PC-based program and Google Earth bring one-dimensional charts to life.
On a recent boat delivery from Michigan to Florida, I had the opportunity to try out some new computer-based planning software from EarthNC. EarthNC uses Google Earth images to present marine chart data by overlaying the charts on Google Earth satellite images. For $50, EarthNC provided 757 vector-format charts (raster format charts and other packages are also available) for the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of the Caribbean. These charts can be used online or offline. When combined with a USB-connected GPS—and the ooPs’ (www.goopstechnologies.com) GPS software for Google Earth—EarthNC provides a real-time, moving map experience similar to modern chartplotters. EarthNC also has automatically updating weather maps with data supplied by NOAA.