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TOPIC: Sidescan, Google Earth, and Map Creation

Sidescan, Google Earth, and Map Creation 3 weeks 2 days ago #11320

  • tkd
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I am new to RM and have just downloaded the trial version. This is my first forum post as well, so my apologies if my request has been covered already. I would like the ability to create custom maps for my Lowrance HDS Carbon units. I would like to have Sidescan mosaic onto a Google Earth with some semi-transparent contour lines overlaid on the Sidescan mosaic. Can someone provide the steps necessary to do this? As I said, I am new to RM, so some of the terminology (rasters, vectors, .at5, etc.) is a little confusing to me. Here is my intuitive thoughts on how to do this, with questions inserted where I am unsure. Everyone feel free to chime in with corrections.

1. Import sonar logs
2. Add sonar log tracks to new Sidescan Mosaic.
3. Adjust swaths appropriately to get good image of the bottom. Does the color palette have to be set in stone at this point, or will it be editable later?
4. What is the best export type to make this easy to calibrate in Google Earth?
5. "Add Image Overlay" in Google Earth of of the exported file from Step 4, and calibrate appropriately.
6. What is the best way to export the overlaid Mosaic and Google Earth, would it be .kml?
7. Import the recorded sonar log tracks to a New Map Project.
8. Import the file created in Step 6 into the New Map Project.
9. Add Background Image of the Google Earth and Mosaic overlay.
10. Set major contours, minor contours, and isobaths appropriately, Generate Map, and adjust opacity. Obviously this may take several iterations to get results I want.

As I mentioned, I am completely new to RM (literally didn't know the software existed until 3-4 days ago), so I'm sure there are a lot of things I'm missing. I have messed with the Map Projects and Sidescan Mosaics, but since you can't export files in the trial version I have a bunch of questions about how to do certain things. Also, is Insight Map Creator the only other software needed to do this type of map and be able to export? That is a free download, correct? One last thing, if anyone has any screenshots of a map similar to what I have described I would greatly appreciate them sharing it.

Thanks in advance. I look forward to getting more acquainted with Reefmaster. So far I'm pretty excited to give it a shot.
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Sidescan, Google Earth, and Map Creation 3 weeks 2 days ago #11321

  • Matt
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You're pretty much on the right track.

Regarding point 4., you don't need to calibrate sidescan images exported from RM. When exporting as Google Earth format, you will end up with an image file and a .kml file which contains the calibration information that GE requires. If you are exporting the mosaic so that you can include it in a ReefMaster map project, then it is easier to export in the MBTiles format. Once exported, you can add the sidescan image back into ReefMaster as an image overlay - there is a check-box to automate this during the export process. With the sidescan imported as an image overlay (no longer editable, but quick to display), you can add this image to your bathymetric map project as an image layer - either right-click the image (in asset list at left of workspace) and choose "add image to project", or drag the image from the asset list into the contour map view of a project. Once in the project, the image is just another layer and you can adjust z-order by dragging up and down the layer list, so you can position your isobaths, contours etc as required (note that line features always show on top of raster and area features, regardless of specified z-order). Once the map is how you like it - and it should look pretty similar in RM to the finished produce in the unit - just export in AT5, ensuring that you include raster layers as part of the export. Yes, the IMC is a free download from the Navico website.
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Sidescan, Google Earth, and Map Creation 3 weeks 1 day ago #11322

  • tkd
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This is slightly off subject but, I have a question about the sonar log file types. What are the differences/ benefits of the different sonar log file types (.sl2 and .sl3)?
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Sidescan, Google Earth, and Map Creation 3 weeks 1 day ago #11325

  • Matt
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SL3 is the most recent format, and can potentially hold some extra channel information - e.g. SS3D. Beyond that, there is little to choose between SL2/3 for use within ReefMaster, as both formats hold essentially the same data - we don't get anything extra from SL3 than we do from SL2. I would avoid using the SLG format as this only holds data for a single sonar channel whereas the other two formats can hold multiple channels.
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