Your navigation area, usage and habits are some of the many criteria to take into account before making the right choice for your nautical chart. Raster or Vector, let’s get into their differences.
Vector charts are extremely accurate at their reference scales (as long as they are not “over-zoomed”), but can appear quite different from traditional paper charts. MapMedia mm3d Vector Charts allow you to customize your chart display.
Good display at any scale.
Detailed information on specific objects of the map (eg. buoys).
Ability to configure charts and filter data.
Very different display from paper charts.
Vector charts become very inaccurate when over zoomed.
Where do electronic charts originate?
Marine Vector Charts utilize a vector database to build the chart display. This data is stored in layers and records every nautical chart feature such as coastlines, buoys, lights, etc. These features and their attributes such as position, color, size, shape, and others are stored in a database allowing them to be selectively displayed and interrogated. In many areas of the globe where there’s no hydrographic service, vector maps are often the only reference.
What is the best chart format: Vector or Raster?
Vector charts or raster charts? The choice is complex and raises a real debate between two schools. Hard to say which format is better than the other, and in the end the choice often lies on user habits or personal preference. Traditional paper chart users tend to like Raster Charts, since visually these are an exact reproduction of the paper chart.