Lowance and Simrad + Navionics = Many More Features For Boaters

mikenavmikenav Posts: 660 Officer
With its newest software update, Navico brand plotters (Simrad, Lowrance and B&G) in conjunction with an updated Navionics card will be able to use new features such as Dock-to-Dock Autorouting, Plotter Sync and Sonar Charts Live, which allows you to create your own charts as you are fishing or boating.

This means, besides the 1-foot contours and highly detailed charts that come on every Navionics card, users can now download updated charts and transfer routes and markers onto their plotter. The autorouting feature takes ito account the draft of your boat and will provide a safe route based on water depths and hazards along the way.

Just an idea of what the autoroute feature looks like:

Replies

  • Knot LeftKnot Left Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    Ok for running main marked channels and deep water but seems more like a marketing gimmick unless you run a larger offshore rig. I think most inshore boaters would not need it or choose to use it after seeing how it plots. The number of these main channels is so limited I can't imagine ever needing to run it as there as so many more efficient shortcuts it would usually plot one of the longest possible runs around any land. Out in deep water, who cares? Just make a straight line. Who needs a route to run from Jupiter to St. Lucie Inlet?. Just go out the inlet and go north down the coast and run into the next inlet on the map. The algorithm is not sophisticated enough to plot much different from easy and obvious main marked routes. I can't get it to work plot a proven run through any challenging areas, narrow passages, or expanses of shallows. Nice to have options like this but its just not something I think many inshore people would choose to run very often if ever after seeing the plotting limitations.

    Rather than spending the time to create options like this that will get limited use, it sure would be nice if they would spend time to correct the map inaccuracies and fix the locations of all of the stuff out in the water that people can run into rather than just taking the generalist NOAA data or wherever you get it and copying it. I would value a more accurate map with markers where they really are instead of 50' or 100' away more than this route feature. There are so many markers and posts out there that are not even noted on Navionics, I quit counting. Community edits is of virtually no help to fill in. No confidence in that. Those data are obviously not checked before they are released as virtually every one I have checked is no better in terms of accuracy than much of the regular map. They should remove the purple ducks too which serve no useful purpose and it takes 2 hours to figure out the secret code of input selections to get them to go away.
    If they spent as much time working to improve the accuracy of the map and actually vetting the data that goes on to make sure it is precise as they do developing these gimmicks which appear to offer limited utility for the benefit of a marketing pitch, it would go over much better.
  • mikenavmikenav Posts: 660 Officer
    You are right about a couple things. Many inshore boaters know their areas and probably wouldn't want to rely on the autoroute function. But that leaves out the entire larger boat market (which you mentioned) and inshore boaters who may be fishing or boating in a new area. And, while it will mostly keep you in marked channels, in areas where the channels aren't clearly marked, it will take into account the draft you set for your boat and keep you in water at least that deep, so "gimmick" may be a bit strong.

    Of course everyone can find their way from the Jupiter Inlet to the St. Lucie Inlet. That's a simple example.

    To speak to your second point about correcting map inaccuracies, Navionics is the only mapping chip/app that can do that in real time. "I would value a more accurate map with markers where they really are instead of 50' or 100' away more than this route feature. There are so many markers and posts out there that are not even noted on Navionics, I quit counting." You obviously know about the Community Edits function and said you don't trust it. Why is that? I think the vast majority of boaters would much rather help their fellow boater than take the time to post incorrect channel markers, etc. If you see a marker that isn't noted on your app or your plotter, the Community Edits will add it there instantaneously. That said, Navionics maps (and all charts for that matter) should be used for reference and your eyes should be used for real-life experiences.

