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Old 17-11-2019, 05:26   #16
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Interesting, thanks for posting!

Not really a huge surprise; the handwriting has been on the wall for a while now.

The dirty little secret that nobody talks about is the massive loss of data that's on the paper and RNC charts, but not on ENCs.

Look at an old chart; every port, harbor, cove, hamlet and village is identified. Roads and buildings on shore are shown. Swamps, bogs, lowlands, tiny streams, hills and cliffs, even distant mountains which are visible from the ocean are included.

The biggest loss, in my opinion, is the geographical names. Sure, the big ports, cities and towns are there. But millions of smaller place names were simply never digitized. This "local knowledge" can be extremely helpful along an unfamiliar coast. I live in fear of the day I need to call a Mayday off an unmarked coast. Sure, I can give Lat/Lon if my GPS is still working (and not spoofed - see the thread on that.) But it's really, really helpful to include a place name that locals who may be in a position to help might recognize.
This is a good comment to make to NOAA. I'm sure they'd be interested in hearing this.
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Old 17-11-2019, 10:48   #17
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Ya'll can still print or have printed as many charts as you want, if paper gives you a warm and fuzzy. I would recommend those with worries that they'll simultaneously have a mayday and encounter GPS spoofing and not be able to tell anyone where you are that you stay away from airplanes, either flying in or standing below one in the air. We've been flying around at 500 knots for years now without paper.

Serving in a sea service as a pilot it always bemused me that the guy's poking around at 12 knots were the last ones to adopt new navigation technology and had to be dragged along kicking and screaming about how "unsafe" it was, meanwhile they're routinely running into other ships and running aground because they insist on an archaic system of paper charts, 20 person bridge and CIC team, and line of position fixes taken on alidaides or in the case of the really crazy ones, celestial nav fixes. Meanwhile we managed to find the ship to land on it and not hit anything in the interim going orders of magnitude faster with one or two pilots and and electronic nav systems.
Absolutely incorrect, as a recently retired wide body jet Captain, I can assure you that Civil Aviation still has paper charts, albeit primarily of radio aid locations but still showing some ground features, particularly high ground and coastlines, plus they do not rely on one single source of navigation ie GPS but use multiple sources, especially when operating within TMAs for take off and landing. triple redundancy is the norm with double redundancy as a minimum, so for example when making an approach you are still required to do a navigational aid crosscheck (ident and correct orientation) even though the aircraft may be flying along a GPS or RNAV defined route and using the aircrafts inertial navigation system, which on the latest aircraft is usually accurate to within 2~3 miles after an 8+ hour flight over water without any radio aid input to update it. As someone else said it all works very well...until it doesn't. If someone spoofs your GPS signal, your electronic chart will be as much use as chocolate teapot. You will need to go back to basics and if you cannot 'plot' your position because you don't have a paper chart, you will be up s**t creek without a paddle.
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Old 17-11-2019, 12:26   #18
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
Interesting, thanks for posting!

The dirty little secret that nobody talks about is the massive loss of data that's on the paper and RNC charts, but not on ENCs.

The biggest loss, in my opinion, is the geographical names. Sure, the big ports, cities and towns are there. But millions of smaller place names were simply never digitized. This "local knowledge" can be extremely helpful along an unfamiliar coast. I live in fear of the day I need to call a Mayday off an unmarked coast. Sure, I can give Lat/Lon if my GPS is still working (and not spoofed - see the thread on that.) But it's really, really helpful to include a place name that locals who may be in a position to help might recognize.
I certainly agree on the place names. I really wish they would merge the big items from the dirt charts including road names out to around 1/4 mile or so. I know Active Captain and Zuluwaterways have some extra info but a connection is not always a sure thing. I have considered a handheld gps for land use.
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Old 17-11-2019, 12:41   #19
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Serving in a sea service as a pilot it always bemused me that the guy's poking around at 12 knots were the last ones to adopt new navigation technology and had to be dragged along kicking and screaming about how "unsafe" it was, meanwhile they're routinely running into other ships and running aground because they insist on an archaic system of paper charts, 20 person bridge and CIC team, and line of position fixes taken on alidaides or in the case of the really crazy ones, celestial nav fixes. Meanwhile we managed to find the ship to land on it and not hit anything in the interim going orders of magnitude faster with one or two pilots and and electronic nav systems.
What you are talking about, you are comparing planes where you literary must to call someone or someone must call you every five minutes from start engine to stop engine and if you do not report your position or do not respond to their call they will send jets to intercept you, you are literary puppet on the string when flying with boats that they are on its own literary the moment they cast ropes.,
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Old 17-11-2019, 14:12   #20
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

Hey, to be honest it's all about the budget in alignment with technology. I do understand the concerned citizen's plight. It is a day of losing cartographic art and application. I work for Hydrographic Surveys Division part of NOAA's ffice of Coast Survey that was / has been mandated by Congress since 1807 to survey the coast. I have experience as a hydrographic surveyor, cartographer, and ultimately generating chart update products. It's a matter of budgets; OCS and specifically Hydrographic Survey Division budgets have been the same and stagnant for several years, I can't answer to Marine Chart Division who is responsible for the actual chart production.

