On The Water ICW ChartGuides, more great work from Mark & Diana Doyle

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

8 Responses

  1. Patrick Harman says:

    Impressive, and their prices are basically charity. My cruising area is the Pacific Northwest from Olympia, WA to Skagway, AK. Maybe someone in my cruising are will use their style in my area.
    As an aside I would like to compliment Ben about informing about an upgrade to the Garmin firmware that allows .gpx files to be directly imported into GPSmap 547xs. I sure saved a lot of time importing years of routes from Coastal Explorer. Thanks Ben
    Patrick Harman

  2. Norton Rider says:

    Patrick, I recently started using the Salish Sea Pilot guides. They are well written and extremely reasonably priced at $5.00 ea. http://www.salishseapilot.com/

  3. OTW ChartGuides says:

    Thanks for the shout-out and the support Ben! Diana and I really appreciate it … and you definitely ain’t no piker, sir. šŸ˜‰

  4. Tom Hale says:

    These guides and charts have on unique feature that none of the other guides have: they work coming north in the spring. With any other guide it is hard work to back track. The OTWCG are super easy to use heading north! They are the only guide with this ability!

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Neato. The new OTW ChartGuides and 2016 CruiseGuide are all on iBooks now and looking good:
    The careful info design looks a little squished on my 7-inch iPad mini screen but you can pinch and zoom any page anyway. The pages should work great as is on a regular size iPad and will likely look amazing on an iPad Pro.
    Incidentally, while I’m inexperienced with the iBooks reading app, I am learning to appreciate its visual table of contents for when you want to flip around in a book like this. Still it would be nice if the OTW guides were also available for the Kindle reading app, which runs well on all sorts of screens.

  6. OTW ChartGuides says:

    Yeah, the pinch-and-zoom workaround basically give “Large Print” functionality to us old farts. And as to Kindles (and Nooks), nothing would make Diana and I happier than to be able to get our info onto those platforms … but there really isn’t a good multimedia-authoring app for either yet. I think people should tell Amazon and B&N they need to create a tool for developers to enable rich-content design. Right now each is only interested in semi-plain text, flowable prose, with a few occasional pix or illustrations on the side. Great for novels or cook books but won’t support heavily-formatted, tabular, and/or photo-rich applications. Everyone would like to believe you can just “PDF it” … but that doesn’t work. Or ePub. Plus Amazon has a “delivery charge” built into each book, per MB, so folks wouldn’t be able to afford an Amazon port, even if they had an iBooks Author equivalent. Neither alternative has tooled up for these kinds of guides. The whole market is a mess right now. I imagine it will get better in time but for now, it’s iBooks.

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Mark. That explains why the Kindle version of Nigel Calder’s “How to Read a Nautical Chart…” is so hard to use. All the illustrations are there, I guess, but not in a form even resembling the good design of the print edition. I thought the problem might have caused by the publisher but now it sounds like Amazon’s fault. Drat!

  8. OTW ChartGuides says:

    Yeah Ben, love ’em or not, Apple’s culture has always been about fonts, typography, music, video, and photos, not just pages of dense prose. And charts and maps are basically pictures. That’s why they’re also winning on the flight deck of an Airbus with schematic and tech drawings, aeronautical charts, and the like. They see a distinction in being about multimedia and I think they realized a long time ago you don’t get that for free. They’ve had to bootstrap developers (especially the small guys like us) to make up a compelling ecosystem and profitable revenue generator. The SDKs and tools you get are pretty unbelievable. And development efforts monetize at 3-5x (depending on whose numbers you believe). So if you only have to develop for and support a handful of devices, at a couple resolutions, they win. I know Android folks, or Nook and Kindle owners, don’t like to hear this, but … Not an apple fanboy here, just a pragmatist.

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