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Old 05-05-2024, 14:05   #16
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post
Interesting. On the OpenCPN website (OpenCPN.org) versions are listed for Windows, iPad, Linus, etc., but I don't see one for Android.

I use OpenCPN on a Windows laptop and am VERY happy with it. American charts are free but Canadian, and others (European, etc.) are not. They can be obtained, for a price, from ocharts.org.

But O-Charts Canadian charts, which are identical to CHS ENC, are priced very reasonably, AND updatable the same as CHS charts.



There are two Android OpenCPN versions:
(i) an old, not updated for a long long time, and not supported version by Maison Automatique (free, it fools many first timers), AND


(ii) Dave Register version of OpenCPN, regularly updated and supported. Costs a one-time fee of $10. (This is the only one you should try!)



The official OpenCPN website does indeed provide a link to the Dave Register Android OpenCPN (though not on the main pages):
https://opencpn.org/OpenCPN/info/resources.html
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Old 05-05-2024, 14:11   #17
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Originally Posted by CaptWho View Post
I'm using a Fire tablet, so if I ever do get out on the water with it, maybe I'll consider coughing up the cash for OpenCPN

I believe the Fire tablet does NOT have an internal GPS.


Also, is the Dave Register Android OpenCPN even available on Fire app store?
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Old 06-05-2024, 04:21   #18
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Originally Posted by wholybee View Post
...
Navionics- Cheap (even with the price increases) and simple. Lacks features, but many like it because it is simple and because it uses Navionics charts...
Wow. First time I've ever heard "Cheap" and "Navionics" in the same sentence.

I was trying to force myself to use it before the price increases, because so many speak so highly of it. After a few years, I'm still not finding it easy or intuitive. There are a lot of things it doesn't do, or doesn't do well, along with a few things I like. But with the new subscription model, and doubling the prices, I'm out.

Oddly enough, I find OpenCPN very intuitive. The one-time price of $10 for the Android version is almost free. It gives you access to free US charts and ongoing development with no subscription fee. It's a solid product used by millions.

I'd much rather support open-source software than some greedy corporation's subscription model, where they take free US chart data that taxpayers have already paid for, convert it to a proprietary format then charge us for it again.
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Old 06-05-2024, 04:29   #19
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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I vastly prefer how the raster charts look and the information they provide, but I realize that some day I will have to move to the clunky vector charts. Just be aware that the ENC charts from NOAA are missing lots of valuable information found on the old raster charts.
I began weaning myself from raster charts...

But FWIW, I'm not sure I can agree whether NOAA's vector charts are missing info or not... since various data points do or do not display (using default settings) depending on zoom level. So far, I haven't actually proved anything NOT there... after some IN/OUT adjustments. Haven't done exhaustive comparisons, though...

To OP's questions, I dunno free ones. We use AquaMap, cheap, and we find it to be really good, especially for our purposes (3rd physical backup, 4th active charting option while underway), and USACE survey data overlays (in-app purchase) have been especially useful for our AICW travel.

-Chris
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Old 06-05-2024, 05:36   #20
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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But FWIW, I'm not sure I can agree whether NOAA's vector charts are missing info or not... since various data points do or do not display (using default settings) depending on zoom level.
Maybe I don't have something set right in OpenCPN, but take a look below at the Cuttyhunk entrance channel. The raster has the important warning "5 FT SEP 2018" and the label "Jetty" that I don't see on the vector chart. Last summer I watched many people go aground in the channel. I suppose that depth warning may have been removed deliberately, but there should be some depth warning there.
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Old 06-05-2024, 05:45   #21
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Maybe I don't have something set right in OpenCPN, but take a look below at the Cuttyhunk entrance channel. The raster has the important warning "5 FT SEP 2018" and the label "Jetty" that I don't see on the vector chart. Last summer I watched many people go aground in the channel. I suppose that depth warning may have been removed deliberately, but there should be some depth warning there.
The fairway and jetty graphics seem to appear properly...

Since the two labels are text, maybe there's a text setting that governs whether those words appear or not? Or maybe words appear at different zoom levels? Just guessing...

-Chris
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Old 06-05-2024, 06:00   #22
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Since the two labels are text, maybe there's a text setting that governs whether those words appear or not? Or maybe words appear at different zoom levels? Just guessing..
You're probably right, but I can't get the text to appear no matter what settings I choose. I'm probably not doing something right. But, that's one reasont the raster charts are so much better. The important choices have been made for you and the default view includes so much more information. With vector charts it is up to the rendering software and the user to make sure they are seeing everything important, and if you don't already know what is there it is way too easy to ignore what you don't know!
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Old 06-05-2024, 06:36   #23
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...om.sailgrib_wr


Very very good Android package. Has a free version and a paid version. Definitely worth its money.



Can read free MBtile charts made in SASplanet.
Can integrate Navionics and some other type.



If you want to use also CM93 on an Android tablet, OpenCPN is your friend.
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Old 06-05-2024, 09:09   #24
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Originally Posted by ranger58sb View Post
...I'm not sure I can agree whether NOAA's vector charts are missing info or not...
It's not you. There are a LOT of data which never got digitized. I assume that job went to the lowest-bid, overseas vendor. The old raster charts were created by professional cartographers who actually knew the waters they were charting first-hand.

Among the most annoying missing data, to me, are place names. It almost seems random. Many names of bays, harbors, rivers and prominent land features useful in piloting are missing, no matter what zoom level or app settings you're using. They're just not there. But random ponds, hills or bogs, far away and invisible from navigable waters, are included. It's almost as if the person digitizing the chart had never been on a boat.

