Saturday, 12 January 2013

SEAiq 2.3.0

We are pleased to announce version 2.3.0 of the SEAiq apps.  With this release, we add two much-requested features: Weather and Anchor Monitor/Alarm.  We also fixed several issues in S-63 chart display and fixed a problem that was preventing display of Active Captain details in the free apps.

Our Weather feature allows you to display wind forecasts as an overlay to the chart.  The forecast can either be automatically downloaded from NOAA (when you have an internet connection) or manually installed using a GRIB file (using SSB/SailMail when you are on passage).

The Anchor Monitor/Alarm feature allows you to mark the location of your anchor and generate an alarm if your vessel moves away from that location.  If you have an accurate heading sensor and have set the True-Scale settings for the location of the GPS antenna, those are used to more accurately estimate the location of your anchor on the seabed.  The chart display will also show the predicted circles for swing and alarm for your vessel.

Both Anchor Alarm and Weather are considered Beta features in this release... we appreciate any feedback you have.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Problems with 20 NOAA Charts

Several users have asked why certain charts they download from NOAA are being rejected by SEAiq Free/USA.  The issue is that NOAA has recently published 20 charts that are missing an important file.

The International Hydrographic Organization's S-57 chart standard requires that chart-sets include a special file with the name CATALOG.031.  This file serves as a kind of table-of-contents, defining what information is included and allows programs such as SEAiq to verify the contents.

The problematic charts from NOAA do not include a CATALOG.031 file, which is why the charts are being rejected.  SEAiq checks every chart downloaded from NOAA carefully before accepting it for use.  This is the pause you can see after each chart is downloaded. This helps protect, for instance, against an unusable chart from replacing a usable one.  And it lets you know that some of your charts may not be entirely up to date.

We have submitted a report to NOAA describing the issue.  Also, the next version of SEAiq Free/USA will include a work-around that makes an exception, to allow you do download the problematic charts until NOAA fixes them.