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Get Onboard with E-Charting by Authors: Mark and Diana Doyle

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More content than “charts on a laptop” — Dedicated chapters, Extending the Digital Metaphor and Putting It All Together focus on productive and fun ways for boaters to leverage a personal computer. Hot topics such as onboard Internet access (including both WiFi and cellular options) are discussed as well as increasingly popular “smartphone” applications. In-depth software reviews — Exhaustive reviews of 16 popular e-charting packages put the reader “behind the wheel” of more software offerings than a single person could ever reasonably load and test on his or her own computer. Each package was thoroughly evaluated, resulting in honest and critical reports on features and functionality. Over 100 full-color photos, illustrations, and screenshots let the reader see e-charting’s features in action. Software Comparison and Features at a Glance tables — 28 tables summarize 81 metrics, allowing quick comparison across e-charting packages and feature sets. The data is presented in two formats: how a particular feature set, such as cartography and supplemental data, fares across the different e-charting applications; and how well an e-charting application does “across the board.” Written with full cooperation and extensive interaction with vendors, software developers, and government agencies. Scenarios for e-charting — Seven real-life scenarios inspire ideas on how an e-charting system can be uniquely tailored—given the user, vessel, and cruising plan—ranging from custom printing annotated chartkits to captaining a large yacht. Pilot on Board hints — Personal experience, user interviews, and insights from the hands-on testing coalesce into 116 Pilot on Board hints. These tips function as “speed bump” alerts for new users or “power user” tips for those already using the software. Sidebars and Google Searches for technical detail — Rather than bog down the main text, 34 sidebars provide more detail on technical topics, such as NMEA 2000 or assigning COM ports. Additionally, 15 Google search strings monitor rapidly-changing technology including eLoran and digital radar. Extensive reference resource — Includes a glossary with over 460 navigation, electronic charting, and general computing terms. Two appendices summarize 200 free downloadable government publications, reference texts, and nautical calculators and list 162 websites for resources such as sourcing charts, downloading e-charting software and utilities, and locating free online reference material. In addition, the book is fully indexed. CD of trial software — Includes a trial software CD with full-featured e-charting applications ranging in price and functionality. Co-author Mark Doyle adds, “To cover one subject, we found ourselves writing about everything from free Internet telephony and GPS geo-taggers for your digital camera to weather applications for your smartphone. With all that information, and a CD of trial software, there ends up being something of value for every boater who owns a computer. In fact, at $34.95, one free download from Appendix A pays for the book!”

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