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Old 29-11-2021, 20:38   #1
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Question why not all chart is free

Dear All.

First, I'm not a sailor .. just a computer hobbiest.
I just jump in to learn OpenCPN.

I found that ENC data that released by my country official is S63.
So I read about S63 more and found that all (not all?) S63 is not free.

My question is, what makes the goverment of each country didn't make S63 as a free data?


Well, as a computer hobbiest, i wish that ENC files is hosted on a server(s) with git mechanism so that all sailor can use it easyly.

in the end, if ENC files can be downloaded and used freely it'll ease ship/boat/vessel to come to that country ... and it mean a plus point to country's economic activities.

sincerely
-bino-
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Old 29-11-2021, 21:32   #2
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Re: why not all chart is free

Neo-conservative idea "user pays" basically reducing taxes on the wealthy by extracting more from the common people.
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Old 29-11-2021, 23:19   #3
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Re: why not all chart is free

Why should it be free. Mapping oceans costs money and I would imagine quite a bit. I have no drama paying for my charts, paper or electronic.


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Old 29-11-2021, 23:50   #4
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Re: why not all chart is free

I remember looking at maps of the baltic sea area and denmark was one of countries you had to pay...dont know if that is still true.
abe
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Old 30-11-2021, 00:33   #5
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Re: why not all chart is free

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulCrawhorn View Post
Neo-conservative idea "user pays" basically reducing taxes on the wealthy by extracting more from the common people.
Vs the neo-liberal idea that everything is free and we'll just tax those evil wealthy people into oblivion...along with the jobs and taxes they create.

The fact is it costs money to generate charts and it's way down on the list of things people consider when deciding if they will visit a country.

Also, pretty tough sell in a lot of countries where the locals can't afford cruising boats in the first place that we should give expensive charts away to rich foreigners.

You will also find that small poor countries tend to be very strict about appropriate flying of their flag...conveniently, they sell said flags, so you can be compliant.
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Old 30-11-2021, 00:51   #6
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Re: why not all chart is free

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Originally Posted by ozsailer View Post
Why should it be free. Mapping oceans costs money and I would imagine quite a bit.
Eh, because mapping is a basic government function that taxpayer dollars have already funded?

When you purchase official government charts, how much of that money is going back to your government as opposed to the pockets of the "value-added resellers"? At least with paper you're paying for the printing costs.
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Old 30-11-2021, 01:26   #7
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Re: why not all chart is free

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Eh, because mapping is a basic government function that taxpayer dollars have already funded?

When you purchase official government charts, how much of that money is going back to your government as opposed to the pockets of the "value-added resellers"? At least with paper you're paying for the printing costs.
Registering your boat is also a basic govt function...along with a host of other things that they charge you for. Being a govt function doesn't mean you don't get charged for it.

Example: most city water systems are a much more central govt function with the vast majority of the city residents highly dependent on it, yet the vast majority send a water bill of some sort if you want to use it (actually it's typically mandatory to connect and use it).

Reality is developing charts is a specialty item that the vast majority of the tax payers will never directly benefit from.
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Old 30-11-2021, 03:54   #8
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Re: why not all chart is free

You took the bait, catfish. Just another trouble causer looking to make noise. I just put him on ignore. There. No more noise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Vs the neo-liberal idea that everything is free and we'll just tax those evil wealthy people into oblivion...along with the jobs and taxes they create.

The fact is it costs money to generate charts and it's way down on the list of things people consider when deciding if they will visit a country.

Also, pretty tough sell in a lot of countries where the locals can't afford cruising boats in the first place that we should give expensive charts away to rich foreigners.

You will also find that small poor countries tend to be very strict about appropriate flying of their flag...conveniently, they sell said flags, so you can be compliant.
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Old 30-11-2021, 09:27   #9
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Re: why not all chart is free

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Registering your boat is also a basic govt function...along with a host of other things that they charge you for. Being a govt function doesn't mean you don't get charged for it.
That's a good point. Things like water and garbage collection also consume scarce resources, so having costs attached can also discourage overuse.

A counter-argument might be that having access to current charts improves navigational safety, and that excessive costs encourage people to retain and use outdated charts. Perhaps I'm more bothered by the costs of keeping official charts current? A very large number of boaters are not particularly rich, and the costs to obtain official charts can be high; this is not exactly business-friendly.

Charts need to be maintained for national defense purposes as well as for trade, and the marginal cost of making additional electronic downloads available to the rest of the population would seem to be quite low. To me it's more similar to GPS; created for defense but now of great utility to just about everyone.
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Old 30-11-2021, 09:51   #10
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Re: why not all chart is free

Quote:
Originally Posted by requiem View Post
Eh, because mapping is a basic government function that taxpayer dollars have already funded?



When you purchase official government charts, how much of that money is going back to your government as opposed to the pockets of the "value-added resellers"? At least with paper you're paying for the printing costs.


