limit safe navigation to specific operating systems, can't be in the best interest of safe navigation.
If leisure sailors don't bother to update their paper charts, would they bother to switch to a new operating system?

Thomas
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Old 24-11-2014, 06:51   #3
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Re: SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ: Vector charts for Scandinavia and Baltic

... deafening silence on this thread...
Let me air some parochial remarks on the future of vector charts in France
Background: 105 000 sailboats between 6 and 18 m (+ 379 000 motors boats from 5 to 18 m)
4-5 ago, Opencpn was a very hot topic on the major French sailing forum. One, later two evangelists (including Gilletarom a frequent contributor here) wrote detailed hand-on tutorials in French that proved very popular.
Today, announcements of new versions / functionalities immediately sink to the bottom of the front page without comments.
On the other hand, any thread concerning Android charting apps (and iOS to a lesser extent) attracts a large number of comments. Questions on Navionics apps and charts are very frequent, revealing new users with very fuzzy ideas on what electronic charting is. Others brands are seldom mentioned.
It is not difficult to understand why. Smartphones and tablets are in everyone's pocket or case, and 'droid sailing apps and charts are dirt cheap.
I believe that OpenCpn introduced people to electronic charting at home, but as a computer cannot easily be fitted in the smaller boats, they immediately fell for smaller (and cheaper) tools when they became available. Also, only CM93 charts are 'available' for OpenCpn in France, as in most European countries (except mainly UK).
(BTW and IMHO, an OpenCpn port for Android phones / tablets is mandatory if this effort is to survive)
Now, is there a future for S-63 or S-57 vector charts ?
IMHO, as far as France is concerned the answer is NO
- The main drawback is that the chart coverage is poor: there are glaring gaps in large scale coverage in popular sailing regions far from a commercial harbor (pic 1, northern Brittany, pic 2 : the western Med French coast with 12 500 sailboats). I just cannot enter my home marina (800+ boats) with those charts (pic 3). This coverage has officially been reported to be 'complete'.
- The price tag is likely to remain high: the seapilot S57 chart price for France alone is twice Navionics' for most of Europe.
I started a thread on Seapilot's offer in the major French forum, outlining pros and cons. There were absolutely no comments. A thread on a new routing app on 'droid drew 70 in a few days.
- Competition with official raster charts will be fierce. At the same price, the coverage is complete, and their look and feel is more familiar to new users. The popular Weather4D grib app has announced support for these charts, turning into a charting program, with an already large base of users.
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Old 24-11-2014, 08:42   #4
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Re: SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ: Vector charts for Scandinavia and Baltic

Several topics here:

Raster vs. Vector.
What ever fits better - no dogma.
There are places where the situation is exactly the other way around: Australia.
The AHS has dropped the distribution of electronic raster charts altogether.
There are just S-63 charts and sailors have exactly two possibilities. The program that is sold by AHS or OCPN.
And yes, there are as well the apps....

It would be possible to license the UKHO charts for OpenCPN. Raster or Vector.
Or both. Something we can discuss.

SHOM is an interesting case and it would be interesting to hear what their strategy is about raster/vector.
How up-to-date are the raster charts in the zones not covered by vector?
Gilletarom made some numbers about pricing. But do we want to be in that field? Or who wants to lead this?

The case of the GST, Denmark, has been different. As we heard that they plan to sell bundled vector charts for the leisure market (obliged updates) we raised the finger in order to learn and to debate.

Androids and iOS are sexy, PCs not. That you loose your charts (talking about Apps) when you change the device after short time nobody cares due to the relatively low cost.

Looks that OpenCPN will be on Androids by the one the other solution relatively soon.

But on the other hand - do we really care about "market shares"??

I would prefer just the most appropriate to use - for me. And if somebody insists to navigate with a fancy iPhone - what the heck.

Btw.: 3.2.2 has more than 150.000 downloads since begin of this year.
370.000(!!) since launch.
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Old 25-11-2014, 16:06   #5
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Re: SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ: Vector charts for Scandinavia and Baltic

Quote:
Originally Posted by cagney View Post
GST i using the company TrueHeading as a partner in the tests.
Seapilot - True Heading

An obvious worry is that they are limited to iphones and windows 8.
For this kind of thing I would expect that applications should cover all major platforms. To limit safe navigation to specific operating systems, can't be in the best interest of safe navigation.
If leisure sailors don't bother to update their paper charts, would they bother to switch to a new operating system?

Thomas
For your information: The software has also been released to the Android-platform. However the priority of releases was IOS, W8 and then Android, - allegedly due to many different android-versions/hardware coupling.
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Old 25-11-2014, 16:40   #6
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Re: SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ: Vector charts for Scandinavia and Baltic

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcn View Post
Several topics here:

The AHS has dropped the distribution of electronic raster charts altogether.
There are just S-63 charts and sailors have exactly two possibilities. The program that is sold by AHS or OCPN.

