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Old 18-11-2019, 10:02   #31
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
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.
I know that's possible, but ENCs are intended to be a bit more interactive. Here's a very quick example of why I'm more partial to the RNCs:



I left the "show isolated dangers in shallow areas" off in this case; leaving it on adds significant clutter and doesn't show the difference between a rock I need to worry about and one I don't. Without RNCs to reference, I'd need to keep this feature on.

(Of course, this is also a good example of why it's unwise to cut between a buoy and the nearby land.)
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Old 18-11-2019, 10:15   #32
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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I know that's possible, but ENCs are intended to be a bit more interactive. Here's a very quick example of why I'm more partial to the RNCs:



I left the "show isolated dangers in shallow areas" off in this case; leaving it on adds significant clutter and doesn't show the difference between a rock I need to worry about and one I don't. Without RNCs to reference, I'd need to keep this feature on.

(Of course, this is also a good example of why it's unwise to cut between a buoy and the nearby land.)
I totally agree requiem. I've always favored RNCs, paper & electronic. My chartplotters only provide ENCs and having raster's for planning if not piloting purposes is the main reason I started supplementing my charting with a PC (OpenCPN and Coastal Explorer). Hopefully the promised development of ENCs with more detail will help bridge the gap before the phase-out begins.
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Old 18-11-2019, 11:57   #33
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Hopefully the promised development of ENCs with more detail will help bridge the gap before the phase-out begins.
I haven't see that. Where is it published that there are plans to add more detail to ENCs?

That would be ideal. My concern is that I don't see anyone spending the money to go back to the paper originals and digitize all the data that they've left off the existing ENCs.
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Old 18-11-2019, 13:01   #34
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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I haven't see that. Where is it published that there are plans to add more detail to ENCs?
The first post where the actual notice from NOAA was quoted.
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Old 18-11-2019, 13:02   #35
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

"Over the next five years, NOAA says that it plans to transition to electronic chart (ENC) products with a focus on improving data consistency and providing larger scale ENC coverage. This process includes replacing 1,200 irregular ENC cells on 130 different scales with a standardized grid system and set of 12 standard scales. It is expected to significantly improve the level of detail and consistency in NOAA's ENCs."
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Old 18-11-2019, 18:04   #36
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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The first post where the actual notice from NOAA was quoted.
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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
"Over the next five years, NOAA says that it plans to transition to electronic chart (ENC) products with a focus on improving data consistency and providing larger scale ENC coverage. This process includes replacing 1,200 irregular ENC cells on 130 different scales with a standardized grid system and set of 12 standard scales. It is expected to significantly improve the level of detail and consistency in NOAA's ENCs."
I didn't read that as going out and gathering new data, just re-organizing what's already there in the ENC's. But I can see where it could be taken that way, too.

I hope that's right. It'll be interesting to see if they actually go out and do some "ground truthing" to add back all the local place names and other data which didn't make it in the first time. Remember, those data were gathered by teams of cartographers over the course of centuries.
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Old 19-11-2019, 06:36   #37
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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I didn't read that as going out and gathering new data, just re-organizing what's already there in the ENC's. But I can see where it could be taken that way, too.

I hope that's right. It'll be interesting to see if they actually go out and do some "ground truthing" to add back all the local place names and other data which didn't make it in the first time. Remember, those data were gathered by teams of cartographers over the course of centuries.
Your reading could very well be correct. I can't imagine why they would want to dispense with useful & relevant data accumulated over centuries. Whatever savings might be gained would probably be expended in upgrading the ENCs. Perhaps private vendors will step in to keep rasters going?
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Old 19-11-2019, 08:21   #38
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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I can't imagine why they would want to dispense with useful & relevant data accumulated over centuries. Whatever savings might be gained would probably be expended in upgrading the ENCs. Perhaps private vendors will step in to keep rasters going?
I have not idea, but I can speculate.

There was probably a very limited budget for digitizing all the NOAA charts. Something that, BTW, I totally agree needed to be done. But when you're faced with a budget and a deadline, some compromises have to be made. So you outsource the difficult work to the lowest bidder, and write the specs to the minimum standards possible. You don't hire teams of skilled cartographers to fan out across the coastlines and verify everything.

As for having to re-create the data in the future, I remain skeptical. Of course I think it should be done. But I don't see any elected official putting their name on a bill that would fund it.

