Saturday, March 5, 2011

Imray Marine Chart Navigator

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Function: Marine Charting and Navigation
Cost: $41.99
Rating:****

If you have ever sailed in Europe or the Caribbean you have probably used Imray charts or cruising guides.  Imray and Tucabo  have formed a partnership to produce the Imray Marine Chart Navigator app for use on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. They have just released the navigation app for the North Sea with coverage for Belgium, Holland, East England and East/North Scotland a total of 149 charts. 

Their tag line seems to be "Written by sailors for sailors", and the app appears to be intuitive and fairly straight forward.  When the app is opened there is a disclaimer splash screen where you have to hit accept.  Once by that the main navigation screen is displayed.  There are four soft keys on the bottom of the app. They are Settings, Move to, Charts, Navigation and GPS enable symbol. 

The "Settings key provides the ability turn on or off the chart info, position, destination, waypoints, routes and tracks. It has a night setting dim the screen and the ability to turn on the instruments view across the top of the app.

Routes are added by tapping on the screen where you want to travel. The route points position can be adjusted by using your finger tip to move them to where you want. Shown at left by the circles.

Waypoints can be added at the GPS position or by entering the coordinates of the waypoint. Shown here by the red flag.

The "Move to" key allows you to move your viewing position to your GPS location, current position, destination, a coordinate or waypoint.  

The "Navigation key" allows you to navigate a route, turn on tracking, navigate to a waypoint, a destination or a position.  Each of these has a different icon so you can keep track of where you are navigating to.

It has a whole list of features including the usual routes, tracks, waypoints with the ability to save and name each one. This management feature makes is easy save and store the data.

Features:
  • Award winning raster charts from Imray
  • Waypoint creation and management
  • Routes: distances, targets, bearings
  • Position and destination
  • Course to steer, speed and bearing
  • Magnetic compass overlay
  • Distances, bearings from any point to any point
  • Electronic bearing line
  • GPS and instruments displays
  • Tide stations can be shown on maps
  • Aerial photographs and harbour plans
I like the look and feel of the app. It works both in landscape and portrait mode which is a bonus. Panning, zooming are smooth with the pinch or expand functions.  I really like how they have incorporated aerial photos into the app also. They show up as a camera on the maps. Just select and they pop up to show you the approach to the anchorage or harbor.  These are not the usual Google view we are use to seeing. These photos are very nice quality images taken from the air.

It appears that they only have the North Sea region out so far.  I am expecting more region covering the West UK and Ireland, Atlantic France, Spain and Portugal, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean but don't know yet when they will be available.  The price of $41.99 for a region seems high compared to other apps with similar functionality. 

Check with iTunes and search for Imray to find the app for your area.

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