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Author Topic:   NAVIONICS Receives 2015 MIBS Innovation Award
jimh posted 02-15-2015 10:48 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
The Navionics SonarCharts Live has been recognized at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) with a 2015 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award in the category of CONSUMER ELECTRONICS, APPS & SOFTWARE. Note that this is the only category of consumer electronics considered by the award panel, and it combines hardware and software, dedicated marine devices and mobile devices, all into one category. Navionics was the only manufacturer recognized in this category.

Excerpts from Navionics press release follows:


SonarCharts Live is the latest advancement in SonarCharts allowing users to view sonar recordings in an exciting real-time display on the Navionics Boating app. The newly generated personal HD chart is then saved for private use on the device, while recorded depth data is anonymously shared with Navionics to improve SonarCharts for all boaters. All data is cross-checked with other community contributions to ensure accurate daily enhancements.

SonarCharts Live runs on any Navionics Apple app connected with the Vexilar SonarPhone T-BOX transducer, which allows mobile users to view split-screen charts and sonar. Android compatibility, as well as the ability to view SonarCharts Live using sonar data from popular chart plotters, broadcast via NMEA-0183 compatible wireless routers from Navico, Digital Yacht and more, will follow.

A recorded demonstration of SonarCharts Live can be found at:

Simultaneously with the announcement of the innovation award, Navionics also introduced enhancements to their SonarCharts. The most significant portion of the announcement seems to be at the ability of these SonarCharts products to be used with GARMIN-brand chart plotters. Previously the Garmin devices were quite parochial about using only their own brand of digital cartography, but with this announcement it appears that Garmin and Navionics have begun a partnership which permits Garmin chart plotters to use the SonarCharts product from Navionics.

Some confusing descriptions of these products can be found at navionics-reveals-advances-chart-evolution-miami-boat-show

The general feature that I understand is these products are able to use crowd-sourced SONAR data, and to use the recorded data from a number of chart plotter products, including the already mentioned Garmin, plus:

--NAVICO's B&G, SIMRAD, and LOWRANCE chart plotters
--HUMMINBIRD chart plotters
--RAYMARINE chart plotters

This seems like a nice achievement for Navioncs. They have persuaded or made deals with all major marine recreational electronic chart plotter makers to provide support for their SonarCharts product.

Now we just need to figure out exactly what SonarCharts and SonarCharts Live really are, and what special features they provide.

It is curious that Navionics was able to make a deal with NAVICO, as NAVICO has just embarked on a very similar effort at crowd-sourced SONAR data with their Insight Genesis product.

For crowd-sourcing to be really effective, there should be a commonality for the method. A crowd can generate a lot more useful data if everyone in the crowd is contributing the data in a format that can be used by everyone else. The notion of making crowd-sourced data a proprietary data more or less flies in the face of the concept of crowd sourcing.

Hoosier posted 02-15-2015 12:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Do you think NOAA will join this consortium? With recreational sonar/chartplotters technology now at "survey grade' this would save us taxpayers a ton of money.
jimh posted 02-15-2015 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If NOAA got involved, they'd probably want to use some scientific standard format like XGIS or who-knows-what, and it would become too complicated. It's like trying to view a patent on-line from the government: you need some crazy TIFF viewer instead of a more common format.

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