Thursday, 21 June 2012

Why can't SEAiq USA/Free update a NOAA chart in Southern California?

[NOTE: NOAA has fixed the issue with the problematic chart.]

If you download the NOAA charts on the west coast of the USA, you may have noticed that SEAiq USA/Free have recently started complaining about one of the NOAA charts in that region, "Gulf of Santa Catalina; Delmar Boat Basin-Camp Pendleton".

The issue is that for some reason NOAA neglected to include an important piece in their most recent version of that chart.  Every S-57 (the IHO standard all NOAA vector charts are supposed to follow) chart set is supposed to include a file called CATALOG.031 that tells the chart plotter what all the files in the set are for.  That is just not there in their most recent update.

One of the advantages of SEAiq is that it can get new chart updates from NOAA as soon as they post them.  You don't have to wait for us to do anything!  For most other apps, you have to get the charts from the app developer and sometimes that means your charts are out of date already by the time you get them.

As part of downloading new NOAA charts, SEAiq also validates the charts.  If it finds a problem, it will keep the old ones and give you a warning.  In the most recent version of SEAiq, we keep track of how many charts are out of date and put the number on the app icon and the NOAA tab so you now will have a reminder that one of your charts may be a bit old.

We notified NOAA as soon as we found out about this problem.  NOAA has not gotten back to us yet, but we expect they will fix the problem soon.  They have lots of work to do but normally are good about things like this.  By the way, we have offered NOAA several times to provide them with our chart validation software so they can catch things like this before posting them (there have been a couple problems we've find in the NOAA charts before).  Hopefully, NOAA will take us up on the offer at some point.  We'll see!

1 comment:

  1. NOAA got back to us today saying the problem with the chart has been fixed. A quick check shows the problem is fixed. If you've selected the NOAA region for Southern California, you should just need to go to the NOAA tab and press Update.