Sunday, August 4, 2013

MyNOAACharts

Application: Android Tablets
Function: NOAA Marine Chart displays and GPS tracking
Rating: **
Cost: Free



Android tablet user listen up! For years now I have received many emails and comments on my blog requesting Android apps for marine charting and GPS tracking.  Well our Federal Government has finally put our tax dollars to good use and created an app to do just that.

The app, MyNOAACharts is available in the Google Play Store for FREE and you know how much I like free apps. 

This is listed as a Beta test just for this summer. The Beta test is scheduled to end on Labor Day which is September 2, 2013.  NOAA is looking for feedback on the product and they want to hear from users like you. So if you like the app, hate the app or have any comments or suggestions for features or additions let your voice be heard!

Features:
  • 1200 NOAA nautical charts
  • Update downloaded charts
  • 5000 pages of NOAA Coast Pilot Books
  • Geotagged Coast Pilot Data
  • GPS real time tracking
  • SOG
  • COG
  • Measuring tool
The app is only available on Android tablets at this time. If there is enough interest they will expand the app to other devices and include  all NOAA charts and the 5000 pages of pilot chart data.

Pilot Charts can be downloaded and viewed within the app also. If you have never see pilot charts they are a very detailed narrative of the areas marine features.

They provide a wealth of supplemental navigation information for the NOAA charts.  The app geo references the pilot chart data to the charts.

Topics which are covered in the Pilot Charts include environmental factors of weather, climate, ice conditions, tides, water levels, currents, prominent coastal features and landmarks.

Specific information on vertical clearances, wharf descriptions, small-craft facilities, hazards, dredged channels and depths are also provided. Navigation services and regulations are also identified including pilotage, towing, anchorages, routes and traffic separation schemes, environmental protection, and other Federal laws.

The NOAA charts appear to be the raster version of the charts. These are the familiar paper looking charts that can be downloaded from NOAA for free.

There are many other charting app on the market that charge you to view the NOAA raster charts.  The raster charts are nice but I am a bigger fan of vector charts. If we want vector charts that is one comment we need to pass on to NOAA folks so future developments an include vector charts.

I do not own an Android tablet so I was not able to run through all the features.  I know there a ton of Android users out there, so download this app and let NOAA hear your comments.  Provide all your comment to NOAA and show your support for the continued development of this app on Android and iOS tablets and phones.

~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)
Mark

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