I recommend all of those out there to understand that what NOAA does with regards to nautical charting, which is public domain, your tax dollars pay for the service, the data is available for web access at NCEI. Download your version of chart product from OCS's web page RNC or ENC now before the web access is not available.

If you don't agree, express your opinion through OCS web pages or the Facebook page, and Cruiser Forum, and moist important if you are a US citizen contact your Congressmen.

I do understand some thoughts, and that's because of what we are used to.... but we also must evolve with technology.... sail on, Hydro2
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Old 17-11-2019, 14:39   #21
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

CaptTom hit the nail on the head; there's a loss of information with the ENCs, and I intend to provide similar feedback to NOAA.

That said, technology changes. Electronic charts are not bound to GPS reception; there's little stopping me from plotting fixes, bearings, etc. on an iPad or even my phone if I need to. Updating electronic charts is also much simpler; manually correcting paper charts introduces additional risk of error and is not exactly timely.
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Old 17-11-2019, 15:00   #22
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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What you are talking about, you are comparing planes where you literary must to call someone or someone must call you every five minutes from start engine to stop engine and if you do not report your position or do not respond to their call they will send jets to intercept you, you are literary puppet on the string when flying with boats that they are on its own literary the moment they cast ropes.,
Are you a professional pilot? If so, what do you fly where you must report your position every 5 minutes or have jets sent to intercept you? If not, please extend those of us who've spent years flying professionally the courtesy to assume we know what we're talking about.....you know because we did this for a living and you haven't. BTW, the assertion that you have to report your position very 5 minutes while flying simply isn't true. In certain classes of airspace you need a transponder that provides your position, in others you don't. There is pretty much never a "5 minute call to report position" requirement, the only time I can imagine that happening is if your transponder died and they couldn't get a primary paint on you or when crossing the ADIZ or if you try to fly VFR in the NCR. Interestingly we, the Coast Guard, do the air intercepts in NCR using helicopters, so again I know a bit about this. You?
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Old 17-11-2019, 15:07   #23
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Absolutely incorrect, as a recently retired wide body jet Captain, I can assure you that Civil Aviation still has paper charts, albeit primarily of radio aid locations but still showing some ground features, particularly high ground and coastlines, plus they do not rely on one single source of navigation ie GPS but use multiple sources, especially when operating within TMAs for take off and landing. triple redundancy is the norm with double redundancy as a minimum, so for example when making an approach you are still required to do a navigational aid crosscheck (ident and correct orientation) even though the aircraft may be flying along a GPS or RNAV defined route and using the aircrafts inertial navigation system, which on the latest aircraft is usually accurate to within 2~3 miles after an 8+ hour flight over water without any radio aid input to update it. As someone else said it all works very well...until it doesn't. If someone spoofs your GPS signal, your electronic chart will be as much use as chocolate teapot. You will need to go back to basics and if you cannot 'plot' your position because you don't have a paper chart, you will be up s**t creek without a paddle.
Depending how long ago you retired (?) you may have used paper charts. They're certainly not used today pretty much anywhere in professional aviation, although they still exist. Ask anyone of your former colleagues who are still flying today when the last time was they broke out a paper chart, or better yet last time they even had them in the cockpit. Let me know what they tell you, I'll wait. We've been on electronic flight bags for years. And keep in mind you flew exclusively IFR high altitude, that's a manifestly different world than flying search and rescue helicopter ops. An INS and navaid cross-check would be nice; when you're flying a helicopter 50 miles offshore at 100' it simply doesn't exist.
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Old 17-11-2019, 15:17   #24
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Originally Posted by requiem View Post
CaptTom hit the nail on the head; there's a loss of information with the ENCs, and I intend to provide similar feedback to NOAA.

That said, technology changes. Electronic charts are not bound to GPS reception; there's little stopping me from plotting fixes, bearings, etc. on an iPad or even my phone if I need to. Updating electronic charts is also much simpler; manually correcting paper charts introduces additional risk of error and is not exactly timely.

Capt. Tom made a great point about the importance of recording & displaying "local" names of both marine & "visible from water" land locales & landmarks.
Topographic,aeronautic,marine,etc,etc. charts already contain this info in piecemeal.

E Charts scanned from the above & used in land based nav,airnav,SAR,etc probably contain much of the "old" local info.
It seems that some organisation should take the lead & integrate marine,topo,aero,etc, into one database-so that basic fixed data is common on all E charts.

