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Old 03-02-2015, 11:51   #31
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The first sentence of the OP is stated as a fact on which everything else is predicated. It is not only un-factual, there is no evidence supporting it as fact - only anecdotes being propagated as universalities.

On the other side, there are many people safely navigating solely with electronic charting - which is unexplainable if the original premise is factual and true. Similarly, there are many people getting into danger not using electronic charting - which shows that the charting mode is not the issue.

If Vestas had done 8 or 9 basic navigation things, they would not have hit that reef. Anti-electronic or pro-paper people just cherry-pick out a single supposition to assign to this accident.

Garmin chart plotters have an auto-routing feature where one puts in start and end waypoints and it charts a route through and around obstacles.

Dockhead, throughout many of these threads, you complain that your compass doesn't calibrate well, your radar doesn't do ARPA well, your chart plotter doesn't do planning well, etc. And you seem to project your choice of, and experience with, this equipment as an absolute on the rest of us.

Perhaps consider that it is quite possible some of us are not having these "factual" issues?

Mark
No, this is a gross misinterpretation of absolutely everything.

First of all: I am a technophile and LOVE my electronics. I built the network myself, and it has 30 devices on it! I probe the collective minds of the Forum exactly to improve these systems, so that they will fulfill their true potential.

Second: I am not a "pro-paper" or "anti-electronics" person. It is idiotic to join "camps". I am just a sailor who wants to do this craft of navigation well, using the best tools available, whether they are electronic, mechnical, optical, or whatever. This whole thread is nothing against electronics; on the contrary, its whole purpose is to try to push the envelope and make the electronic tools work better!

Third: My mentioning of the Team Vestas case is not an "anti-electronics" statement at all. It is a statement about the inadequacy of techniques of so many of us, including top racing teams. I specifically said that if the Team Vestas guys had panned through their route on their plotters the way some on here have advocated, the accident would not have happened! I did not say anything like "if only they had been using paper". Why don't you read before commenting? My point was completely different and much more subtle -- the loss of detail over a long route can be dangerous; it requires more attention and technique.


As the Team Vestas guys themselves said:

"“The culture we have in this Team is really open and honest”, Nico confirmed. “It was a stressful time, but we need to back up and remember that this was bought on by a simple human error…we didn’t look at the chart and we didn’t zoom in enough.”

Press Conference in Abu Dhabi | Blog

And the other team made a statement which is absolutely case on point here; you couldn't ask for a more perfect illustartion of the problem:

Dongfeng Race Team reporter Yann Riou notes how they also had the Cargados Carajos Shoals directly in their path. “Skipper Charles Caudrelier had noticed this archipelago a few days earlier, but it’s worth noting that it’s actually pretty hard to find. In fact, to see it on our electronic charts, you have to zoom right in on top of it. But how and why would you zoom into it if you don’t know it’s there in the first place?” - See more at: Questions asked about Volvo Ocean Race accident >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News


"But how and why would you zoom into it if you don't know it's there in the first place?". Incredible. These are top racing teams.

The perfect illustration of the problem which is the original subject of this thread, and which is a very, very real problem indeed.

Which brings us back to my original suggestion that in OpenCPN, why can't we show somehow on the large-scale views that there is something there, which requires zooming in on, according to programmable criteria -- "But how and why would you zoom into it if you don't know it's there in the first place?"
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:56   #32
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Several commercial systems on the market will "fly a route" and produce a report of hazards encountered. I haven't used a full blown ECDIS so can't say exactly how that would work. But I think ECDIS is not a good system to emulate for cruisers. ECDIS is predominately used by commercial vessels plying well established shipping routes that they run repeatedly.

What I do manually, well in advance of a passage, is put down a route in the computer. Then I zoom in to the typical zoom level used when making the passage. I pan through the entire route noting hazards or points of navigational interest. Some examples would be shallow water, keep out zones, high traffic area, bridges and overhead cables, locks, narrow passes with tidal currents or any number of other details that have to be dealt with on a passage. If something interesting is found I add waypoints to the route that will help work around the problem. Sometimes it's important to hit a waypoint more precisely such as a lock entrance or narrow pass. Sometimes you have to coordinate with a bridge operator to make sure the bridge is open so a waypoint some distance earlier can be used to remind to contact the bridge.

There are many many issues that need to be considered when checking a route for hazards. I don't think software will ever be able to do this to any significant degree. Neither do I think it is the proper role of software to do.

