marine navigation

Navionics at Center of ICW Magenta Line Renovation

Navionics at Center of ICW Magenta Line Renovation

Last year, NOAA’s Coastal Survey Office announced that it planned to discontinue the so-called “magenta line” on charts of the IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW) because the line placement was based on data that, in some cases, hadn’t been updated since the original charts were produced in the early 20th century.  Well, that generated quite a storm of response from the user community but that response turned into something much more substantial and positive — a commitment by some companies and from boaters themselves to help get the data updated themselves.  Navionics, known for its comprehensive charts of nearly all the navigable waterways, lakes and coastal areas visited by recreational boats, decided to employ some of its latest crowdsource-supported technology to assist in the effort.

An example of the "magenta line" on a chart of the ICW.  Image courtesy of Navionics.

An example of the “magenta line” on a chart of the ICW. Image courtesy of Navionics.

Navionics is at now at the center of the NOAA Office of Coastal Survey’s efforts to reestablish an accurate magenta line on IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW) charts.  The Navionics effort involves updating the charting data on its “Freshest Data” servers with information generated by boaters who upload sonar logs and who submit edits to charts using the Edit Map function on their Navionics mobile application.  Given that there are more than 1.5 million users of the mobile apps, Don Black, global vice president of sales and marketing for Navionics, says, “We are able to deliver invaluable enhancements to charting data at an unmatched pace.”

Crowdsourcing (have you noticed how German the American English is becoming, just combining words into compound words?) is one of the hottest developments in the online world today.  The technology of “connectedness” makes it possible for users to now share local data and build profoundly more accurate databases of information.  In the marine charting world, that translates to the possibility of much safer local navigation, offsetting many years of neglect from government hydrographers who had higher priorities and insufficient budgets.

If you’re a user of the ICW and you would like to participate, get onboard with the Navionics Boating APP and get your local sonar logs and information uploaded to Navionics.  You may also contact NOAA’s Coastal Survey Office directly with input and comments. Use the link above to see how.

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Depthfinders, Electronics, Marine Electronics, Navigation, seamanship, Sonar, Technology

Northport Systems Announces Fugawi Marine 5

New Fugawi Marine5 Screenshot

New Fugawi Marine5 Screenshot

Northport Systems announced that its newest marine navigation software, Fugawi Marine 5, will be available at the end of March for new purchase and upgrade from Fugawi Marine ENC. According to the company, Fugawi Marine 5 takes advantage of the latest Windows technology, including a touch-screen control optimized for use with Win 7 and 8 tablets.

New Fugawi Marine5 Screenshot

New Fugawi Marine5 Screenshot

Northport Systems said the new software includes several specific new features including:

  • Marine Touch™ — touch-screen control optimized for use with Win 7 and 8 touchscreen tablets.
  • ClearChart™ — “ultra fast, smooth and brilliantly clear chart presentation.”
  • SurePlanner™ — “simple, intuitive and efficient route and waypoint planning.”
  • ClearDash — “instrument display for sophisticated and versatile instrumentation that integrates with the Actisense NGT-1 NMEA 2000® gateway or stand-alone instruments via NMEA 0183.”

Here’s a link to the full press release, which has lots of specific details about supported file formats, chart compatibility  and instrument display options.  It looks like a great package for cruisers using PC navigation and planning, especially since the user license explicitly allows the software to be installed on two different PCs, say one at home for planning and one aboard for navigation.

Copyright © 2012 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.


Posted by Tom in Electronics, seamanship, Technology