This basic common ,already taxpayer funded, database can be made available to re-sellers.
The location of marinas,airports,McDonalds,etc. can be added by the re-sellers to suit their market. Just MHO / Len
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Old 17-11-2019, 15:45   #25
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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...E Charts scanned from the above & used in land based nav,airnav,SAR,etc probably contain much of the "old" local info.
It seems that some organisation should take the lead & integrate marine,topo,aero,etc, into one database-so that basic fixed data is common on all E charts.
Here's what I don't think most people are grasping:

A lot of data was never converted!

The electronic vector charts (ENC) were digitized...by someone. Presumably, the low-bidder, possibly out-of-country and perhaps someone with no nautical experience. The people who did the conversion probably didn't know or care about how we use the charts. They did exactly what their contract said to do - as quickly as possible.

I'm guessing the contract said to leave off all shoreside structure and most place names. Because that's what's missing.

Also consider that the same place names may (or may not) appear on multiple charts of different scale. Sometimes the name is off to the left, sometimes off to the right. Someone not familiar with the area might not even be able to tell WHICH island or bay the name is actually associated with. But the person doing the digitizing has to give that place name, which appears at different locations, one lat/lon. Or leave it out entirely.

These data will never come back. Nobody is going to pay for a new project to go back to all the original paper charts and add stuff back that was left out the first time around.

There is no (government) solution. Maybe some day, crowd-sourced charts will finally come into use and we can, collectively, add stuff back.
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Old 17-11-2019, 16:53   #26
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

Does anyone here still use paper charts as their primary navigational map?
I am not talking about loading RNCs in your plotter or ECS/ECDIS (or keeping paper copies for backup).
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Old 17-11-2019, 18:05   #27
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

Are you one of those sailors who keep aboard a rock tied to a length of line, with a knot tied every meter, so you can check the depth of an anchorage if need be? Me too.

Don't know what my grandchildren or their grandchildren will do, but I'm keeping my collection of paper charts. Maybe now, with this new system coming into play, I'll even expand my collection.

Sure, I'll use technological advances. But IMHO keeping a good paper chart library aboard is not in the same catagory as having a buggy-whip in the boot of your horseless carriage "just in case".

Jury says:
YAY for technological advances! Go for it, NOAA & Coast Guard!
But maybe we shouldn't throw away grandpa's tools just yet.


BTW:
All your tech-talk aside, I LIKE going into a pub shoreside at some harbor and (with beer in hand) settle in at a table, spread out the paper chart, and plot/mark a course to our next port. There are always some curious who'll gather round and ask questions. What are you doing? Why? What are those (calipers) and how/why are they used? Etc. Etc.. Sometimes it even gets me a free beer! Try THAT on your smart phone or tablet - just another pub patrone.
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Old 17-11-2019, 18:19   #28
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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BTW:
All your tech-talk aside, I LIKE going into a pub shoreside at some harbor and (with beer in hand) settle in at a table, spread out the paper chart, and plot/mark a course to our next port. There are always some curious who'll gather round and ask questions. What are you doing? Why? What are those (calipers) and how/why are they used? Etc. Etc.. Sometimes it even gets me a free beer! Try THAT on your smart phone or tablet - just another pub patrone.
Now that is actually a good reason! I feel the same way about celestial nav, if you're into it because you enjoy it and maybe also enjoy the historical significance of it or the fact that it requires no dependence on mod cons then more power to you. I actually also have grown to enjoy celestial nav for that reason. Just don't suck the joy out of it like my Academy instructors who insisted that we would be imprudent Mariners if we couldn't pull down a position accurate to within a mile via celestial in 15 minutes in all weather...because GPS could always fail on ya! That caused me to hate it for years, which admittedly was a bit of immaturity on my part but really, how you sell things makes a difference and you do always get more bees with honey than scaremongering.
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Old 18-11-2019, 06:44   #29
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Evolution is becoming precarious. IMHO, we're really setting ourselves up for some major potential disasters. All this fundamental and absolute dependence on a source of reliable electrical supply, functional electronic hardware, and the internet for even basic infrastructure could really go bad. It's completely reliable, and works almost magically - until it doesn't for some reason. Then, everything crashes. Imagine credit cards, debit cards, and bank account balances flummoxed due to satellite issues, supply chains in disarray, and the "cloud" going kaput. The one eyed man with an antique paper chart is King.
My thoughts exactly. In the Exumas my friends always ask me why I have my nose in the chartbook when we have GPS. I just say "in case it goes down, somebody should have an idea of where we are, and the surrounding geography. I love GPS and it makes things so easy, but its a computer and last time I checked they do go down. If irt goes down at the wrong time I for one don't want to be screwed.
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Old 18-11-2019, 06:57   #30
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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My thoughts exactly. In the Exumas my friends always ask me why I have my nose in the chartbook when we have GPS. I just say "in case it goes down, somebody should have an idea of where we are, and the surrounding geography. I love GPS and it makes things so easy, but its a computer and last time I checked they do go down. If irt goes down at the wrong time I for one don't want to be screwed.
According to the notice copied in post #1, it is only raster charts that are being phased out. You will still be able to download & print ENC's.
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