Then there are those which are flat-out wrong. You know how cartographers would put, say, the name of an island to the left, or to the right of that island on charts of different scales? Sometimes the name of the island on the vector charts will be far away from the actual island. Again, it would seem that someone without local knowledge simply transcribed the location of one of those labels on the old chart, without really knowing which feature it was supposed to be associated with.

I could go on. Suffice it to say, we've lost centuries of work, which was done by professional cartographers who were familiar with navigation and the areas they were charting.

I assume that, over the next couple of centuries of surveys, corrections and updates, much of this data will be restored. We may never see the old practice of including shoreside buildings on charts, but I suppose that's progress.
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Old 06-05-2024, 09:26   #25
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

May be 2 of 3. I barely notice. And I will trade a few unobtrusive ads and ease of use over the learning curve of OpenCPN any day.
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Old 06-05-2024, 09:50   #26
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Maybe I don't have something set right in OpenCPN, but take a look below at the Cuttyhunk entrance channel. The raster has the important warning "5 FT SEP 2018" and the label "Jetty" that I don't see on the vector chart. Last summer I watched many people go aground in the channel. I suppose that depth warning may have been removed deliberately, but there should be some depth warning there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger58sb View Post
The fairway and jetty graphics seem to appear properly...

Since the two labels are text, maybe there's a text setting that governs whether those words appear or not? Or maybe words appear at different zoom levels? Just guessing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
You're probably right, but I can't get the text to appear no matter what settings I choose. I'm probably not doing something right. But, that's one reasont the raster charts are so much better. The important choices have been made for you and the default view includes so much more information. With vector charts it is up to the rendering software and the user to make sure they are seeing everything important, and if you don't already know what is there it is way too easy to ignore what you don't know!
Quote:
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It's not you. There are a LOT of data which never got digitized.
The Cuttyhunk entrance channel is a good example.

I just reviewed that area using the new TimeZero Navigator v5, and the neither of those text bits appear in either their older MM3D vector chart nor in the newly introduced MapMedia "TZ Map" vector charts... both of which are directly based on the NOAA vector charts. (I think that suggests the issue originates with NOAA, not MapMedia.)

This is at all zoom levels, with all possible contextual bits turned on.

I didn't (yet?) compare the area to AquaMap or Garmin vector charts...

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Old 06-05-2024, 10:37   #27
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

Clearly I must be missing something. I found OpenCPN easy and intuitive to use (as easy as touch screens get for me) and Daves $10 version has been worth every cent .
Navionics and INavx put the whole tablet at risk of destruction it was so frustrating.
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Old 06-05-2024, 10:42   #28
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Maybe I don't have something set right in OpenCPN, but take a look below at the Cuttyhunk entrance channel. The raster has the important warning "5 FT SEP 2018" and the label "Jetty" that I don't see on the vector chart. Last summer I watched many people go aground in the channel. I suppose that depth warning may have been removed deliberately, but there should be some depth warning there.
Did you try clicking on the channel? The dots designate the channel is dredged. Assuming ECDIS compliant chart, a mouse click should bring up the controlling depth and date of last dredging. Much more informative than 6-year old raster data.

Folks, I'm no fan of OpenCPN, and I sure miss the intuitive display of raster charts. But there are some incredible capabilities buried in digital charts, and they're getting better all the time as data improves. One thing OpenCPN has that other software packages do not is relatively easy access to Zone of Confidence data - an indicator of how accurate depth soundings are (for areas that are not transited by commercial boats, ZoC is surprisingly low).
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Old 06-05-2024, 10:47   #29
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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It's not you. There are a LOT of data which never got digitized. I assume that job went to the lowest-bid, overseas vendor. The old raster charts were created by professional cartographers who actually knew the waters they were charting first-hand.
You may want to spend some quality time with Chart #1, which has been updated to Vector displays. As is the case in the post I just referenced, the data is there but needs to be read. I realize folks miss the words from raster charts, but that's not always how it works in the new vector world. Symbols have meaning, and the view may not be cluttered with words but the data is there. In many cases, there is deeper explanations possible with vector simply because you couldn't put much on a raster chart.

Spend some time with Chart #1. It's worth a refresher. Might change your mind on Raster.
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Old 06-05-2024, 13:47   #30
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Did you try clicking on the channel? The dots designate the channel is dredged. Assuming ECDIS compliant chart, a mouse click should bring up the controlling depth and date of last dredging. Much more informative than 6-year old raster data.

Hah! Sort of...

Clicking on the channel and the jetty in the TZ Map vector version and in the MM3D vector version.... get's something, if you do it right. In this particular software, right clicking brings up a menu, with "chart properties" being a selectable option. Both versions track the data back to the specific chart/tile that's been sewn into the display.

In the TZ Map properties, there's also some additional map data, in this case citing "two-way" traffic in the "dredged area" and a 9.5 ft controlling depth... as of source date 01/24/24.

In the older MM3d format, there's also a clickable Info marker on the west end of the channel: "Shoal of -1.84 ft/-0.56m exist at (coords)..."

And in the MM3D version there's a clickable Info marker at the east end of the channel: "Controlling depth is for middle half of the channel only."

No dates on either (but the dates were in the "chart properties" pop-up). Both also give the name of the channel..

Nothing on or near the jetty responds to clicks...

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