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CSIG alive and well – progress – Mar 2014

Our Technical Team has been slogging away working on both surveying and mapping.  Brian Willson has taken the lead with Mapping and now six of the team are happily creating charts, thanks to the recent Training courses.

With sufficient detailed charts now in our repository, we are moving into the next phase.

Beta Testing

Having reviewed the quality of the charts, the Tech Team concluded that it is now safe to release them for Beta Testing.  Those accepting the charts to test will be required to attend a training day before testing begins, in order to maintain consistency and continuity and to monitor progress going forward.   We will be asking Testers to complete detailed responses to the test questions, distributed by the Technical Team.

Next Phase

As we embark on this phase of chart development, the CSIG need to formalise the members into new active groups, to participate in specific functional areas.  Currently, we are interacting with all members of the CSIG to obtain information on how they feel their skills might better fit into the new groupings.

We continue to have a need for more Surveyors, Testers and Mappers, but also for photographic skills, website assistance, communications skills, public relations and advocates.  If you think you can help in these areas or in others that we may not have mentioned here and have a bearing on what we are achieving, do e-mail us for a chat.

We could use help in carrying out exploratory non-depth related surveys of areas, to ascertain if they might be suitable to do full bathymetric surveying.  Also, assistance with the write-ups for harbour approaches and facilities and in surveying from small craft (canoes etc.) the reed lines and reed beds.  All this information contributes to broadening the content and accuracy of the charts.

Don’t worry about not being able to do something, if you have an interest we will teach you.

Onwards

So, great news for the CSIG, this is a major milestone that we have reached.

Thank you to everyone who has supported and assisted us in getting to this point.

The CSIG Team contact address is csig@iwai.ie

Erne Waters – electronic charts now available – Nov 2013

As you are all probably aware, the IWAI Shop stocks an OSNI 1:25000 Activity Map covering Lower and Upper Lough Erne and the Shannon Erne Waterway (SEW) to Ballyconnell.  This is an excellent navigation guide and covers in detail pretty much everything a cruising boat might need, apart from the hidey places that require detailed surveys.  Its only drawbacks are the small writing, particularly for markers, and being just one chart, it is unwieldy in a boat.

The good news – it is now available as an electronic chart, built to fit alongside the CSIG charts using the same Memory-Map software.

The Lough Erne Activity Map is available from Memory-Map with four other activity maps of Northern Ireland and the overall map of Northern Ireland as well.  The purchase price for all is £100 sterling.  To order, access the Memory-Map website, look for Maps and then select Northern Ireland.

Installation

The product comes by post on a CD with the Operating software to drive the map.  The same Operating software drives the CSIG charts.  Installing it is simple, with step-by-step guidelines.  After installation, you will need to activate the charts.  Just try to use one, it will tell you it needs to be activated, and then follow the guidelines. You will need to be on the internet for the activation process. Select the map you want, say Lower Lough Erne or Upper Lough Erne, by choosing the Map tab at the top left of the page, and selecting the Map and OK to the pop-up. Once in the map, you can zoom in and zoom out and move anywhere on the chart with the curser.

Equipment

The charts are available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows machines, so you have your choice.

For tablets, such as the iPad you will need the GPS equipped model, but if you have the less functional model, a Bluetooth GPS can be purchased for about 80 euro.  Similarly, for the Windows laptops, a USB GPS is required, I have used the SIRF 3 model purchased from Expansys for €24, but many more models are available.

I also recommend you download the free software called GPSGate, which will virtualise your Comm port on the laptop, enabling the single GPS unit to feed two or more programs, and enabling for very easy Comm port assignment.

Assistance

If it sounds hard, it really is not, and feel free to shout me (barge41m@yahoo.co.uk) and I will walk you through it if you run into trouble. The Memory-Map help desk are very helpful, particularly if you have difficulty while activating.

I have also built a number of the common routes used on the Erne, which makes the charts much easier to use, and these Overlays (as called by Memory-Map) can be had directly from me. I do update them regularly, but the basic set of Routes is comprehensive.

Caveat

Be aware that the depths shown are spot depths and the contours are only fillers between those spot depths, so do not rely on them.  The CSIG has not tested any of these depths and has had no input to the generation of them, you use these charts at your own risk.

Now you have them, enjoy them.

Les Saunders – CSIG PRO

Click on examples to see full image.

Blaney and Camagh Bay on Erne

Crom Castle

Rough and White Island on Erne

Upper Lough Erne

Using split screen function in Memory Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Heritage Conference & CSIG – Sep 2013

The third Galway International Heritage Conference took place on Sep 20th with an overall theme of Ireland and the Wider World: Aspects of Ireland’s Maritime Heritage.  Programme

Pat McManus represented the Charts Special Interest Group (CSIG) at the conference.  Of particular interest to him as a member of the CSIG surveying team, was the work and talk by Karl Brady, Connie Kelleher and Fionnbarr Moore of the Underwater Archaeological Unit, National Monuments Section of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.  CSIG members had the pleasure of listening to Karl in April 2013 as he described how they document, manage and investigate submerged archaeological finds.

Pat writes, “I am licensed by the Department and the Unit to carry out archaeological surveys on Lough Ree.  A summer spent surveying the area around Warren Point, St Johns and the Wood Shoal has resulted in some interesting finds, one modern wreck and possibly three log boats.

Pat has recently worked with another of the speakers, Rory McNeary of the Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Ulster, on the Rindoon and Safe Harbour site.  Rory has carried out bathymetric surveys around the northern coast and on the inland waterways of Northern Ireland.  During Rory’s study of Safe Harbour, he determined that this area might have been used by Vikings to build and repair their ships. Axes were found that would have been used for working with wood. Pat has also found what is believed to be a second harbour on the south side of the peninsula.

During the conference, Pat presented some examples of the CSIG’s work on the Shannon and Lough Ree.

Pat states, “I can safely declare that our work is up there with the best and was very well received. I know that we can call on Connie, Fionnbarr, Karl and Rory when we need their expertise.”

Links – Underwater Archaeology Unit and Maritime Archaeology UU

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