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Old 04-03-2018, 22:52   #1
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(Lack of) charts - HK Hydrographic Office

Hong Kong has been crippled by the HK MarDep stopping any third party maritime chart provider since ... a few years ago now. Applying the usual Hong Kong (lack of) logic and reason, they claim that 3rd party providers can't be trusted, and can't use any data from the MarDep.

The official data from the Hydrographic office is fine as paper charts (although ... they are really slow to update it. I told them about a wreck - which had been there for half a year - and it took a further month before they updated the charts). The electronic charts they provide are fine if you have a commercial vessel with an industry grade chart plotter. Or a laptop computer. But for those of us with normal boats - we just don't have that option.

Then there is Navionics, and their SonarCharts. Making your own sonar logs, from sounder+GPS, and uploading them to Navionics - the charts would be carefully recalculated and updated with those data. I have done that for a few years now, in and around the marina where my boat is. Now finally gotten my boat ready to sail, things are changing.

The HK Hydrographic office seem to have stepped up their efforts to block any and all competition:

26 Feb at 11:20

Dear ....,

We are sorry to inform you that the Hydrografic Office has restricted the use of collecting and processing Sonar data. Due to these legal restrictions, we can't process your logs included into this Area.

We will make it our priority to keep you posted when or if we have any additional information.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Navionics Customer Service


In other words - they won't let boaters share their soundings to produce those charts ... that the MarDep / Hydro Office have taken from us in the first place.

So although the official explanation is that only the publicly approved charts will keep us safe (yeah right), it ironically has the exact opposite effect: People keep their old chart memory cards in their chart plotters , several years outdated.
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Old 04-03-2018, 23:14   #2
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re: (Lack of) charts - HK Hydrographic Office

For a while it worked well. I did a lot of boating around in dinghy and kayak, with a portable sounder connected. It was fun to sound the various waters around us, to make up for the lack of chart detail available.

But these last 4 soundings, spanning the area around Lantau Island, won't be updated.

Any workarounds? Are OpenSeaMaps doing something similar (and out of legal reach of the evil HK Hydro Office)?

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Old 05-03-2018, 09:28   #3
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re: (Lack of) charts - HK Hydrographic Office

hi

HK MarDep is a dinosaur, outdated and with a large lack of commitment towards cruisers...

have you checked https://openseachart.org/doku.php ?

cheers
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:53   #4
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re: (Lack of) charts - HK Hydrographic Office

Quote:
Originally Posted by andreshs1 View Post
hi

HK MarDep is a dinosaur, outdated and with a large lack of commitment towards cruisers...

have you checked https://openseachart.org/doku.php ?

cheers
I looked at it before and then later someone said their charts were without depths. I will look into it again. Could be cool to crowd-"source" our own charts for HK waters.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:26   #5
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re: (Lack of) charts - HK Hydrographic Office

my plotter is older than me, but no budget for an upgrade for now.....
let me know how it works though

cheers
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Old 06-03-2018, 17:10   #6
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re: (Lack of) charts - HK Hydrographic Office

Quote:
Originally Posted by andreshs1 View Post
my plotter is older than me, but no budget for an upgrade for now.....
let me know how it works though

cheers
With any crowd-sourced chart app, it should run on a tablet (which you might already have). The issue is to find a provider which will not be intimidated by MarDep / Hydro Office. Since OpenSeaMap is non-profit and purely user driven, it would be the optimum solution - but last I checked (several years ago) it wasn't possible for me to do it for Hong Kong.

If I make it work, I will surely promote it for Hong Kong and help others get started. Just needs some energetic souls and a critical mass to get started - once it got sufficiently popular, it would accelerate by itself. Like so many other crowd driven apps - the power of many users contributing would potentially make it better than MarDep product.
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Old 06-03-2018, 23:38   #7
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re: (Lack of) charts - HK Hydrographic Office

Another screwed MarDep issue: The tide table for each year. 2018 edition has been sold out for a while, and they donít know when itís coming back.

Anyone with a 2018 edition who could be bothered to scan it to pdf and upload somewhere? Because thereís no electronic version of it.
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