The case of the GST, Denmark, has been different. As we heard that they plan to sell bundled vector charts for the leisure market (obliged updates) we raised the finger in order to learn and to debate.

Androids and iOS are sexy, PCs not. That you loose your charts (talking about Apps) when you change the device after short time nobody cares due to the relatively low cost
With one standard format (S57 and possibly S63 encryption), the market would be more open and we would (and should) be free to select whatever software we prefer. So I agree with the AHS :-)

Bundling of hardware, software and proprietary charts as we have known it for years through Garmin and others should be forbidden :-)

What the Danish GST project plans is to continue bundling charts with selected hardware/software distributors. It's not a monopoly, but the selection criteria for distributors can and will be set, by GST/authorities solely. Sailors should not be allowed to choose by themselves seems to be the mantra.

That's the major mistake in the solution, the bundling of certain hardware and the software and charts. That solution is targeted to support 'market-leading'-companies, not leisure sailors.

The consequences are that the use of official and updated charts will decrease or at least not increase, which should be a safety issue seriously considered by maritime authorities.

In my view the use of ECS, pc's, smartphones and tablet has been mainstream for the past 10 years. It seems that Danish maritime authorities still lives in the age of paper charts(https://www.iho.int/mtg_docs/rhc/NHC...e%20Course.pdf ). Not that there is anything wrong with paper charts, - just that everybody I know of, all use a mix of all media, whatever suits them .

Updates will be obliged in the Danish solution, - yes. I don't mind that, I think that's one of the major improvements, - that all updates, notices to mariners etc. automatically are transmitted to your tablet/smartphone.

You don't buy charts, - you pay to use them for e.g. 6 months including updates. Therefore they 'disappear' after the end of the period. It's not like ordinary S57-charts, which are only indicated 'out of date', but still available.

The surveys made by Danish authorities have only focused on the solution proposed by GST/DMA. Which is rather ridiculous. There has been no survey on other possible solutions.

It should be globally possible to buy sea-charts including updates in a standard format at an affordable price and you should buy them independently from software and hardware. That's my opinion :-)
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Old 26-11-2014, 01:22   #7
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Re: SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ: Vector charts for Scandinavia and Baltic

Little to add - so let's see if we can discuss with them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oem View Post
In my view the use of ECS, pc's, smartphones and tablet has been mainstream for the past 10 years. It seems that Danish maritime authorities still lives in the age of paper charts(https://www.iho.int/mtg_docs/rhc/NHC...e%20Course.pdf ). Not that there is anything wrong with paper charts, - just that everybody I know of, all use a mix of all media, whatever suits them .
Can you publish the complete path? "..." won't work

Quote:
Updates will be obliged in the Danish solution, - yes. I don't mind that, I think that's one of the major improvements, - that all updates, notices to mariners etc. automatically are transmitted to your tablet/smartphone.
Disagree with the "Always connected" philosophy.
The user has to decide when updating his charts and should know what has been updated. The latter isn't the case with S-63 neither, but would be an improvement.
In case of automatic unattended updates one might propose "Facebook account has to be active" as requirement for their next release perhaps.

Quote:
You don't buy charts, - you pay to use them for e.g. 6 months including updates. Therefore they 'disappear' after the end of the period. It's not like ordinary S57-charts, which are only indicated 'out of date', but still available.
"Ah, your trip did last 1 week longer due to the weather? And no chart for last two days? What a lack of planning! You know, we care for safety at sea."

Question: W8 is Windows 8.1 or Win8-RT? Didn't get this info from the website.

Hubert
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Old 26-11-2014, 14:43   #8
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Re: SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ - SÚcuritÚ: Vector charts for Scandinavia and Baltic

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcn View Post

Can you publish the complete path? "..." won't work

Disagree with the "Always connected" philosophy.
The user has to decide when updating his charts and should know what has been updated. The latter isn't the case with S-63 neither, but would be an improvement.
In case of automatic unattended updates one might propose "Facebook account has to be active" as requirement for their next release perhaps.

"Ah, your trip did last 1 week longer due to the weather? And no chart for last two days? What a lack of planning! You know, we care for safety at sea."

Question: W8 is Windows 8.1 or Win8-RT? Didn't get this info from the website.

Hubert
Link to document (hope it's the same):
http://www.iho.int/mtg_docs/rhc/NHC/...e%20Course.pdf

You don't have to be connected when sailing. Of course if not connected no charts will be updated and you continue to sail on outdated charts. AFAIK, you will have to accept updating, but I cannot remember exactly how the updating is done.

Also I cannot remember exactly how it's done, but you will definitely receive a number of warnings before your charts run out of license. I guess no marine authority would allow anybody to sail without charts, especially official charts :-) I don't think we should consider the authorities without brains :-). They just don't know the right solution for leisure sailors.

It's running on win 8, but I also don't know if Win 8 RT also is running.

Apart from this, - I have not heard from GST so far concerning rules for being a distributor of official charts. Hopefully I will soon.
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