    Thanks for your feedback. I hope you are enjoying the other aspects of your Navionics chip or app.
  • Knot LeftKnot Left Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    I appreciate that Mike. All I can say is in my own experience I have not found most of the Community Edits to be any more accurate than most of the other markers on the map I have. Updating it every week makes no difference. I am not a fan of a paradigm where your group just puts on the map whatever joe blow says and uploads with no vetting ahead of time. It does trouble me that they just let the general public create the company’s map features with no checking to make sure they are correct before it goes out for sale. If they did vet it it would be fine but it does not appear they do. If they do, then the inaccuracies they allow pass muster as OK. It seems dangerous to me. Some of the edits show whatever it is 50’ or maybe 75’ away from where it actually is or it shows something that is not even there which for some perhaps is OK or good enough. I guess people just drive by in their rig and hit their waypoint button as they go by 50’ away. It’s obvious most of the general public is not particularly detailed oriented or precise. Perhaps that is close enough for you. But it’s not close enough for me. If it’s in deep water who cares if the Tower is 50’ away but it makes a big difference if the markers are lining a narrow channel with shallows that expose on either side and there are no markers at all there or they are in the wrong place. It’s particularly a problem if the pictures are bad which is the case in many areas. For instance, the photos are practically useless in the big bend area of FL and not much better in many other areas around S. FL.
    I can see where using the public to provide data can be a great tool and obviously all of the companies are collecting and augmenting their sonar data that way. That can work well in deeper water to show bottom elevation changes but not so great for shallow areas due to obvious reasons. But for markers and buoys etc., that can be a real problem if no one on your end is checking to make sure it’s correct. That is obviously not happening with markers and the like. So the end result of that is some users after finding these problems in an area or two lose confidence in the data and just turn them off. It also then casts a cloud of uncertainty on the other map features because so many of them are not particularly accurate either as I am sure you aware. I can show you multiple examples of where the markers are on my map all over the State and where they really are or are totally missing. So, perhaps Navionics should really be Navionics Offshore or Navionics Deep Water because in closer where precision is important to avoid getting into trouble it’s only a general guide and in many areas you can’t use it to navigate with any confidence. I get the fact that stuff changes out there all the time and it’s a big job. But that is why we buy your stuff and we hope you are keeping track of it accurately. If you can’t update the changes on the water with accuracy in a reasonable time, it gets tagged with a number of excuses but I guess I just expect more and the accuracy of the map is far more useful to me than an auto route which only works well in deeper water and main channels that are easy to figure out and see anyway.
  • mikenavmikenav Posts: 660 Officer
    Point taken on the Community Edits part. Those rely HEAVILY on your average boater to recognize a hazard and then be able to mark it correctly. In my experience, I haven't run across very many that were REALLY bad. But I'm certain that varies from person to person and place to place. It comes down to seeing something on your plotter and then confirming that with your eyes, which you are obviously smart enough to do. I wish I could say the same about many other boaters.

    As far as the Sonar Charts (contour lines) go, I can tell you that, while many are community sourced, they are all run through this crazy algorithm which takes into account date, time, tide and about 50 other factors before they are put on the chart and updateable. Shallow areas will obviously change more often than deeper areas, like you alluded to, and boaters should be aware of that, Navionics or not. That said, if you know of some areas where the Navionics charts are way off contour line-wise, please let me know. Lat/Long, lake name, etc.

    Thanks for the conversation. I really appreciate your feedback.
  • Knot LeftKnot Left Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    mikenav wrote: »
    Point taken on the Community Edits part. Those rely HEAVILY on your average boater to recognize a hazard and then be able to mark it correctly. In my experience, I haven't run across very many that were REALLY bad. But I'm certain that varies from person to person and place to place. It comes down to seeing something on your plotter and then confirming that with your eyes, which you are obviously smart enough to do. I wish I could say the same about many other boaters.

    As far as the Sonar Charts (contour lines) go, I can tell you that, while many are community sourced, they are all run through this crazy algorithm which takes into account date, time, tide and about 50 other factors before they are put on the chart and updateable. Shallow areas will obviously change more often than deeper areas, like you alluded to, and boaters should be aware of that, Navionics or not. That said, if you know of some areas where the Navionics charts are way off contour line-wise, please let me know. Lat/Long, lake name, etc.

    Thanks for the conversation. I really appreciate your feedback.

    I like the 1' contours on the reef lines etc as they show where the bottom is changing. Out there, the actual depth indications are not that important if its a couple of feet off one way or the other as is usually the case. It just matters the bottom is changing. There is just no way the actual depths can be accurate to the foot taken by the public as everyone has their transducers set up differently at different depths and there is no way to know if the transducer face is 3' under or at the surface when the data was recorded. Algorithms can only correct for averages based on some inputs so its subject to variances on a number of key factors. That said, that is why contours recorded in the shallows acquired like this from the general public are not something that should be taken as accurate to the foot. Maybe that is why in the shallow areas their are very few on the map. I think the advertised 1' contours is correct as it is accurate to show 1' changes to the bottom but the indicated depths at each place are not accurate to the foot. Offshore it doesn't matter but in the shallow areas it does matter quite a bit. This is why inshore, focusing on markers and details with accuracy is far more important than contours. Another reason I think it should be Navionics Offshore instead because its useful out there but far less inshore and it doesn't matter if you have photos or not. The name infers you can navigate around with it well in those shallow areas but you can't. Average Joe from Michigan or where ever who has never been to Homosassa or Key West or Amelia Island or Mosquito Lagoon is not going to be using the 906 to get around with it in those areas very well and certainly not safely with confidence. But out the inlets on the reefs or running around the middle of Tampa Bay etc,. no problems and you can use the auto route out there too.
  • mikenavmikenav Posts: 660 Officer
    Without getting too deep into it, for the most part you are right about the placement of the transducer and the variety of depths that would come from transducers are different mounting positions. Obviously a transducer mounted one foot lower than the next one is going to show a 5-foot depth instead of a 6-foot depth. It's the reason (and I'll say it for the third time in this thread), you use your plotter and charts for reference and not as the gospel. If your boat drafts 16 inches and your Navionics chip says the water around the bar is 2 feet, PLEASE look over the gunwale see what it is in real life. That should be SOP for everybody in a boat regardless of what electronics you have.

