Updating Charts is a Bit of a Mess

Globally the whole business of updating charts is in a bit of a mess at the moment and probably will be for a while. Most national hydrographic offices are fairly well set up for maintaining their paper portfolios. This is no great surprise as some of them have been in this business for a century or more. However with the advent of electronic charts a lot of things have to change. The whole production process needs to be reorganised (not cheap) and some of the basic ways of thinking about charts have to change.

Raster charts are commonly produced as facsimiles of the paper charts. In a simplistic system they are literally scanned from the paper originals. This can give rise to inaccuracies for a range of reasons not least of which are distortions in the paper and non-linearity in the scanner. Scanning at a resolution appropriate to the electronic chart can cause a rather jagged appearance which is most noticeable in diagonal lines and known as aliasing. The raster chart has far fewer dots (pixels) than the corresponding paper chart and this can compromise appearance. A better production method is to create the raster image from the same electronic chart images used to drive the paper printing process. There are still some issues here with re-projection which need to be handled correctly but in general this is a cleaner and more accurate process. It also allows image processing such as anti-aliasing which gives a better visual impression when the electronic chart is displayed.

In either production technique the updating of the raster charts follows on more or less naturally from the time served paper chart update process. It is then common for the vector charts to be produced from the raster data, more or less indirectly from the paper chart production mechanism. At the end of the update chain are the third party chart producers who copy the official data sets and repackage them in a variety of ways. Quite naturally these are the last types of charts to get updated.

But this is all changing because this is not a good way to handle vector data and vector data is the future. It is a separate issue as to why vector charts are the future or whether it is the right future but for now it definitely is the future. The IHO and other august bodies are committed to this and substantial funds are being invested. This matters because creating vector data from paper charts is just not a good way of doing things.

In the vector world everything is an ‘object’ like a light or a depth contour or a traffic lane. Each object has ‘attributes’ like the color red or a certain depth. Each object also has a position (the ‘vector’) so it is represented as a point, a line or an area. These objects can be quite readily managed in a simple database but the natural way of organising them is to tie them more directly to the raw survey data. So when a report is received that a new wreck has been found it is just entered into the database – no intervening chart required.

Vector charts are now a cinch to produce. A cell is just a collection of all the objects in a given geographical area. The problem of actually displaying the chart data is palmed off to the ECDIS or ECS. Paper charts and raster charts are a bit more problematical because the traditional role of the cartographer has been taken out of the loop. Have you ever wondered why a modern chart display simply just does not look as good as a paper chart? Well this is why, there is no longer a cartographer involved to lay out the chart and make it look ‘just so’. Instead we have a dumb computer, and they are all dumb, attempting to reproduce the sort of work that takes a human many years of training and experience. It just doesn’t work so well.

Now to be fair the automated vector to raster production processes are getting better but none the less there is still a complete role reversal. The raster chart becomes a second class citizen to the vector chart and the paper chart ends up at the bottom of the pile. Instead of being the primary focus for updates it becomes the last. There are undoubtedly many advantages with vector charts and with paper charts generated from vector databases. However, for the foreseeable future, they are never going to match the visual quality of the charts that have become standard fare for the mariner for many years.

Last in the chain will always be the third party chart producers. Fortunately as their update feeds become predominantly more electronic (just another output from the database) then these updates should become more timely. Ultimately they should be able to match the official charts for accuracy.

Just now we are in a great transition phase. Some hydrographic offices are pushing ahead with vector only systems while others just deal with traditional paper charts. Most are somewhere in between and possibly a bit unsure of which way to go or how it is all going to shake out. Meanwhile the mariners can look forward to improved electronic charts coverage and more rapid updating. They can also anticipate charts which do not look so good and which, in some cases, are going to cost more. Maybe this is just a classic engineering compromise.

How Astrology Is Good for Business

Astrology is associated with your past, present and future. It is the study of heavenly bodies which affect the basic entities of your life including relationships, personality, and business. An astrologer can give you a snap shot of your future by reading the movements of the sun, moon, and planets in accordance with your specific sign and explain how they prove to play a role in every aspect of your life. Gaining astrological knowledge can be an enormous facilitator for your business in organizing, arranging, and keeping it going with nourishment, development and success.

You must be wondering how astrology could help in your businesses growth and success. The answer to this question is very simple. Astrology gives insight into future cycles which can be used to optimize and predict trends that can be used in decision making. Who wouldn’t want to prepare in advance for trends and be given specific dates that can serve as warnings or give clarity to an upcoming beneficial opportunity? Having an edge on future events will help you take precautionary measures against upcoming catastrophe. This knowledge can save your business from being directly affected by bigger loss in business. Having a professional astrologer cast a chart for your business can be a great tool to help you set goals and plan for future down turns.

Consulting your businesses birth chart in order to seek a forth coming predicament is a dexterous plan to act upon. Learning to make decisions in accordance to what astrology has to say, will give you a greatly increased chance of staying out of trouble while improving your opportunity to optimize a prosperous event. In some parts of the world, it is common to believe that everything generated in the world has a star, a horoscope and the celestial bodies reveal their impact on equivalent basis the same as they do on humans. Your businesses charts can act like a guide book, which has all the content of your “dos” and “don’ts”. This could become your best teacher and act as a manual for everything you are supposed to do and what you should do to compensate for negative traits.

Astrology has the power to make out the truth concerning imminent issues, calamities, opportunities and all activities. Imagine, if you receive a hint about a terrific chance to grow your business wouldn’t you want to adopt the path which is clear and visible, or would you instead like stay in the mist of darkness where you don’t know how to lead. All charts are cast according to the sun, moon, and planets and an expert astrologer can interpret each individual chart. Professional astrologers know how to read and cast charts for individuals and businesses according to date, time and location of birth.

It is always better to seek the truth and get a guideline to life and business than to remain in the dark. Your business growth and success may depend on the attention you give it according to astrological information and instruction.

Creating an Interactive Map Using Charting Software

While surfing the web one comes across various types of maps and charts – displayed on websites, but not all look attractive. It has been found that surfers like websites which are graphic intensive, this is because – most people tend to seek entertainment on the web. Additionally, it is the way of presentation which makes a website popular. Therefore, simply adding graphics does not help in boosting a website’s popularity.

Realizing the importance of presentation, webmasters do pay a lot of attention to the layout and design of a website..However, when it comes to displaying charts – they tend to put up dull looking static charts, thereby making the web page or at least a section of it seem extremely monotonous. It must be noted, that compromising on the quality of data visualization may lead to loss of traffic. Things can be made more pleasant, simply by incorporating interactivity in charts, and this can be achieved by means of a charting software.

Charting software can add a fun element to charts by reducing the dullness. The software can help users visualize data graphically – through charts and maps. Furthermore, charts and maps generated by means of a charting software – are highly customizable and can be made interactive. Data visualization in form of maps is especially appreciated by users as it makes data accessible in a very interesting manner. A great thing about data-driven maps is that they are sensitive to mouse gestures and therefore provide and interactive experience to users. Google maps are an excellent example – they are popular due to interactive features like zoom, drill-down etc.

Interactive charts and maps have been known to be helpful in business planning. Here are some helpful business applications of real-time charts and maps:

1. Budget planning using maps for visualizing location-wise expenditure..

2. Using maps in executive dashboard for obtaining a geographical distribution of the companies business activity.

3. Displaying maps on Company website to help clients find the location of its offices all over the world.

4. Using maps for global competitor analysis.

5. Presentation of global consumer survey.

6. Monitoring key functions such as; manufacturing and sales.

As the web is evolving many companies are coming up with powerful charting software to help you in building your own custom interactive maps for your business.