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Is there laptop PC GPS navigation software for nautical use?
tito1231
Is there any PC GPS mapping software tested for nautical use? I have Garmin MapSourse but it only shows my position on map. I want something with navigation to waypoints and all this goodies. I live in Greece (sorry for my English).
Marvin Hlavac
Hi tito1231,

Welcome to Laptop GPS World.

Check the products Fugawi offers: http://www.fugawi.com
Ken in Regina
Check Garmin's web site. They have many navigation products specifically for on-water navigation as well as map products with all the necessary data that normal road maps do not include.

Look under PRODUCTS >> ON THE WATER.

...ken...
Davidg
I use MaXSea http://comen.maxsea.fr/MaxSea/
tito1231
TNX GUYS I LOOK FOR ALL THIS I HOPE GREECE INCLUDE IN THE MAPS OF THIS PRODUCTS
Marvin Hlavac
Cool, tito1232. Let us know what you end up buying, and how you like it, etc. Perhaps, if there are several people interested, we may even open a forum section dedicated to PC GPS navigation on water.

Davidg
tito you can get nautical maps for EVERY navigatable water way in the world (including Greece) - be it ocean or inland. One word of caution though, the nautical world is used to paying in the thousands $ for world coverage whereas we are used to hundreds $ for land navigation. Probably has to do with the numbers nusing both types of navigation. The sea navigation software is actually (from what I van see of the land stuff), more sophisticated than the land software, although since there are no roads, planninig a route is usually by way of clicking on the maps and setting waypoints. Saving tracks in critical, especially when anchoring since you can, in a storm, simply up anchor and motor back out the saved track in pitch darkness and driving rain without hitting anything (assuming you didnt hit anything on the way in )
Enjoy and like Marvin, I look forward to your comments
markram
Hi Tito

I am looking for the same thing. I am familiar with maptech.com - they have individual maps for all of the Med. that I am familiar with and are very good - you can see them here: http://www.landfallnavigation.com/mediterr.html

I have spoken to the Maptech agent in the UK and apparently the company is in the middle of being sold and there is no software available at present. I was told to come back at the end of August.
The nice thing about the Maptech agent in the UK, besides the fact that I am not familiar with any other, is that they offer the maps, driver and also a gps mouse option all in one package. This is good for those of us (me) with limited knowledge of all the issues involved.

There is of course also Garmin but I feel that if you do go in that direction then just use their GPS hardware instead of your laptop

Hope this helped....
mattcolie
IS THERE ANYTHING TESTED FOR NAUTICAL USE ??I HAVE GARMIN MAP SOURCE BUT ONLY SHOW MY POSITION ON MAP.I WANT SOMETHING WITH NAVIGATION TO WAYPOINTS AND ALL THIS GOODIES.I LIVE IN GREECE (SORRY FOR MY ENGLISH).
Tito,

Sorry I am only just now getting back to you, but I have been very busy planing an overland excursion (very rare thing, I usually sail where I go).

There are two places that you have to look:
Seaclear is a very capable FREE program that does everything you are looking for and more. Manuals are available in other languages than English. This program can only accept NMEA data. But it can also display more than just GPS data from the NMEA buss.
http://www.sping.com/seaclear/

Another very good program is GPS Utility. It is not free, but is is very reasonable. This program can accommodate several different GPS outputs (and NMEA).
http://www.gpsu.co.uk/

Both will use scanned charts that you can calibrate.
Both will import many types of charts files, but be sure you find out what is available in your area before you count on using either one.

