September 29, 2014

Insight Genesis Lets Vessel Operators Crowdsource through Uploaded Sonar Data

Navico recently announced that it had updated its Insight Genesis underwater mapping solution. Developed in HTML5, it allows recreational water vessel operators to record depth information and share the data with other users.

Lysaker, Norway-based Navico has several manufacturing locations around the world in the U.S., Mexico, Europe and New Zealand. According to its site, the majority shareholder is Altor Equity Partners, which manages several private equity funds.

Insight Genesis is designed to address the shortcomings of traditional mapping systems. Many underwater contour maps are based on prehistoric measuring systems that used techniques like a line with a lead weight to measure depths.

Not only can these techniques be inaccurate, they also lack granularity since relatively few spots are measured over a given area. Depths from the remaining unmeasured areas are often extrapolated from computerized estimates. Many areas have not been mapped, even with outdated measuring.

Operators that use Lowrance, Simtar and B&G sonar equipment can integrate those systems with Insight Genesis to record accurate depth information and upload the information to Navico’s cloud servers. Other users can use this data in the form of maps that are color-coded by depth.

Although it is developed in HTML5, which would allow for cross-platform support, Insight Genesis currently runs only on Windows systems. There are future plans to support Apple’s (News Alert) mobile and desktop OSs, however. The solution is available in many areas across the globe, but it’s not available everywhere.  Brazil, Russia, China and Eastern Europe are a few major areas that Insight Genesis does not support.

It would seem that with the abundance of apps available on the market that there is nothing left to automate or computerize, but in the area of marine navigation, that is apparently not the case. Navico has developed a system that can overcome the lack of accurate, up-to-date underwater mapping and in a way that is less expensive to acquire.

By using a crowdsourcing approach, Navico saves on the overhead that a company like Google (News Alert) incurs by driving cars around the world to take pictures of the surrounding area for Street View. This information will not only be useful for recreational uses like fishing, it can also improve boater safety since it would detect shallow areas where a craft could run aground. It’s a great response to a problem that has remained unsolved for far too long. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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