Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Commercial Echart Ad is Food for Thought

It is not clear that they have thought through the marketing logic here, which only adds to the challenges we face moving into the realm of modern navigation.

[Recall MacDonalds long term request that we "Put litter in its proper place," which has to mean throw your trash on the ground... else it would not be litter.]

From an August 26 email ad.

If they do indeed make 2,000 corrections per day, what is it they are correcting? 

The true charts themselves are not changing anywhere near that rate, even on a global basis. So this simply means they are mostly correcting their own errors in their own proprietary electronic charts. [*]

Thus we learn several things. Good—these charts are getting better every day. Bad—they indeed do have a lot of errors in them. (See related note.)

So the recommendation we make remains the same. When using electronic charting we are still better off with raster charts (RNC) when available. These are direct copies of the latest official charts, which these days are updated every week at no charge. Then if we want the convenience of some commercial vector chart such as this one in a packaged set of electronics of software program, we can then check it with the latest RNC or ENC.


[*] To be fair, maybe they are not just correcting actual errors but adding new information, to an otherwise correct chart. That would have to  be checked, and evaluated. If the addition is something that is already on the official charts, then is that an "error"? If it is adding something that is not crucial, then that is what it is. 

The reason vector charts (official or commercial) will eventually be our main resource is they offer so many layers of information, and are indeed easy to update, even remotely. Some of the information in deep layers is not crucial often, but could be in special circumstances. 

So the 2,000 updates a day shows they are working on this.  My comment here has more to do with the choice of marketing idea. My first impression was with that many updates, they must have a lot to fix.

Sort of like advertising ones level of experience in navigation by citing all the hurricanes they have sailed through.  I would tend to listen more to the person who has sailed all their lives and never been in a hurricane.

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