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Old 14-01-2020, 11:22   #1
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ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

I have read that NOAA will sooner or later quit producing RNC charts. I have experimented with ENC charts and to put it charitably, they are sub-optimal at best. I honestly am not sure if I could stay with OpenCPN if that is what I was looking at.


How are people planning on dealing with this? Is there a way I can set the ENCs so at least they tell me the name of the river or creek? They seem to assume you already know the name of everyplace you go
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Old 14-01-2020, 11:35   #2
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

First there is a spot where you can voice your disapproval. I don’t have the link handy and it’s a bit clunky. But I urge you to do it.
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Old 14-01-2020, 11:47   #3
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coquina View Post
I have read that NOAA will sooner or later quit producing RNC charts. I have experimented with ENC charts and to put it charitably, they are sub-optimal at best. I honestly am not sure if I could stay with OpenCPN if that is what I was looking at.


How are people planning on dealing with this? Is there a way I can set the ENCs so at least they tell me the name of the river or creek? They seem to assume you already know the name of everyplace you go

What vector charts are you using? I just checked our NOAA vector charts in TimeZero, the Wartsila vector charts in iSailor, and the C-Map vector charts in Plan2Nav... and all give names of rivers, creeks, etc.

Or... Is there something in OpenCPN setup where you can pick and chose which objects are displayed?

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Old 14-01-2020, 11:59   #4
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

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Originally Posted by Coquina View Post
....How are people planning on dealing with this? Is there a way I can set the ENCs so at least they tell me the name of the river or creek? They seem to assume you already know the name of everyplace you go
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....Or... Is there something in OpenCPN setup where you can pick and chose which objects are displayed?
Ding, ding, ding, ding - hit the nail square on the head.

Have a look at the Vector Chart Display Settings. There are a ton of options for what gets displayed and the default seems to be off (less clutter) for many of them. Still not as good as an RNC where a mapmaker with a brain decided where to put the label - with an ENC the labels can end up in odd/nonsensical places.



The label at the bottom left on the slider says "CM93 Detail Level" but is controls other ENCs as well. Easy place to start, I find +2 or +3 for most piloting to be my most used setting. Then you can turn on/off individual items as desired with the checkboxes. Also note the Shallow/Deep/Safety depth boxes. With ENCs these will change where the blue water shows up on the chart vs white. So set them as you would prefer.

ENCs can be quite nice, but there is definitely a learning curve when moving from RNCs, and there are still odd things that the computer just doesn't get quite right. And there is also some information that is disappearing compared with RNCs, I will miss some of the land information that is simply no longer present.
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Old 14-01-2020, 12:29   #5
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

Sorry but it is not just software. Here is a comparison of iNavX vs Navionics
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Note how clearly Caesar Creek is labeled in the RNC vs ENC
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Old 14-01-2020, 12:40   #6
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

This site should have a link to where you can comment.

https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/...utical-charts/
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Old 14-01-2020, 12:46   #7
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

I was looking at some charts on OpenCPN and the depths were illegible. So I asked a question about that in the OpenCPN forum, and got some pretty condescending remarks about how I should read the manual.

It to disparage OpenCON which I think is a great program, but when I’m navigating I don’t want to have to look up the instruction manual so I can read the charts. I want the charts presented in the traditional and standard format. If the depths are illegible what else am I missing that is not obvious???

And it’s NOT that they are dropping paper charts, they are dropping ALL RASTER products. When that happens the folks that at create those maps will shortly go away and the ability to create those charts will be gone.
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Old 14-01-2020, 12:58   #8
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

Yes, the label quality is not great, but at least on the official NOAA ENC it is there.

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As noted, not always in nearly as convenient a layout as the human mapmaker might have placed it.