If we could define a minimum set of warnings such as depth and overhead hazards that can be automated that would be helpful. But it is no substitute for going over your route visually. And for that you can do it in much more detail with OpenCPN than with paper charts.
Don't know anything about OpenCPN. But what you just wrote about panning through different zoom levels along a planned route is what I had to do with my Furuno MFD. It was extremely awkward and it was extremely easy to make a mistake in threading through the zoom levels and miss a section. But it works. It would be nice, as others have noted, to have a chartplotting system that does this for you. But it could be quite complicated to put in all the variables that might be important - depth, lee shores, etc.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:06   #33
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Re: Kotka to Santio planning.

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Originally Posted by cagney View Post

What I would like to see is on option with "Vectorchart Viewing Profiles", that can be saved and easily switched between. A viewing profile would just be a saved state of settings. Have one for piloting, one for planning and one for passage making for example.
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Thomas, that's why I would like to see various "viewports" or plans each with it's setting ( --> settings to be stored/retrieved as templates). For example one window/viewport for the detail and anther one for the big picture. Or one with Radar overlay....
Running a portable instance can help, but is not that versatile.

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Old 03-02-2015, 12:10   #34
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
This is all in good fun guys. Please tell me how many rocks I hit.
You found the right exit from Kotka harbor! But that's about all I can tell in Google Earth. Can someone explain how to import KML routes into OpenCPN?
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:17   #35
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

You should be able to fly the route on goggle earth.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:23   #36
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
No, this is a gross misinterpretation of absolutely everything.

First of all: I am a technophile and LOVE my electronics. I built the network myself, and it has 30 devices on it! I probe the collective minds of the Forum exactly to improve these systems, so that they will fulfill their true potential.

Second: I am not a "pro-paper" or "anti-electronics" person. It is idiotic to join "camps". I am just a sailor who wants to do this craft of navigation well, using the best tools available, whether they are electronic, mechnical, optical, or whatever. This whole thread is nothing against electronics; on the contrary, its whole purpose is to try to push the envelope and make the electronic tools work better!

Third: My mentioning of the Team Vestas case is not an "anti-electronics" statement at all. It is a statement about the inadequacy of techniques of so many of us, including top racing teams. I specifically said that if the Team Vestas guys had panned through their route on their plotters the way some on here have advocated, the accident would not have happened! I did not say anything like "if only they had been using paper". Why don't you read before commenting? My point was completely different and much more subtle -- the loss of detail over a long route can be dangerous; it requires more attention and technique.

As the Team Vestas guys themselves said:

"“The culture we have in this Team is really open and honest”, Nico confirmed. “It was a stressful time, but we need to back up and remember that this was bought on by a simple human error…we didn’t look at the chart and we didn’t zoom in enough.”

Press Conference in Abu Dhabi | Blog

And the other team made a statement which is absolutely case on point here; you couldn't ask for a more perfect illustartion of the problem:

Dongfeng Race Team reporter Yann Riou notes how they also had the Cargados Carajos Shoals directly in their path. “Skipper Charles Caudrelier had noticed this archipelago a few days earlier, but it’s worth noting that it’s actually pretty hard to find. In fact, to see it on our electronic charts, you have to zoom right in on top of it. But how and why would you zoom into it if you don’t know it’s there in the first place?” - See more at: Questions asked about Volvo Ocean Race accident >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

"But how and why would you zoom into it if you don't know it's there in the first place?". Incredible. These are top racing teams.

The perfect illustration of the problem which is the original subject of this thread, and which is a very, very real problem indeed.

Which brings us back to my original suggestion that in OpenCPN, why can't we show somehow on the large-scale views that there is something there, which requires zooming in on, according to programmable criteria -- "But how and why would you zoom into it if you don't know it's there in the first place?"
You haven't refuted anything I wrote, so your first sentence above is wrong (and calls into account your thoroughness of reading before posting).

I stated your entire original premise was wrong ("We all know how dangerous it is to rely on electronic charting for passage planning), and gave my reasoning. Address that if you must.

I never questioned your technophilia.

I didn't put you personally in any "camp" - I made a comment in general about people cherry-picking the facts involved in that example to fit their narrative.

Garmin chart plotters do indeed contain that feature I mentioned, although I have no experience with it. If I am wrong, please correct me.

It has been shown on previous threads that Vestas not only had the paper chart for that region on board, the reef itself is not completely "hidden" on the vector charts. Even fully unzoomed, there is reason to examine that region further.

