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Author Topic:   Cartography: LOWRANCE Base Map
jimh posted 07-09-2010 08:42 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
I am curious to see examples of the digital cartography included with the newer LOWRANCE HDS-series chart plotters in their base map option. The description of this cartography says:

"Expanded Basemap Marine Detail (Americas)"

My area of interest is the Great Lakes, and especially the Canadian side of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. In the current state of government-sponsored electronic charting, it looks to me like the U.S. has adopted a policy of providing free, no-cost downloads of their digital charts, but the Canadian government is still selling its digital charts. This makes me wonder if the coverage of Canadian water in the free or bundled base map option from Lowrance might be lacking in its detail in the Canadian areas of the Great Lakes.

If anyone has a LOWRANCE HDS-series chart plotter, I would very much like to see samples of the base map chart for areas of the Great Lakes in both U.S. and Canada.

If the base map cartography is not very useful, I would also be curious to see any optional chart samples from upgrades that were purchased.

I believe that the LOWRANCE HDS-series permits screen grabs to be easily made. If anyone has a screen grab showing some chart samples, I would love to see them. To facilitate posting them in this discussion, you are welcome to email them to me and I will host the image and include it this thread.

Hoosier posted 07-12-2010 05:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I can't comment on the factory issued Basemap since I use the Navionics SD card for the Great Lakes. BUT, I can comment that the rendering engine used in the HDS units leaves a lot to be desired. The software draws very nice reproductions of a standard nautical chart but the use of colors is poor. I found that the use of light beige for land areas and off white for water made visual discrimination between the two very difficult. I also found that the HDS software drew NAVAIDs differently than the previous generation Lowrance XOG, using the same SD card. The HDS draws small (not scaleable) diamond icons for buoys while the XOG draws icons that represent the actual NAVAID. Using the HDS as a chartplotter takes a fair amount of attention and care.

Photo: Camera photo of screen of HDS5 showing color palette

jimh posted 07-14-2010 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Dave--Thank you for the camera shot of the Navionics cartography on the LOWRANCE HDS-5. I am still interested in seeing an image of the base map chart. I would also appreciate the image more if it were a screen capture. I believe it is possible to get a screen capture and save the image to a memory card.

This raises a sidebar question: if using a HDS-5 with only a single memory card slot, and if a memory card is in place which contains additional chart cartography (as in Dave's situation above), can you store screen images? I would be hesitant to write screen images onto the memory card with the chart cartography for fear of corrupting or disabling the very expensive chart data on the memory card.

jimh posted 07-14-2010 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To my request I also add the suggestion that the area shown on the base map chart might be most interesting if it were to be Isle Royale in Lake Superior.
Hoosier posted 07-14-2010 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
The base map info will have to wait till my next trip to the boat in the UP. I can say that the rendering of the IR charts from the Navionics cards is the same as the example shown above.The HDS units are very complex, a good example of packing too much capability into a single device, so there may be some operator ignorance issues in play here.

One thing I endorse is getting the Sirius Weather Radar option, it works and at $14/mo is a good deal. The subscription costs $25 to set up the account, then it's $14/mo. The big plus is you can turn the subscription on or off by month without an additional "activation fee".

SJUAE posted 07-14-2010 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
Jim--Screen captures are saved to internal memory and then transferred to a blank SD card. Sorry can't supply base map info for you as I'm on holiday

Hoosier--I think we discussed your disappointment with icon sizes previously and rendering depends on your map card area and source of original charts


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