1- First of all, which electronic marine charts formats are compatible with my software?The more versatile your software is, the easier it will be to find the best and most accurate marine charts for your specific area.
MaxSea’s main advantage is its compatibility with a wide range of marine chart formats:
- Marine Raster charts: MapMedia mm3d Raster
- Marine Vector charts: Datacore by Navionics, CMAP by Jeppesen & HOs S-57.
2- Where do electronic marine charts originate?Marine Raster Charts are geo-referenced, digital images of Official Hydrographic Office and selected private navigational charts. True colour copies of the official paper marine charts of hydrographic services, raster charts are the most reliable, allowing you to display on screen the official paper marine charts that you were accustomed to use.
Marine Vector Charts utilize a vector database to build the chart display. This data is stored in layers and records every nautical chart feature such as coastlines, buoys, lights, etc. These features and their attributes such as position, colour, size, shape, and others are stored in a database allowing them to be selectively displayed and interrogated. In many areas of the globe where there’s no hydrographic service, vector maps are often the only reference.
3- What is the best navigational chart format: vector or raster?Vector charts or raster marine charts? The choice is complex and raises a real debate between two schools. Hard to say which format is better than the other, and in the end the choice is often lies on user habits or personal preference. Traditional paper chart users tend to like Raster Charts, since visually these are an exact reproduction of the paper chart. Vector Charts are stored as a database and drawn on the computer or plotter screen by the software, thus the display of a Vector Chart does not resemble a paper chart.
MapMedia offers a wide range of over 6000 marine raster charts restoring the accuracy and reliability of national hydrographic offices paper charts. MapMedia also produces vector charts through collaborations with the best charts editors of the market: Navionics, Jeppesen and some national hydrographic services (databases S57 for USA and Norway). MapMedia is able to provide a complete catalogue of vector charts along with marine raster charts offer.