Antares charts

Very Large scale wgs 84 electronic charts

Heads up with setting up

Setting up the charts is intuitive to some but not to all: once you have cracked it, though, it is very straightforward. We send with the charts what we regard as ‘full instructions’ but this section is intended to provide extra help for those who have struggled, or a preview for those who may be curious.


It is important to give yourself time, read the guidance carefully (speed reading is not recommended!), and take each step in sequence…..


Firstly, it is important to understand what we send out and what you should be trying to do with it!


The material we send comprises:

· The ‘Commentary

· The ‘Charts

Both are important and you must start with the ‘Commentary’ even though you would probably rather start with the charts!!


Secondly, why is the ‘Commentary’ important?


It contains two main components:

· Detailed step-by-step instructions for setting up your charts and for subsequent updating

· Notes on each location for which there is a chart—rather like a simplified pilot book.

The detailed instructions for setting up the charts include lots of screen shots to make it as easy as possible. Most people find these instructions essential. The notes on each location are no substitute for a proper pilot book and so their use is entirely optional.


In appearance and functionality, the ‘Commentary’ is very much like this public website but it sits on your computer, tablet or phone so that no internet connection is required. It is quite compact, taking a similar amount of storage space to about a dozen photos taken with a modern camera.


Thirdly, the charts! These are designed to be used in conjunction with ‘navigating software’ with a GPS-derived position. You will then be able to follow your track into and out of the locations we have surveyed. But you can just view the charts as ‘flat’ images on your screen, without GPS input (you can print them but will often find the lettering is too small to read—and they will use a lot of printer ink). A further use is to display them in Google Earth, superimposed on aerial photographs, with some transparency. To cater for all these alternatives the charts come in four technical formats  - you get four complete sets of charts!


Fourthly, the package that we send works as an integrated whole on a PC or Mac: you can select an area of the West Coast via the ‘Commentary’, read about it and then click on one of four links to open the actual chart as a picture, in Google Earth or in one of a number of optional navigating packages to which you can add an actual position via an external GPS. On tablets and phones you can use the ‘Commentary’ in the normal way but the links for opening charts don’t work: you find the chart you want through the navigating app.


If you wish to use what we send as an integrated package it is important you don’t move any of the files or folders. You may, however, wish to copy one of the chart folders or its contents to another location for use with navigating software - the instructions tell you when you need to do this.


Finally, the most common mistake when setting up! We send out our material in a compressed or zipped format, which greatly reduces the amount of data that has to be transmitted. Almost all of it needs to be unzipped before it can be used. It is possible to have a ‘sneak preview’ inside a zipped file but if you don’t unzip it properly you won’t get very far and will start getting error messages such as ‘This page can’t be displayed’!


In MS Windows you unzip a file by RIGHT clicking on it, selecting ‘Extract all’ and then accepting the file path (location) it suggests and then clicking on ’Extract’.


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