Probably our best hope is in the plans various navigation hardware manufacturers have to crowd-source their cartography. And that will all be in ENC format, or some proprietary format. Raster is essentially dead, however much we may prefer that presentation.
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Old 19-11-2019, 15:53   #39
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Originally Posted by requiem View Post
I know that's possible, but ENCs are intended to be a bit more interactive. Here's a very quick example of why I'm more partial to the RNCs:







I left the "show isolated dangers in shallow areas" off in this case; leaving it on adds significant clutter and doesn't show the difference between a rock I need to worry about and one I don't. Without RNCs to reference, I'd need to keep this feature on.



(Of course, this is also a good example of why it's unwise to cut between a buoy and the nearby land.)


Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0036.jpg
Views:	118
Size:	228.6 KB
ID:	203426

I am not sure what program you are using to view the ENC but Navionics does a much better job. (See above).

I like the look of the raster myself but I donít fear the lack of info as some do. I wonder if the more modern programs just do better at showing things then the old tech?
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Old 19-11-2019, 17:47   #40
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Originally Posted by jkleins View Post
Attachment 203426

I am not sure what program you are using to view the ENC but Navionics does a much better job. (See above).

I like the look of the raster myself but I donít fear the lack of info as some do. I wonder if the more modern programs just do better at showing things then the old tech?
A key issue is that different things can be shown depending on your settings. For example, here's another image from the same program. This time, I've switched the display from "standard" to "all". (I did disable the "show full light descriptions" option, as it would have obscured the rock, and the safety contours were also changed.)



If you're using a "curated" product like Navionics then WYSIWYG; it should be similar to a paper chart in that regard. It appears NOAA's ENC viewer is trying to present a similar view, so the recreational user doesn't get caught out.
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Old 19-11-2019, 20:29   #41
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

Well exactly. In order for the chart to be useful, you have to specifically turn on and off some features when looking at that precise location. So now I can’t identify the lights, making the chart a bit pointless at night. You say that if I can see the lights, i have a chart that doesn’t clearly show the dangerous rock.

Raster charts are drawn up by experienced cartographers, who make the right decisions about where to put descriptions and light details. Everything is there, clear, and not cluttering something else up. Whatever zoom level we choose.

I hate having to navigate without raster charts. It’s like walking around with your eyes half shut.
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Old 20-11-2019, 00:20   #42
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

I find the problem to be two-fold.
The points on my compass are making a mess on my chart-plotter.
Having to erase the position marks on the chart-plotter makes horrible marks.
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Old 20-11-2019, 04:46   #43
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
Raster charts are drawn up by experienced cartographers, who make the right decisions about where to put descriptions and light details. Everything is there, clear, and not cluttering something else up. Whatever zoom level we choose.
And this is the crux of the problem. Like I said, we're throwing away centuries of experience and replacing it with what some low-bid contractor far inland (or in a foreign country) clicked on.

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I find the problem to be two-fold.
The points on my compass are making a mess on my chart-plotter.
Having to erase the position marks on the chart-plotter makes horrible marks.
Don't erase those marks, you may need to come back to that spot!

On a serious note, there is a way to replace the missing data and correct errors:
https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/...ervice/assist/

I just got word from an associate who was able to get a landmark removed after it had been demolished.

I'm going to start entering "errors" for missing place names, and place names that are in the wrong location. I could make a full-time career out of that.

But if we all do a few additions and corrections for our home waters, and maybe for places we visit, we could avoid having to pay for some proprietary crowd-sourced data from the hardware manufacturers.
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Old 20-11-2019, 05:43   #44
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Raster charts are drawn up by experienced cartographers, who make the right decisions about where to put descriptions and light details. Everything is there, clear, and not cluttering something else up. Whatever zoom level we choose.
Agreed. I like raster charts for planning and also keep them displayed as a secondary when in unfamiliar waters. IMO, they're more readable than most other electronic charts.
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Old 20-11-2019, 12:39   #45
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Re: NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

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Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
Well exactly. In order for the chart to be useful, you have to specifically turn on and off some features when looking at that precise location. So now I canít identify the lights, making the chart a bit pointless at night. You say that if I can see the lights, i have a chart that doesnít clearly show the dangerous rock.

Raster charts are drawn up by experienced cartographers, who make the right decisions about where to put descriptions and light details. Everything is there, clear, and not cluttering something else up. Whatever zoom level we choose.

I hate having to navigate without raster charts. Itís like walking around with your eyes half shut.


Are you saying your software actually has a feature that allows you to turn off seeing the lights? Or the rocks? This seems to me to be a software problem not a chart type problem. I have three programs that have the ability to view the government data and none can I get to give me that type of incomplete view. Certainly none came that way by default. The data is clearly there. The fact that poor developers may release software that hides some of it is not a problem with the data. We just have to demand higher quality software.

Jim
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