The Vestas problem was poor navigation techniques - for however and whatever reasons one wishes to apply. They used their paper charts as inappropriately and incompletely as they used their electronic ones. There are many reasons they hit that reef, but assigning it solely to the presence of electronic charts on board is wrong. It is even wrong to assign it to using electronic navigation, unless it can be shown that there was absolutely no way to avoid it when using this.

The title of the thread represents a "very, very real problem indeed" for you. Possibly for others. As I said earlier, you don't seem to understand that others do not have your problem, so you should work from that narrower premise rather than the overarching general one that you seem to stick to.

You have been shown the region in question using OCPN and CM93 charts. It is not how you describe in the hands of those who have spent some time using the program.

The remaining part of my post referred to you projecting your experiences with your equipment on others as an absolute. My wording made it quite clear that this was my opinion - which, as such, cannot be deemed a "gross misinterpretation" of itself.

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Old 03-02-2015, 12:24   #37
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
Can you somehow do this easily on a paper chart because it's bigger? Or it just takes longer on a smaller screen because you run into more dead ends?

The weather routing plugin can do this if set to avoid land. Or download tracks from someone who already navigated there.
To some extent it is because paper is simply bigger -- more pixels. But not just bigger -- it's because all the detail is always present. Even if you have hold the chart up closer to your face (if your vision is like mine) to see the fine detail of a hazard, you can at least perceive the blotch where there's some hazard, even when you're looking at the whole chart.

There is no inherent reason why all this can't be done electronically, and that's why I started this thread. In fact, I am sure that it can be done better electronically, but the tools we have today are very poor for this purpose. I think it could be done in OpenCPN, where we can hook our comps up to larger, high res displays. I do not think it can ever be done well on the 8", SVGA screens of my Zeus plotters -- they are just too small and too few pixels. I think the key could be if we could get some clue about "where to zoom in" -- could we program in criteria for safe water, so that safe water is shown at the large-scale zooms? Then even lacking the fine detail, we could see the pattern, and see where safe water connects up to provide us a path through complex water. If we could do that, plus have really good controls over detail shown, so that we could fully utilize the higher resolution and bigger size of our monitors, we might just have a solution.


You put your finger on it with the dead ends -- that's exactly the problem. You zoom in so you see the rocks, but then you no longer see where you're going. You can pick a likely channel, but you have to zoom out, move over, zoom in, before you know whether it's a dead end or not. It becomes unfeasible at a certain level of complexity.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:31   #38
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
You haven't refuted anything I wrote, so your first sentence above is wrong (and calls into account your thoroughness of reading before posting).

I stated your entire original premise was wrong ("We all know how dangerous it is to rely on electronic charting for passage planning), and gave my reasoning. Address that if you must.

I never questioned your technophilia.

I didn't put you personally in any "camp" - I made a comment in general about people cherry-picking the facts involved in that example to fit their narrative.

Garmin chart plotters do indeed contain that feature I mentioned, although I have no experience with it. If I am wrong, please correct me.

It has been shown on previous threads that Vestas not only had the paper chart for that region on board, the reef itself is not completely "hidden" on the vector charts. Even fully unzoomed, there is reason to examine that region further.

The Vestas problem was poor navigation techniques - for however and whatever reasons one wishes to apply. They used their paper charts as inappropriately and incompletely as they used their electronic ones. There are many reasons they hit that reef, but assigning it solely to the presence of electronic charts on board is wrong. It is even wrong to assign it to using electronic navigation, unless it can be shown that there was absolutely no way to avoid it when using this.

The title of the thread represents a "very, very real problem indeed" for you. Possibly for others. As I said earlier, you don't seem to understand that others do not have your problem, so you should work from that narrower premise rather than the overarching general one that you seem to stick to.

You have been shown the region in question using OCPN and CM93 charts. It is not how you describe in the hands of those who have spent some time using the program.

The remaining part of my post referred to you projecting your experiences with your equipment on others as an absolute. My wording made it quite clear that this was my opinion - which, as such, cannot be deemed a "gross misinterpretation" of itself.

Mark
In my opinion, the only people who don't have this problem are those who have never sailed in complicated water, or done any quality passage planning. I can't prove that, of course, but I bet that it would be practically impossible to find anyone who has done a season of sailing in the Baltic, or similar waters, who would agree that there is no such problem.

The other thing I would venture to say is that a lot more people have this problem, than realize it. With Team Vestas as case in point.

