Thursday, November 13, 2008

Navimatics Marine Maps First Look

Bill Zissimopoulos from Navimatics was kind enough to send me an AdHoc copy of his Marine Maps iPhone Navigation program to test in follow up to this Panbo article. It took me far to long to get around to loading the program and looking into it, but that process has finally started. Overall it is a very pretty program, with very good chart detail at least in the regions covered (not sure on completeness of coverage, but my understanding is that these are based on NOAA ENC charts which don't have complete coverage yet). The chart rotation feature is pretty cool and they have added the compass lock button (2nd from left) to lock onto north up if preferred. Zooming and Panning are fast, but the chart display reverts to the base raster (read very jagged with no detail) when you are panning or zooming, so it makes it hard to home in on what you are looking for. I will try to make a video of that sometime soon and post it so this complaint becomes more clear. Several of the other comments that the iNavX developer brought up on Panbo have been addressed as well as there are now waypoints and a goto feature, but you have to go to an info screen to see the waypoint bearing and distance info.

By far the best feature is the Search bar at the top of the screen which allowed me to quickly move down to Newport. It also gives the chart scale at all times in the lower right corner. My initial impressions are that for general marine reference or rough trip planning, this program has a LOT OF MERIT, but it doesn't seem to compete with iNavX for actual navigation. For many users, the ability to search for a location and quickly jump there would be an overriding decision maker, especially if you already have a portable GPS plotter, or a plotter display in the cockpit.

I will continue to play and will try to test this and the two versions of iNavX side by side when I head down to Ft. Meyers FLA for the Leukemia Cup Regatta Fantasy Sailing Weekend in December. Stay tuned.

Also note that I added a mapping feature from mapdaze. I am hoping they come up with a way to add map markers via e-mail as then this could be a VERY cool and easy to use feature. Otherwise I will just have to post date locations when full internet is available.


Anonymous said...

Charts not Maps..

Ibsailn said...

Yes, I would agree it displays charts, but the name of the program is called "Marine Maps" and I will give a software designer/promoter license to alliterate...