Fair Wind and Smooth Sea

Matt Colie
tito1231
THANKS MATT I LOOK FOR BOTH SOLUSIONS
GEIA SAS from GREECE
markram
Matt - I downloaded the seaclear software and bought maps from a site www.1yachtua.com. They are rastor charts and "seaclear compatable", and cost about 3.80 Euro each (!!). Somebody helped me to set up everything and it works great.
Just completed a 31 foot delivery. At the beginning of the month we hit a Beaufort 7 sea in the Gulf of Lyon and our brand new built-in plotter packed up. We had to rely on my laptop for navigation and we plotted our way safely to the nearest port (Sete). Don't know what we would have done without it.
The Garmin plotter was fixed, and of course rastor charts cannot compete with the Garmin software, but in a tight situation, it saved our asses. Thanks to you...
KL2BE
IS THERE ANYTHING TESTED FOR NAUTICAL USE ??I HAVE GARMIN MAP SOURSE BUT ONLY SHOW MY POSITION ON MAP.I WANT SOMETHING WITH NAVIGATION TO WAYPOINTS AND ALL THIS GOODIES.I LIVE IN GREECE (SORRY FOR MY ENGLISH).
For driving you only need a map with two dimensions; for nautical use you NEED a three dimensional chart that shows under-water features!
For ratings on Nautical chart programs try "Practical Sailor" a monthly publication in the US that tests marine products of all kinds (like "Consumers Reports", "Practical Sailor" does not accept advertising so their test reports are truly objective).
Nautical computer navigation started it all. Garmin only recently entered the auto nav scene after taking over the Nautical trade in the late '90s.
Garmin and others (notabley Raymarine and Standard Horizon) market a plethara of chart-plotters, but the real deal is lap-top navigation using free maps downloaded from NOAA .
The "original" marine nav program was "The Cap'n". VERY GOOD through about 2004. But, after the Coast Guard adopted it, things went down-hill as the Cap'n began neglecting the consumer market if favor the the Coasties.
MapTec now sells best; but the best thing going today is an Apple/Mac based program!
A deluxe program from MapTec runs about $600 US while a Mac program from MAC ENC cost $100 US and is a bit better (and can be downlosded from the net rather than purchased on a DVD).
There is a VERY IMPORTANT thing to know about Marine nav-programs!!!!!!
Vector charts are for recreational use in areas where you already know the water. Vertor charts are all you can get on chart-ploters; which is why chart-plotters are only toys for in-shore recreational boating.
Raster-scan charts are Realcharts scanned from the originals and loaded onto your computer (too much memory required for the "tinker-toy" chart plotters).
What's the difference between Vector and Raster charts? Well, Raster charts are scans of REAL charts published by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration), DMA (Defense Mapping Agency) or foreign Government agencies such as the British Admiralty . Quite accurate. When a NOAA chart of the East Coast says you have 6 feet of depth there the GPS "paints" you, you can be sure there is 6 feet of water (which is much more of a life & death mater than whether a street-nav map tells you precisely where "Elm Street" is.
A Vector chart is made by taking a "real" chart and sending it to India to have someone (who may never have seen the Ocean) remove data according to a cheat-sheet so as to reduce the data storage requirements.
Navigating tricky waters with a Vector chart (all that's available on any chart plotter) is akin to night-driving with sun-glasses; a good bit of the needed data is filtered out.
So, if you only need conformation of where you are on water you already know, a Garmin of Raymarine chart plotter may work OK; if you are going to new places and need to know where you are and what dangers lurk below the surface, you need a lap-top hooked to a Garmin hand-held GPS with a MapTec or MAC ENC nav-program.
Anglepoise
I am using Nobeltec Max Pro.

I use it on a dedicated powerful computer on the boat running Win XP.
and a Furuno 15" monitor.

However the program license allows 3 installs and the same program has been running perfectly on an older Compaq and not so well on a new Netbook with a USB receiver.
Raster and Vector charts from Cmap for all over the world.

I lay out all my routes on the Netbook and export them to the main computer.
I have used this companies marine GPS mapping for many years and it is very popular in the Pacific North West.

www.nobeltec.com
Ken in Regina
Vector charts are for recreational use in areas where you already know the water. ...

....A Vector chart is made by taking a "real" chart and sending it to India to have someone (who may never have seen the Ocean) remove data according to a cheat-sheet so as to reduce the data storage requirements.
You have some good points about what to look for in marine navigation, but this is one point that needs a little examination.

I have no experience with marine charts. But I can state from experience that a whole lot more work than that goes into the creation of vector maps for land.

I also know that those pretty paper charts you are scanning were printed from vector databases. The techniques to get the data that goes into the databases for underwater topography are a little different than the techniques for above water topography, but both end up in databases that can be used to produce (render) a pictorial depiction of that data.

I know that some cheap operations do scanning as you describe in order to produce cheap knockoff map products. This applies to road maps as well. But any reputable firm, like Garmin, wouldn't do that. I suspect their Bluechart products are pretty credible.

But as I said, I have no personal experience with marine charts so I don't know the supply chain for the data the various suppliers use.

...ken...
markram
For driving you only need a map with two dimensions; for nautical use you NEED a three dimensional chart that shows under-water features!
You have made some good points - I tend to agree that the rastor charts on my laptop software are supposedly the most accurate, given that they are based on navigational charts, but nothing beats the layered information you get on todays plotters ( including three dimensional info).
But, I still do not understand why a chart on a plotter would be less accurate than an admiralty chart, for example?
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