Have you noticed something new on the home page? We have replaced the rotating pictures with a new capability to view charts of the Great Lakes (or any place else in the world). Navionics, known for their extensive set of charts for many brands of chart plotters, has provided the ability for users to look at charts in depth. We are pleased to give our members and others this opportunity to explore the waters of the Great Lakes and further with this new tool. Please note that one cannot create routes with this tool. Click on the Acknowledgements for further information. Although this tool is rather intuitive to use, instructions follow.
We have positioned the chart over the Great Lakes, but one may move the center of the chart by clicking on a location and using the mouse to move the chart. To bring the chart in or take it out further, click on the plus or minus symbols (in blue circles on the upper right) or mouse over the chart and use your mouse scroll wheel.
The distances default to Nautical Miles and depths in Meters (highlighted in blue). To change the distance measure, click on km or mi. To change the depth, click on ft. These options have a white background.
By using the dropdown box that contains “no overlay” the terrain or satellite view of the land mass can be seen. The water area will continue to be in chart format.
To measure straight line distances, click on the blue dividers circle (lower right corner). A distance tool will pop up. Move the red ball to the desired right-hand location. It will turn purple and the other ball will turn red. Now move the new red ball to the desired left-hand location and read the distance and heading in the box above the purple ball. The ball that is red will be the starting location, the purple ball is the end and has the distance and heading. Click on the red ball to reverse direction. Only the red ball can be moved, so if the purple ball is not correct, one must click on the red ball to change colors. Click and drag the red ball. It will change to purple, so do not let go of the mouse until it is positioned correctly.
To get sonar readings of sea bottom contours, one must scroll in at the desired location until the symbol in the lower left corner with the three curved lines turns a darker blue. At that time, the symbol can be clicked, and the contours will be shown at 1 foot or the equivalent in meters depending upon the depth measurement chosen. It may be necessary to bring the chart in even further to get the actual readings.