Naturally it is everyone's right to decide for himself that there is no such problem, and no reason to think or worry about it, and carry on blithely as before.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:34   #39
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
You should be able to fly the route on goggle earth.
There are no depths in Google Earth! Much, most actually of the water in that area is not navigable; you need to put it on a chart to know whether you are sailing or on the rocks.

In any case, I can already see that it was a good effort, at the very least! 26 waypoints! What were your impressions?
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:48   #40
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In my opinion, the only people who don't have this problem are those who have never sailed in complicated water, or done any quality passage planning. I can't prove that, of course, but I bet that it would be practically impossible to find anyone who has done a season of sailing in the Baltic, or similar waters, who would agree that there is no such problem.

The other thing I would venture to say is that a lot more people have this problem, than realize it. With Team Vestas as case in point.

Naturally it is everyone's right to decide for himself that there is no such problem, and no reason to think or worry about it, and carry on blithely as before.
As a lawyer, I would have expected you to be more familiar with logical fallacies.

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Old 03-02-2015, 12:49   #41
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

I can't tell the depth on google earth either. The CM93 charts for that region don't have good depth contours either. But 95% of the route is through recommended tracks or through marked passages.

Attached is the route as a .gpx file. O can read it I think.
Attached Files
File Type: gpx Kotka-Santio-route.gpx (12.6 KB, 35 views)
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Old 03-02-2015, 13:10   #42
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
I can't tell the depth on google earth either. The CM93 charts for that region don't have good depth contours either. But 95% of the route is through recommended tracks or through marked passages.

Attached is the route as a .gpx file. O can read it I think.
Thanks! That's a pretty good route -- you didn't hit anything! Always the most important thing!

It's not the shortest by a long shot, and quite different from the routes I actually took last summer, but in the course of the summer I started to realize that it's often worth going out of your way to stay on the official routes, because of the poor quality of the hydrography outside of them. You mention the poor depth contours in CM93 -- the expensive up-to-the-minute Navionics charts are exactly the same data, same soundings, everything. Probably 200 years old.

When I planned that trip, I also didn't have paper -- my paper ran out East of Kotka. So I did it painstakingly in OpenCPN (unfortunately somehow didn't save routes or tracks), cursing the fact that I didn't have paper. What were your impressions of the process?

The area itself is indescribably beautiful. I'll never forget sailing back from Vyborg, in Russia, and stopping after Santio for the night, dropping the anchor behind an island, swimming, and having cocktails on deck in the endless twilight (never gets dark in June and July at that latitude).
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Old 03-02-2015, 14:14   #43
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

Dockhead,

It is only 2.5 nautical miles longer than a straight rhumb line track. That's not too bad (10% longer) and barely 30 minutes travel time for a boat like yours I would think. I presumed this is a motor sail (heavy on the motor) and 30 minutes is a small price to pay for some peace of mind.

The process on OpenCPN is quite easy. Here is an outline of what I did:

1) Make a rhumb line route for reference.
2) Start a new route working from both ends finding the obvious way in/out of the end points.
3) Then trying to stay as close to the rhumb line but taking the shortest "recommended track" paths connect the start and finish.
4) Once I have both start and finish connected then zoom out and see how it looks.
5) Then pan along the route moving points and adding points close to hazards.

If I were really going to make this trip I would put names on the waypoints that warn of hazards to port or starboard so when the autopilot is making for that point it will tell me there is a hazard to P or S.

The whole process took about 45 minutes.

Then I sent the route over to google earth and flew it looking for obstructions. Didn't see any. There is a tricky passage that I might decide to go around. So here again I would create a route around that area and when I got there decide which way to go either using the shortest route or the go-around depending on my confidence and conditions.

I am fairly confident that I could not do this on paper in the same time and with the same degree of precision and detail. What do I win?
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Old 03-02-2015, 14:15   #44
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

I am surprised by the fact that many in this thread seem to be equating electronic charts with VECTOR charts.
But RASTER charts, which are just digital copies of paper charts, are available as well.
Here is an example of the now world famous (at least among sailors) Cargados area thanks to Vestas, on opencpn...
It takes one click to switch from the CM93 vector chart to that (old) NOAA raster chart.
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Old 03-02-2015, 14:30   #45
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Re: The Electronic Charting "Zoom Problem"

But the problem is that most people do use vector charts with electronic charting programs because of convenience, speed, and more information content.

And with vector charts, "why would you zoom in to see something if you don't know it's there" - as in the Vestas example. Just like you show in your examples of that region.

Oh, wait….

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