ENCs are a very powerful tool, allowing things like laying out routes and checking minimum depths and other interferences automatically rather than by eye. For me you use both, eye and automated. And yes, to use eye you generally have to make some adjustments to how ENCs are displayed. Might be worthy of a thread discussing what default settings should be used in OpenCPN. There are some now, which, to me, are not sufficient and I modify them, but I don't know the source of those defaults and/or how much work went into defining them.
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Old 14-01-2020, 13:09   #9
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

Just thinking about things and it strikes me that the recent US Navy performance (destroyer collision reports) indicates that a lot of folks within our government are in positions where they should know, and should understand the fundamentals of navigation (and God only knows what else) but truly don’t have a clue. So they come up with some new fanged idea that “saves money” and “improves” things.

The helmsman in the McCaine was never in a boat before enlisting 3 months prior. NO ONE on the NcCaine knew what the big red mushroom Kim button did, even though they pushed it several times. The manuals were 3 years and several revisions out of date.

Perhaps we should ask NOAA to demonstrate that their new products (ENC) are superior to the old product (RNC) before making the change?
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Old 14-01-2020, 13:23   #10
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

Thanks for the replies and I do plan to comment. This also raises another issue I hadn't thought of: Commercial products derived from RNCs
I have a plotter at the helm that uses a C-Map cartridge. I really don't know how C-Map makes their charts, I think that one is probably safe. I like the C-Map charts too. I once had Navionics on my phone. Those charts I also liked and likewise those will probably be fine, but I am not 100% sure. I got rid of Navionics because of its horrid AIS implementation, but I liked the charts.
I swapped in Aqua-Map on my phone and that plus iNavX both look to me like they use some RNC base to make their charts. Those may have issues. I really think even if I can fiddle the ENC to sort of work, at best they STILL look inferior to pretty much every other chart I have and no where near as good as RNC
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Old 14-01-2020, 15:57   #11
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

RNCs are definitely works of art, and so much more appealing to the eye. They also used the artist's (cartographer's) intuition and knowledge to subtly emphasize the important stuff and deemphasize the rest. While I find the ENCs quite useful in other ways the artistry is lost and the computer/mapper make really silly decisions with regard to where information gets placed and how it gets emphasized.
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Old 15-01-2020, 06:29   #12
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

Progress and a problem:
It takes a *lot* of doing to get the ENC charts to be useful. User-friendly or simple it is NOT. I will post what I have soon so the rest of you have a better starting point. I still can't get over it is quite possible to display a chart with major solid objects like bridges and lighthouses missing
I'll post some screenshots too, but the TLDR; version is the ENC product seems designed for ships, not boats. Besides for a much higher level of user competence assumed, they just don't seem to do more than a 1/2 azz job of charting harbors that commercial shipping does not use - much less detail than the old RNC versions. I'll post some screenshots too. Bottom line is it looks pretty bad and I doubt people will be happy with OpenCPN on ENCs
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Old 15-01-2020, 06:47   #13
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

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I doubt people will be happy with OpenCPN on ENCs
Astonishing so much people use it...
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Old 15-01-2020, 06:52   #14
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

On ENC?
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Old 15-01-2020, 06:57   #15
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Re: ENC vs RNC and no more RNC

The details and coverage depends completely from the Hydrographic Institute in charge.
The Spanish IHM for example adds more and more small marinas to their ENC portfolio.
On the other hand you have for example the Canadian raster charts covering more places than ENC. What will change over the time.
Garmin/Navionics is for example digitizing raster charts. All plotter charts rely on either official or private editors. And raster will disappear.
Another interesting aspect is the surveying quality and age. A lot of the US East coast has surveys from 1920-1930...
It is however correct that the main focus for the HOs is commerce and war. The leisure craft is not the first customer.



ENCs and user preferences: OpenCPN has one tool called templates.
Allows to define views or chart object compositions following your preferences and usages.
One for planning, other for offshore or sailing, Inland waters..
When you have screwed up a setting playing in order to learn, then just apply the template again and you are back in play.



One big advantage of ENCs is that you can query objects without littering the charts with information one might need or not.
ENCs can come with additional description or pictures to illustrate the object. Bridges, locks...
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