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  Lowrance INSIGHT GENESIS Broadens Appeal

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Author Topic:   Lowrance INSIGHT GENESIS Broadens Appeal
jimh posted 07-13-2014 09:03 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
The crowd-sourcing SONAR mapping product INSIGHT GENESIS from Lowrance allows participating users to create custom navigation charts with their own SONAR data added to the chart, created by processing (in the cloud) of data the user has recorded on his Lowrance sounder using a SonarLog file. When INSIGHT GENESIS was first announced, participating in this crowd-sourced mapping was limited to users with computers with specific Microsoft operating system software installed. The restriction was imposed only on the process of uploading the SonarLog data to the host server for processing into a chart. Other than this one step in the process, there was nothing at about the process that required any particular use of only a certain computer operating system. All other aspects of the INSIGHT GENESIS were not tied to any special computer software. The effect of this design was to exclude from participation in the crowd-sourcing anyone who did not own a computer running the specific Windows operating system.

The limitation of their product to only one computer operating system was acknowledged by Lowrance, and in response to frequent questions about the limitation, they said they were working on a solution.

On July 9, 2014 Lowrance announced that a solution was coming. The process of uploading SonarLogs to a host server for processing will be moved to a web-based application. The web-based method is said to be specifically compatible with MacOS computers and also compatible with "all computer types." I assume this means all computers where there is a browser application available that was compatible with the web-based service.

The new service is called Web Upload. At the present time the service is in beta testing, and it is available only to premium subscribers to the service who have a INSIGHT GENESIS account. The service Web Upload will appear (soon) on the "dashboard" of the GENESIS account interface.

Lowrance has explained the reason for the delay: the nature of the SonarLog file format required some pre-processing of the data in order to accommodate the time-stamp information contained in the SonarLog files. Apparently it was necessary to modify the file format of the SonarLog files themselves in order to get around this roadblock. As a result, use of the Web Upload method of sending SonarLogs to the host server will require that the firmware on the Lowrance chart plotter-SONAR device that does the recording be updated to a new version. Lowrance has posted new versions of the firmware for the following models:

--Mark-4 HDI
--Elite-4 HDI Gold
--Elite-4 HDI
--Elite-5 HDI
--Elite-7 HDI

The updater file appears available from

http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Software-Updates/Elite-40/

and has a release date of July 2, 2014.

While the change to a web-based method for file upload has broadened the user base for INSIGHT GENESIS, the need to update the firmware adds new limitations. For example, there does not appear (at this time) to be a firmware updater for the older HDS (Gen-1) devices. Previously an HDS (Gen-1) could participate in the INSIGHT GENESIS process, but only if using Windows computers. That same restriction seems to remain in effect, pending a release of an updater for that series of SONAR and chart plotter.

For more information see the INSIGHT GENESIS blog site at

http://insightgenesis.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/ insight-genesis-is-now-mac-upload-compatible/


jimh posted 09-12-2014 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In a recent announcement at

http://insightgenesis.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/ insight-genesis-is-now-mac-upload-compatible/

Lowrance has now made upload of recorded SONAR data using a web-based method available for Premium subscribers and free subscribers via their Insight Genesis SONAR dashboard account. The web-based method accommodates any operating system. This means for the first time free subscribers using the MacOS can finally participate in the Insight Genesis program.

While the new web-based tool has expanded the user base for Insight Genesis, the web-based method is still limited to use with only certain models of Lowrance chart plotter.

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