I have just started using Offshore Navigator and am enjoying it. I am having problems in finding the tide and current tables for my area. I was wondering if there is a way to get a list similar to the hard copies put out annualy.
It would be nice if Maptech made it clear in their marketing that the tide tables are only valid for one year and that at the end of that year you must either buy a new set of charts at $125 or pay $25 dollars for a CD top update the chart tables. Since you have the tables for area 15 available for download on the web site, why can't we have the other regions available for download as well?
I feel this is a rip off.
This did not help. It does not address why Maptech stops all tide calculations after one year forcing either to buy a new set of charts at a cost of $125 or restart the tide calculations by buying a disk at a cost of $25. The base data for tide calculations does not change year to year as there are many programs that calculate tidal data and have no date limit. All that is needed for a tidal station calculation are offsett figures from a known reference point and everything else can be calculated.
Answer the question: Why does Maptech stop tide calculations after one year and not offer downloads of the tidal offset data if that is needed? There is no need to stop the calculation after a year.
Michael, I've just had a chance to look at this thread for the first time. It looks like Mike was answering Dave's question about tables.
Your questions prompted me to do some research on where we get the tide and current information. We've been including it since 2000 and have been getting it from NOAA at the end of each year. NOAA provides predictions going forward 2 years. Each year NOAA adds, removes and changes tide stations. These changes directly affect predictions, and NOAA (and for that matter Maptech) is not comfortable making predictions so far out that are being trusted as a matter of safety.
As you mention, there are a number of pay and shareware programs that predict tides into infinity based on the offsets you mention. There are also some programs that will predict tides and currents between 2 or more stations - for example by assuming that if it's a flow at both stations, it must be a flow in the middle as well (even if it's going the other way.) If all the math and assumptions going into these programs are correct, then the predictions should be as well.
Our programs don't make these assumptions or these types of predictions. We'd rather have limited information than potentially incorrect information.
Regarding the upgrade options, I think we have the lowest-priced and fairest ones in the industry. Most of our users see a real value in being able to update all their chart data, including tides, as well as software every couple of years for only $125. For those who don't have an interest in up-to-date charts, the $25 tide CD has been designed to update the software and install the tides with a minimum of hassle.
I can see both points. I, too, am annoyed that the Chart Navigator hangs up until you respond (twice) to the outdated tide and current tables notification. If it's out-of-date, fine, say that when (and if) a tide station is queried, but don't force it on me to acknowledge that fact. You don't require me to acknowledge that the charts may be out of date. Personally, you would build loyality (and more positive referrals) by allowing people who purchased your product to download tidal updates free, while soliciting upgrading the charts themselves. Sure it takes time and money to maintain your web site, etc., but IMHO your policy on tide timeouts are negative. I would be more willing to pay for updated charts. Speaking of which, where can I find out which charts have been updated? I would be really ripped if I spent money for updates that corrected "over 1000 minor and major changes..." and find out none of them effected my navigation area. Capt. Ray Hitney
If I remember correctly, there is a bug in version 5.02 of Chart/Offshore Navigator that displays the tide expiration notice more than it should. Ensure that you are using the latest version of the software, 5.04, which is available as a free download, here.
This actually illustrates the second point that I would like to make. As a policy, Maptech rarely, if ever charges for updates to our Navigation Software. When we do charge, it is either due to a major improvement to the functionality, or when we provide that update on CD ROM (this helps cover costs.)
We NEVER charge for bug fixes, etc. When a customer purchases a software product, they expect it to work. When it doesn't, it seems ridiculous (at least to me) to ask the customer to pay a second time for something that should have worked in the first place. How some software companies get away with this practice is beyond me.
I agree that it is reasonable, however, to ask that updates to the charts (and related data) be paid for. Frankly, we are a business and doing business costs money. We have a staff of chart production folks, and they need to be paid. It takes one of those people 2-3 months of 8 hour days to gather, process, and test NOAA tidal data for the United States. And this tedious process has to be done every year.
We could avoid all this and use the "canned" predictions. Most of our customers probably wouldn't notice. But we would. We are going to make the best and most accurate navigation system. That is what our customers expect.
For 2004, we've added the ability to download chart updates from our website. Simply log into your account and you will be given a list of updates to the area you have purchased/registered. In the course of the year, hundreds of charts are updated; by the end of the year, most are. By the end of the second year (when the tides for that CD have expired) almost every chart will have been updated.
I hope this helps you to appreciate the pride we take in our products, and the requirement for us to charge for yearly chart and tide updates. We appreciate your feedback, and your decision to use our products.
- Ed Lecuyer
Manager, Quality Assurance and Technical Support
I have just upgraded my laptop and desktop computers to 5.04b. I am getting the tides error message, twice, on the laptop and not on the desktop ?????
To my knowledge I have the exact same charts loaded on both.
Tides must not be on the desktop.
(msg #188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206: Posted Mar 15, 2004 9:04 AM)