Electronic Charting software using Admiralty ARCS
Norcom first released SeaTrak in 1995 as a Windows 95 application using a mixture of Visual Basic and C++. After 25 years of supplying the software we have taken the opportunity of the Covid-19 lockdown of updating the software to a Windows 10 application. And how things have changed over the last 25 years, no longer to many PC have floppy discs to load the permits from and floppy disc drives are not in every laptop. Also the internet download speeds have got faster and large data files can be quickly down loaded. Charts no longer need to be stored locally they can be save on the network or elsewhere.
The SeaTrak ARCS has taken advantages for these advances, plus it still has the many features clients use such as saving a whole chart as a series of chartlets in a PDF document. There is now also an option to save all charts as thumbnails (1024 x 1024 Maximum size) so they can be used in reports.
The application includes the following features.
• Loads ARCS charts from CDs or download files from UKHO ftp site, internet connection required for the ftp option. When using the ftp site options the application regularly checks for the latest updates to ensure the charts are up to date. When there is a valid subscription chart updates are available on a weekly basis. Once the application and charts have been installed no CDs are required. Instructions on how to install charts and updates from a USB memory stick are available.
• Licencing of charts is controlled by permits so you can select and pay for only the charts that you require. Permits can be loaded from a USB memory stick or from files on the PC’s hard drive, these can be supplied by email. The application will validate the permits to ensure they have not been corrupted during transmission or installation.
• Charts can be installed on the PC’s hard drive or on a network drive. The usage of the software is controlled either by a software key (single PC only) or a hardware dongle. Up to 5 users on different PCs can access the charts, for this option a hardware dongle is required. To access the application a pin number is required to help control unauthorised users.
• Installation and maintenance of the charts is by using a chart administrator application so these operations can be carried out by a single users and all other users can just use the SeaTrak ARCS display application to view the charts, removing unnecessary chart manipulation function from the SeaTrak ARCS display application.
• Displays ARCS charts on PC screen and can quickly scroll around the chart using mouse or scroll bars. The status bar at the bottom of the chart window displays the WGS84 co-ordinates of the cursor position on the chart or chart panel. Note charts can only be viewed when there is an active ARCS subscription.
• Quickly swap to next chart by scaling in and out or pixel zoom in on current chart.
• Display temporary Notice to Mariners (NtMs) on charts as an icon and information box, these are obtained from the weekly ARCS update disc or files download from the UKHO ftp site.
• Dimmable display of charts so they can be viewed at different times of the day.
• Capture part of the chart as an image for inclusion within a report or capture the whole chart as a thumbnail (maximum size 1024 x 1024 pixels).
• Print whole or part of a chart up to maximum size of A2. Print the whole chart in A4 sections, when printer option set to print to a PDF file this produces an A4 booklet. All printing includes a company logo and relevant copyright messages.
• Overlay additional information on to chart including waypoints, routes, boundaries.