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Marine Charts for Google Earth !

Fantastic aerial views of marine charts on to Google Earth!

Check out EartNC limited to North America at the moment:-(


EarthNC for Google Earth is the first ever integration of NOAA ENCs, marine weather and real-time positioning data directly into the Google Earth platform. EarthNC Marine charts feature full-integrated Google Earth renderings of over 600 official NOAA and 70 U.S. Army Corps of Engineering ENC charts.


Sailors now see satellite images of sailing areas with links to :

  • bathymetric data
  • AIS data
  • Weather data
  • Navigation aids
  • Tide data
  • National radar

They even claim that with a laptop running Google Earth and a low-cost GPS receiver, you can use EarthNC as a real-time chart plotter.!!

What a shame they havent got the UK and Europe covered – lets hope the do a deal with the authorities here too.


Electronic Navigation – New System

This is my new system..
– GPS Raystar 125 (2nd GPS)
– Chart plotter – C120
– AIS (outputting at 38400 to Brookhouse and then to the C120)
– Raymarine 18″ 2Kw Radar

Connecting to a laptop
– ACER Aspire 5022WLMi

– E85001 – NMEA0183/Seatalk I/f box to output NMEA0183 to serial and then via a serial to USB adaptor into the laptop

– Brookhouse Multiplexer to I/f AIS to C120 at 38400 and to output on its built in USB cable straight into the laptop

This means that two independent programs can operate on the laptop both getting data in from the ships instruments

All of this now works well after many hours of head scratching and torn knuckles 😉


AIS Display

This is a shot of the AIS display as I crossed the English Channel (Sep 2006). It was quite busy as you can see…all the blue triangles are container vessels that were going considerably faster than my SOG which as you can see from the display at the top was around 6Kts at that time…



Here you can see that I was less than 1nm away from the approaching vessel on the starboard bow and the vector drawn out in front of the vessel represents 12 minutes sailing at the vessels current SOG – in fact the pop up says that I was 8 minutes from being run down…luckily that didnt happen…!



UKHO – yes its British!

The UKHO – yes its British! – is one of the world’s premier suppliers of navigational paper charts and publications, with a folio of over 3300 charts and 220 publications, sold under the Admiralty brand. Over three-quarters of the UKHO’s charts and publications are sold to the world’s commercial shipping market to satisfy Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations. Not everything is American….although I do envy the US sailing fraternity for the hueg amount of information that is available to them.

Digital products are becoming increasingly important to the sailor. The UKHO currently provides near worldwide coverage with electronic charts via its Admiralty ARCS and ENC services, and global coverage of digital tidal and lights information through TotalTide and the Admiralty Digital List of Lights.

The UKHO is very protective of its copyright – and has taken active steps to stop people using its harmonic tide data. Well as a UK taxpayer I should be happy that our government is wising up to the value of e-commerce (they stopped the excellent WXTide32 from publishing UK tidal data – we have to pay for it on this side of the pond)