    But, if you're looking for a bar that drops from 1 to 4 feet on a point where snook may be hanging on an outgoing tide, those one-foot contours are important. You now have a spot to go to, check out and potentially catch more fish because your charts were updated and show the bottom features.

    I think there are pro's and con's with any product that deals with the ocean floor, shifting sands, or Mother Nature in general. Add in human behavior and things get murkier, for sure. But I would (and do) rely more on my Navionics charts than some paper chart created five years or a built-in chart system on a plotter using NOAA info from 10 or 20 years ago. Even off by a foot, the newest updated Navionics chip can get through the Jupiter Inlet, showing the north side shoaling in after Hurricane Matthew, than whatever base map you show me that says that inlet is still 15 feet on the north side. It's not. I've seen it in person, I've seen it change since October and I've seen it updated on my Navionics charts.

    That would be my best example of why they're on my boat and my phone.
  • Knot LeftKnot Left Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    Ok.. perhaps it should be Sonaronics then instead of NAV since the contours seems to be the primary focus and the Nav insight is only reliable and easy to read in the deeper water. I have to say that is better description and they do seem to advertise that as the major product advantage instead of anything navigation related and whatever is nav related is relegated to the deep water areas., e.g. auto route that you mentioned. With NAV as the lead you would think Navigation would be the lead and main advantage. But very few if any that are unfamiliar to an area are going to be using Navionics successfully with confidence to figure out how to get to and from any areas that are challenging unless there is a main marked channel to follow. It just is what it is and when you ask an advocate (such as yourself) about a map issue that is trouble or concern the answer always seems to focus along the lines of . "oh.. but the 1' contours...." as though that is the fix for all. It doesn't seem to matter that for those running mostly in shallow areas that the contours mean little to nothing as there are not many contours in the shallows anyway and whatever there is can't be used to navigate very far. I like the contours on the reefs in 20 - 100'. Inside of that, trying to figure out where to go in shallow dangerous areas less than 5' you are pretty much on your own with the 906 I have and especially at Cedar Key and Big Bend.
  • FlatsBoyFlatsBoy Posts: 1,302 Officer
    I see the function to send way points & route/tracks to the Simrad.
    With plotter sync are you able to send what is on your Simrad to the Navionics app on your smart device phone or tablet as a backup? I have lots of important tracks on my Simrad and if it goes down having the Navionics app synced so what's on my Simrad chart plotter is mirrored on my app would be great while on the water in area I may be. Does it work like this?

    Also is this android or only mac capable?
  • mikenavmikenav Posts: 660 Officer
    Yes, you should be able to send tracks from your Simrad to the Navionics app on your Android or IOS device while you are on the water, as long as you are connected via wifi to the unit. Also, if you have "Sync My Data" enabled on your devices, it will serve as an additional backup across those devices.
  • FlatsBoyFlatsBoy Posts: 1,302 Officer
    Can I upload my way points and tracks to my Navionics account from my computer then sync them to my app yet without a Simrad or Raymarine unit?
  • mikenavmikenav Posts: 660 Officer
    First of all, I messed up the first part of that last post. Sorry. That was my fault. You will not be able to sync tracks from your Simrad plotter to your Android or IOS device, or vice versa. You WILL be able to sync routes and markers, meaning waypoints between the plotter and your device.

    As for your latest question: You can not upload points and tracks to your Navionics account and then sync them to your app.


    Tracks never sync from plotter to mobile or visa versa.
    With routes and markers, you can sync from Lowrance to mobile, and from mobile to Raymarine and visa versa.

    The closest I can come for what you're asking is the web app can sync routes made on the web into your account and into your mobile archive, provided the sync my data is turned on in both.
  • FlatsBoyFlatsBoy Posts: 1,302 Officer
    Thanks
  • Tori'S ToyTori'S Toy Posts: 268 Deckhand
    What are the purple/ pink ducks on the charts? Do they serve a useful purpose? If not,can they be removed?

    I have a lowrance hds9 gen3. When I zoom in closer to try to read what's written, text gets a little bigger then goes to small again. Do i need to carry magnifying glass or is there a work around?
    attachment.php?attachmentid=230307&d=1483582365
  • mikenavmikenav Posts: 660 Officer
    The pink/purple ducks signify a certain type of marine sanctuary area and are located on a layer of the chart that can not be edited. So, we are stuck with the birds. This has been brought up MANY times, by the way, but I haven't been able to get them to be optional.

    That sounds like a setting on your Lowrance unit, as opposed to something that might be happening with the Navionics chip. Is there are a setting on the unit which allows you to adjust font sizes? I have a Raymarine on my boat and, though I know quite a bit about them, I am not all that familiar with every single little option on the Lowrance units.
  • TimRTimR Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    I just got a new boat and had the Simrad GO9 XSE installed, I am going to purchase Navionics Platinum Plus but not sure if I should get the card or the SD? I looked at the back of the unit and there is a slot for each, is either one better than the other? Thanks
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