Hmm , driver license application fee , ships registration fee , but we should survey the seas for free hmmm ..
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Old 30-11-2021, 09:54   #11
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Re: why not all chart is free

Quote:
Originally Posted by requiem View Post
That's a good point. Things like water and garbage collection also consume scarce resources, so having costs attached can also discourage overuse.



A counter-argument might be that having access to current charts improves navigational safety, and that excessive costs encourage people to retain and use outdated charts. Perhaps I'm more bothered by the costs of keeping official charts current? A very large number of boaters are not particularly rich, and the costs to obtain official charts can be high; this is not exactly business-friendly.



Charts need to be maintained for national defense purposes as well as for trade, and the marginal cost of making additional electronic downloads available to the rest of the population would seem to be quite low. To me it's more similar to GPS; created for defense but now of great utility to just about everyone.


Sea charting was and is done primarily for commercial shipping , secondly the sale of charts ( or copyright licensing ) merely funds the production and distribution of those charts to the public ( leisure and commercial ) it in no way covers the survey costs.

I see no issue with the small costs associated with charts. In fact with electronic charts you get enormous amounts of chart data at very low costs.
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Old 30-11-2021, 10:34   #12
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Re: why not all chart is free

My first question would be who is providing the chart? If it is a private company such as Garmin then they have costs, even if it is based upon a government chart. Second, there is no such thing as a "free" service or product. They all cost money and someone has to pay for it.

How much is being charged for the charts? If the cost isn't too bad then it is likely reasonable. Also, how much is the cost compared to the total cost of boating? When we factor in registration, insurance, flares, life preservers, marinas/yacht clubs/ground tackle, fuel, maintenance, and all of the other expenses, it seems like a fairly small amount. Granted, it all comes to death by a thousand cuts.
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Old 30-11-2021, 10:38   #13
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Re: why not all chart is free

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulCrawhorn View Post
Neo-conservative idea "user pays" basically reducing taxes on the wealthy by extracting more from the common people.
I don't understand the logic behind this comment. It seems to me that if it were "free," at least to the end user, then the common people would be paying for it. Since those who own boats tend to me more well off than the average person, isn't it more fair that the wealthy pay for what they use?

If I am missing something I apologize however if the user pays then doesn't this help the average person by reducing taxes?

N.B. This assumes that the price of the charts actually covers the cost of the chart production.
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Old 30-11-2021, 10:45   #14
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Re: why not all chart is free

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I see no issue with the small costs associated with charts. In fact with electronic charts you get enormous amounts of chart data at very low costs.
Are we talking official government charts or the derived products such as a Navionics subscription? The latter are reasonably affordable. oeSENC charts are not bad when available, but S-63 are not particularly cheap.

On the surface S-63 charts may be only a third the cost of paper, but paper charts can be easily hand-corrected and thus that apparent cost benefit goes away once you use them for more than a few months.

Which I suppose means I'm not opposed to a reasonable use fee, and the question would then be what is reasonable. Some working class stiff who wants to go boating would have a different idea than a shipping company, or someone with a fancy new yacht.

I think there's a perception that many boaters are relatively well off, but is that really the case? I suspect there's a very large number of lower-income working class or subsistence fisherfolk out there that's simply not as visible.
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Old 30-11-2021, 11:25   #15
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Re: why not all chart is free

US NOAA charts are now free to download.

The downside is you need to enter the chard ID number, and download each individual chart, which can mean hours of looking up ID, typing them in, and using a utility to combine them together, and convert to a format you can view.

Navionics already did that for you, and converted them into the proprietary format required by leading MFD manufacturers,... for a price.

I've successfully downloaded an NOAA chart, and viewed it on a freeware chart viewer for free.

But without GPS data, and seamlessly tying the correct charts together it is little better than a paper chart.

There may be better products out there, but I haven't found any free ones yet.

When I first started boating, buying each region's chard SD for all regions available would have easily set you back $5 or $6 thousand dollars.

Now most chart plotters come with at least one region, and buying all navigable waters of the US is just a couple hundred from Navionics.

SO things are getting better, and more functionality, and lower cost for users.

Also less proprietary, just a few years ago you had to buy Garmin maps for Garmin, Raymarine maps for Raymarine, etc..

Now most Manufacturers support a common format so you can use the same SD card if you upgrade, or change brands.

Technology is getting better, before my chartplotter could only hold a few 10's of thousands of data points, or one small boating area. (100k memory chip)

Now I have the entire USA loaded in my chart plotter, and have room in memory for another whole country. ( 32 Gigabyte memory chip).

You can download Google earth right now, (from Google, not installed in any chartplotter I know of), but soon you will be able to overlay current accurate satellite images showing exact underwater depths, and structure worldwide.

I expect they will finish the photography in a couple more years, and I expect someone will make it happen in a chartplotter compatible format, and so far Google is free.
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