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Author Topic:   DrDepth Software Acquired by Johnson Outdoors
jimh posted 06-28-2013 11:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
The website for DrDepth software, a very innovative and useful software package that processed SONAR log files and turned them into bathymetric electronic charts is presently announcing:

DrDepth - important news 130402--All DrDepth software and related technologies have been acquired. The DrDepth programs and upgrade sales have been suspended until further notice. Existing licensed users can continue to use the program as before.

Johnson Outdoors has released this announcement:


Johnson Outdoors Acquires DrDepth

Deal Includes Assets of DrDepth & Mapping Technologies

(June 28, 2013) Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. today announced it has acquired the assets and technologies of DrDepth, the Sweden-based maker of lake and sea bottom mapping software. Details of the transaction are not being released.

“We continue to focus on innovation that provides anglers with a real-world advantage on the water. The user-generated mapping technology of DrDepth is the perfect fit to expand the features of our marine portfolio, which already includes best-in-class products under the Humminbird®, Minn Kota®, Cannon®, and LakeMaster® brands,” said Kelly T. Grindle, Senior Group Vice President – Marine Electronics & Diving for Johnson Outdoors.

Current DrDepth customers will continue to be supported during the integration into the Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics business. Existing licensed users can continue to use the program as before, but can expect upcoming announcements as the products are transitioned into the Johnson Outdooors Marine Electronics customer support structure.

The question on everyone's mind is the status of DrDepth software already licensed, and continued support for processing of log files from SONAR devices made by Johnson Outdoors' competitors, principally Lowrance.

jimh posted 06-29-2013 08:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
About two years ago Johnson Outdoors acquired Waypoint Technologies, the publisher of Lakemaster brand electronic charts for marine chart plotters. Shortly afterward, Lakemaster charts were changed to be available only for use with Humminbird chart plotters, while previously they could be used with other brands. If the past is any guide, the DrDepth software, going forward, may be similarly modified to become useful only with log files generated by Humminbird sounders.


Johnson Outdoors Acquires LakeMaster Brand
Deal Includes Assets of Waypoint Technologies & Pro Map Technologies

RACINE, Wis., July 11, 2011-- Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. today announced it has acquired the assets of Waypoint Technologies, maker of LakeMaster,® the premier brand of high definition electronic lake charts among Northern US anglers. The asset purchase includes Pro Map Technologies, the LakeMaster® proprietary inland water survey techniques and bathymetric data processing technology, providing future exclusivity of an expanded portfolio of LakeMaster® digital maps for Humminbird® fishfinders. Details of the transaction are not being released.

"We know that whether you're fishing for fun or in professional competition, it's all about catching fish," said Kelly T. Grindle, Senior Group Vice President — Marine Electronics & Watercraft for Johnson Outdoors. "That's why we're focused on innovation that gives anglers a real and meaningful edge out on the water. LakeMaster® is the perfect complement to our marine electronics portfolio which is known for pioneering innovation like Humminbird® Side Imaging® Sonar technology and the Minn Kota® i-Pilot™ for wireless hands-free steering and boat positioning. Importantly, LakeMaster® joins us as a leading regional brand that now will have the resources to soon expand its geographic mapping coverage and realize its nationwide growth potential."

Founded in 1992 by Mike Wood, LakeMaster® has evolved into the recognized leader in electronic lake charts by first combining highly accurate GIS data for inland lakes and waterways with advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) and sonar technologies. LakeMaster® charts and maps are built using unique on-the-water survey techniques to capture high definition digital marine bathymetry and then employing proprietary data processing technology to create detailed lake charts in one-foot depth increments. LakeMaster® high definition 2D and revolutionary 3D shaded relief charts are available through pc-based programs, computer software and Secure Digital (SD) cards and sold through sporting goods, outdoor retailer and tackle shop channels.

"We are pleased to join Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, a business that values people and shares our commitment to winning innovation, outstanding quality and customer service excellence," said Mike Wood, founder of LakeMaster. "They have a proven track record of leveraging their significant product development, distribution and marketing strengths to drive strong brands into sustained market-leadership positions. Importantly, our combined technology platforms present new and unique opportunities to enhance the fishing experience and bring excitement and growth to the marketplace. We are very excited by the future."

LakeMaster® will continue to operate from its facility in Little Falls, Minnesota and be integrated within the Marine Electronics business, which includes market-leading Minn Kota®, Humminbird®and Cannon®brands, as well as Geonav®, a new venture into the blue-water electronics market. Waypoint and Pro Map® staff will become Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics employees, utilizing the knowledge and know-how on which the LakeMaster® brand was built to expand coverage areas, to develop new innovative chart features, and for integration with the Company's current and future marine electronic technologies.

jimh posted 06-29-2013 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
ASIDE: I also note that Johnson Outdoors recently acquired JetBoil. Since I have a JetBoil device, I think it will continue to operate on my boat, even if I have a Lowrance depth sounder. I give Johnson Outdoors credit for buying companies with good products. The JetBoil is a great device, and the DrDepth software looked to me to be terrific work.
jimh posted 12-12-2013 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Following the purchase of DrDepth software announced in June 2013, a release of some sort of SONAR depth mapping software from Johnson Outdoors in their Humminbird product line has been anticipated. It appears that the features of DrDepth software will now appear in the Humminbird product line under the LakeMaster brand and using the designation of "AutoChart" as a trademarked name.

AutoChart is said to be going to become available beginning some time in the period of late March, April, May, or early June of 2014. The AutoChart feature will be sold in two tiers: AutoChart and AutoChart PRO.

AutoChart and AutoChart PRO will share these features in common:

--can create custom charts using sounding data collected by the user

--the custom charts will be compatible LakeMaster charts, another Johnson Outdoors company whose digital cartography is sold for use with Humminbird chart plotters

--the custom charts will be compatible with MinnKota electric trolling motors and iPilot Link follow-contour auto pilot. (MinnKota is another Johnson Outdoors brand.)

The AutoChart PRO software will have additional capabilities:

--create custom charts with bottom hardness indicated by coloring

--place side-image mosaic data onto the chart

jimh posted 12-12-2013 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There are more details about AutoChart and AutoChart PRO software available from LakeMaster/LakeMaster%20AutoChart.pdf

Hoosier posted 12-14-2013 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I have an older LakeMaster Michigan chip that runs in my Lowrance plotters. It's unique in that it not only has depth contours for Michigan Lakes, Lake Michigan, the US waters of Huron and Erie, but it has trails, two tracks, and snowmobile trails. Notice I didn't mention the Michigan waters of Lake Superior, the coverage stops in the St. Mary's River at Mission Point at the Soo. The chip is worth getting on eBay just for the off road detail. It's really too bad that Johnson Outdoors made it a closed product, they'd sell a lot more if they worked in other chartplotters.

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