Slideshow

2017 Spring – IWN

New iOS app for low resolution smartphones

Just because the boating season is very quiet during the winter months does not mean that the CSIG teams are idle, the surveyors are still working away as is Brian keeping up with all that data preparing for the spring release of the charts.

There will be some significant changes in Version 2017-03-21, but the users will not notice too much change apart from all that extra data. The main change is to the way Brian computes the charts. We have had a problem for some time now where because of the limitations of the generating software and the apps there was inconsistency between the Locus users and the iOS users, particularly on the iPhone. Brian had to produce the charts at 1024*1024 pixels per tile, which is not the industry standard, but it did the job. However, with changes to the software and new techniques pioneered by Brian, he has found a way to produce the SQLite dB chart using tiles at 256*256 pixels each and take less time on his 16 core computers. This gives a much better resolution on all the charts and makes the icons (like markers) better sized for visibility. They worked perfectly on the locus platforms and on the iPads, but I found a problem on my iPhone SE, where the size of the map covered too small an area on the screen and the Galileo app would not let me size it. We initiated a search and a new app was found that overcomes the problem allowing for map scaling on the screen. I have tried it in anger and all works fine. I have enclosed a screen capture of the new app around Dromineer. Overall, the new app, called CARTOGRAPH, is not as good as the Galileo app on iOS smartphones, so the guidance for users is as follows.

  1. Use Locus on all Android tablets and smartphones
  2. Use Galileo on all iPads
  3. Use Galileo on all high resolution iPhones
  4. Use Cartograph on all low-resolution iPhones. The only low-resolution iPhone we have found to date is the iPhone SE, which was released just before the iPhone 7.

The new Version 2017-03-21, due to be released in spring 2017, will contain these changes.

New charts preparing for the opening of the Ulster Canal

Robert Navan and Peter Maxwell have being very busy over the winter and have completed detailed surveys of Lough Shark near the River Bann, but more importantly on portions of the River Blackwater where it enters Lough Neagh. One day, we hope to see this section of the Ulster Canal opened and we will be ready for it. Of course, it is currently very useful for all those sailing on Lough Neagh and the survey has found open channels where it was thought they did not exist. I don’t know how they do it, surveying in an open rib in the midst of winter, but I guess once you catch the bug it is hard to stop. I have included a photo of the 1-meter resolution of these charts, but of course, ones that are more detailed are also available automatically in the charts. These new areas will be included in the spring 2017 release.

Well done Robert and Peter, and many thanks from the CSIG team.

Meet Tony Baker, Lough Derg surveyor

I first met Tony at a Kilgarvin Angling Club meeting where Tony is the Treasurer of the Club. He became interested after I gave a presentation one evening on the charts to members of the club, got involved and is now a regular surveyor for the CSIG. Tony’s boat is a beautifully converted Colvic 28 in immaculate condition, called Lizbeth. After purchasing her about 3 years ago, he removed all the original Formica panelling and replaced with beautiful wood. He tells me woodwork is a bit of a hobby, and for sure, you can see it in the finish.

Tony uses a standard surveyor’s setup, a Garmin 45 Fishfinder from where he takes the NMEA output to an ACER laptop running Dr. Depth and Brian’s special surveying app. The laptop has a 15-inch screen running Windows 10. He also uses a Samsung Tab 4 running Locus and the CSIG charts, so he can check where he is. Brian’s surveyor app collects all the data and this is sent to Brian for processing. Tony has covered huge areas on North Lough Derg and he plans to have a new dinghy next season where he intends to survey many of the bays.

Tony has a very interesting background. Born in England on the west coast he grew up in a boating family with sailing, canoeing, and anything else going on the water and this led him to a lifelong career in the Merchant Navy. Having completed his 4-year apprenticeship, he was fully qualified at the tender age of 20 as a Deck Officer. He tells me he was sailing before the age of containers, so life at sea was very different to today. Tony climbed the ladder, through Third Mate, Second Mate, First Mate and Master over the following years, and he tells me he was Second Mate on what was then the largest Supertanker in the world at 155,000 tons. This was very exciting for him but the problem with Supertankers is that one is away from home for months on end, not too good with a family, so he transferred as Master onto Coastal Tankers nearing retirement. These Coastal Tankers are usually about 60 meters long and carry about 3000 tons, and the big advantage was being able to get home much more frequently.

Tony has been retired now for around 3 years, but keeps himself busy. He is currently renovating a 19-foot sailing cruiser, has 2 Classic Honda CV750 motorcycles from 1980, and is Treasurer of the Kilgarvin Angling Club and surveys for the CSIG every time he travels. His woodworking skills came into use over the winter when we had to renovate part of the Kilgarvin shed from the open lake and from a scaffold on top of the barge 41M wheelhouse roof. Rather Tony than me.

The CSIG wants to thank you for all your help and work getting us the data to produce these fantastic charts. They cannot be produced without people like you. Many thanks Tony.

Finally

Spring is on the way, if you are not a beta tester think about becoming one, the latest charts are just amazing and there is nothing available anywhere else that even comes close to them.  If you want a copy of the charts for your tablet, smartphone or laptop, please send an email to me as below.

If you would like a presentation at your branch meetings please contact me.

© Les Saunders (barge41m@yahoo.co.uk) CSIG PRO