PolarView on iPhone & iPad

April 13, 2012

PolarView MX is now available as a free download for iPhone 4/4S and iPad 2/New. At this point it is a viewer for NOAA vector and raster charts. It provides a fully quilted seamless chart view for your enjoyment.

Here is a link to PolarView MX in App Store

More to come in due time – watch this space for announcements.

Tiled Marine Charts For Your Web Project

February 17, 2012

Do you want to build a web-based project for marine use? Need high quality tiles for the web based mapping service? Polar Navy can do it all.

We can now generate raster or vector tiles for the web based marine mapping services.
Take a look at a sample of Polar Navy charts here: http://www.wunderground.com/beach-weather

We can use S57 or BSB charts from NOAA and other sources. Inquire within for availability, pricing and other details by posting here. Replies will be screened, if requested.

Raster Charts of New Zealand

June 4, 2011

Raster charts of New Zealand in BSB format compatible with PolarView are available by following this link

These charts are converted from TIFF images provided by LINZ by Marco (his software page here).

Make sure to download charts from the link in this post. Charts available from the software page may not work with PolarView.

Raster Charts of Brazil

May 25, 2011

Raster charts for waters of Brazil (including the coast of South America from Caribbean down, as well as rivers) are available free at the following link: https://www.mar.mil.br/dhn/chm/cartas/download/cartasbsb/ . These charts are in BSBv3 format and are fully compatible with PolarView.

If you prefer to download these charts as a single archive, pick up a file here . This file was created on May 25, 2011 – follow updates on source page as necessary.

Thanks to a user for a “heads up” on this information!

Release 1.6 is out

April 9, 2011

It’s the same old story. What was supposed to be a small set of bug fixes to previous release, grew into a separate release of its own.

Version 1.6 turned out to be mostly about raster charts.

– First, BSB v4 support is now available on all platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux) for both existing and new BSB v4 users. I would like to thank Canadian Hydrographic Service for their help and support in this matter – they’ve been great!

– Raster chart rendering has been sped up significantly, to the point where it will often be as fast as vector, if not more.

– Raster charts night colors have been customized for best visibility using custom colorization method. Thanks go to Pascal for pointing the issue out.

– Through the magic of re-projection, PolarView now supports raster charts in virtually any projection, including Polyconic and Transverse Mercator. This should provide appropriate coverage for Great Lakes sailors.

– Tide information is provided in tide station’s own time zone. Tide display now has live user-controlled slider to query data. Thanks to Rick for keeping my attention on the tide subsystem!

Documentation on using BSBv4 charts should be available on support site shortly.

Have fun!

PolarView NS 1.6 / PolarCOM 1.6

April 8, 2011

PolarView NS
– Improved and faster rendering of raster (BSB) charts
– Improved generated night palette for BSB charts
– Reprojection of BSB charts, support for BSB charts in most projections (including Polyconic, UTM)
– Support for BSB v4 charts including a built-in BSB v4 installer
– Show information on BSB chart datum and depth units
– Improved rendering of S63 charts
– Faster and more responsive “non-blocking” chart display
– Ability to query specific times and values on tide graph, including on-screen tide slider
– Support for world wide time zones and display of tide times in local timezone
– Numerous miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements

– Bug fixes and updates

Reprojection of Raster Charts

March 17, 2011

Most raster charts for marine use are created in a convenient and universally accepted Mercator projection. Mercator projection allows charts to be “quilted” (or connected together on a world-wide view). However, some raster charts still use other projections for reasons of convenience, tradition, data availability etc.
These charts can’t be directly “quilted” with the rest of Mercator-based “world”.

In US, NOAA uses non-Mercator, primarily Polyconic projection raster charts, for coverage of Great Lakes area. Polyconic was a predominant projection for US charts from mid-1800s to early 20th century.

To fit non-Mercator chart into Mercator world, it needs to be re-projected, that is – chart image needs to be transformed to match Mercator projection requirements.

While differences may not be as clearly visible on a large scale (small area) chart, small scale charts are very telling. Here is an example of small scale chart (NOAA 14500, Great Lakes overview) in original Polyconic and reprojected Mercator.
14500 Polyconic

14500 Mercator
Note how parallels and meridians are not perpendicular on the Polyconic projection chart above and intersect under 90 degree angle on the Mercator chart below. Mercator projection is conformal, i.e. – able to preserve angles and courses, including those between latitude and longitude lines.

Chart reprojection is available in current release of PolarView NS.

Raster vs. vector

March 3, 2011

Until now my “stock answer” to the question of raster vs. vector charts was that PolarView is best optimized for vector chart viewing. Vector charts were quicker to load, draw and use, and in my opinion, they looked better too.

This may no longer be quite as clear cut. First, raster chart view was improved, in particular in night colors. Now, after a development and optimization blitz, raster chart rendering speed appears to be quite close to or, in some cases, surpass that of vector charts. That’s exciting news!

I may have to revise the “raster vs. vector” answer after the upcoming update. Stay tuned!

PolarView NS 1.4 Update (Mark II)

August 22, 2010

While the next full version product release is quite a ways off, an update is now available with some important functionality users have been asking about.

PolarView NS 1.4.72 is now available for download. This update brings:

– Improved support for BSB charts using datums other than WGS84

– GRIB display now supports precipitation rate (“rain”), and precipitation data has been added to Polar Navy GFS GRIB data download.

– GRIB display now supports ocean currents and water surface temperature display. New data model for Atlantic ocean currents has been added to our GRIB download service. Based on excellent Real-Time Ocean Forecast System for Atlantic waters, provided by NOAA, this data is useful to all mariners looking for Atlantic current and water temperature information. You know what that means – fishing 🙂

The update is available for download now.

PolarView NS 1.4 Update

August 11, 2010

An updated release of PolarView NS 1.4.50 is now available. This is a bug-fix update that is strongly recommended for all current 1.4 users. It solves a number of issues, in particular related to multi-core systems.