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Author Topic:   Self Charting
Jefecinco posted 05-23-2015 10:03 AM ET (US)   Profile for Jefecinco   Send Email to Jefecinco  
The June/July 2015 issue of BoatU.S. Magazine has an interesting article, "Bathymetric Break-out", on page 28. It discusses some of the back ground on digital cartography by boaters and touches on a happy future for all boaters.

JimH has provided a lot of the information as the processes have developed. Reading about it in a single article was helpful and allows a view of the "big picture".



jimh posted 05-23-2015 10:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I think the article is available on-line at

(I recommend ignoring the constant nagging to allow the website to begin storing data on your local machine.)

jimh posted 05-23-2015 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have to take exception to the title of this thread, "Self Charting," because most of the devices in the article linked cannot do that, that is, they cannot make their own charts. I believe there is only one device available now that actually can create its own charts. Most of the devices mentioned (in the article by Lenny Rudow) depend on the boater sending in his data to a centralized collection service to be converted into a chart and then sent back. This is not what I could call self-charting.

To be truly self-charting a boater needs a device to make his own charts without help from a remote host or service provider. I believe that the only device that offers that is made by HUMMINGBIRD. They call their unique and innovative feature AUTO CHART LIVE. This is quite distinct from all the other options mentioned in the linked article. Those other devices cannot perform any self-charting. You have to send your data (electronically vi some sort of communication link) to another place for processing into an addedum to the electronic chart. You then have to share your data, or, if you want to keep it private, pay a fee. With HUMMINGBIRD AUTO CHART LIVE you can truly make your own charts yourself and keep them to yourself, if you wish, and there is no fee and no delay. See

for more information and links to demonstrations.

jimh posted 05-24-2015 07:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
HUMMINGBIRD made some boaters angry a few years ago when they purchased the technology of a small company in Sweden, DrDepth, and the very innovative software known by that same name. For more about the purchase see this article:

DrDepth Software Acquired by Johnson Outdoors

Part of the reason for boaters' anger was the removal of DrDepth from the market. It appears that HUMMINGBIRD has perhaps incorporated the technology of DrDepth in the AUTO CHART LIVE feature, and the software now is resident on the SONAR device and executes on the SONAR device's processor, creating the immediate rendering of SONAR data into hydrology data on a navigation chart in real time. This actually sounds to me like a much more useful application than DrDepth was, as DrDepth worked as a post processor of the data and depended on a lot of user manipulation to turn the SONAR data into a chart.

There is an extremely long-running thread about AUTO CHART LIVE (and other variations of the software) that gives many links to presentations about it and answers many questions. Like many modern electronic devices and their software, using AUTO CHART LIVE appears to be a bit tricky. One must have the proper HUMMINGBIRD SONAR device, have the proper versions of firmware, and spend some time acquiring the knowledge to operate the device and the software, but, as some of the examples show, the results are quite impressive. You really can, as the title to this thread suggests, shelf-chart your favorite areas of lake or sea bottom.

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