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Joseph Berkovitz

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About Joseph Berkovitz

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    JoeB
  • Birthday 09/03/1959

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    Male
  • Location
    Marblehead, MA

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  • First Name
    Joseph
  • Last Name
    Berkovitz
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    9783146271

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  1. Note to attendees: please bring a laptop and/or smartphone. For laptops, the Chrome or Firefox browser is recommended as not all tools will work on other browsers.
  2. I recall that it does have WiFi so don’t think we need equipment. Have asked BoD to double check this and thanks for offering to help.
  3. In this workshop, we’ll explore (and in many cases use) a variety of websites and smartphone/desktop apps that can help us do useful things as paddlers. Our goal is to look at how internet technology and digital devices can help us, while remaining clear-eyed about the costs, drawbacks and tradeoffs. Throughout there will be an emphasis on free or low-cost solutions. The session will run from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm on Sunday, March 1, 2020. This workshop will be held in the Meeting Room (rear of the store) at REI, 279 Salem St, Reading, MA. Want to come? Sign up in the calendar entry! Attendance is limited by room capacity. Topics covered include: Websites and apps for weather, sea, surf observations and predictions How to download, crop, combine, and print NOAA charts with magnetic grids GPS tracking, wayfinding, analysis and logging of paddles Beyond the VHF radio: communication on the water Creating your own online maps and guides in Google Maps and Earth Pooling our paddling knowledge in the cloud Discussion of upcoming changes in NOAA chart technology Organizing paddles with polls and spreadsheets in the cloud Throughout the workshop, we’ll undertake group activities that use these tools in an authentic way to perform real-world tasks: create maps, plan trips, analyze weather, decide routes and more. (Slides will be published after the talk, so the raw information will be available to all. But if you don’t come, you’ll miss out on the problem-solving fun!)
  4. until
    In this workshop, we’ll explore (and in many cases use) a variety of websites and smartphone/desktop apps that can help us do useful things as paddlers. Our goal is to look at how internet technology and digital devices can help us, while remaining clear-eyed about the costs, drawbacks and tradeoffs. Throughout there will be an emphasis on free or low-cost solutions. The session will be held in the Meeting Room (rear of the store) at REI, 279 Salem St, Reading, MA. Please sign up below Topics covered include: Websites and apps for weather, sea, surf observations and predictions How to download, crop, combine, and print NOAA charts with magnetic grids GPS tracking, wayfinding, analysis and logging of paddles Beyond the VHF radio: communication on the water Creating your own online maps and guides in Google Maps and Earth Pooling our paddling knowledge in the cloud Discussion of upcoming changes in NOAA chart technology Organizing paddles with polls and spreadsheets in the cloud Throughout the workshop, we’ll undertake group activities that use these tools in an authentic way to perform real-world tasks: create maps, plan trips, analyze weather, decide routes and more. Note to attendees: please bring a laptop and/or smartphone. For laptops, the Chrome or Firefox browser is recommended as not all tools will work on other browsers. (Slides will be published after the talk, so the raw information will be available to all. But if you don’t come, you’ll miss out on the problem-solving fun, and my occasionally entertaining delivery!)
  5. For comparison here's the NOAA paper/raster chart version with some notes on why it's better– in ways that have nothing to do with the data. Some differences from ENC renderings above that help readers distinguish the different kinds of information Buoy labeling is typographically distinct from depths (italicized and boldface) Place names (e.g. "Dog Bar Channel") are oriented in the direction of the corresponding feature Descriptive labels for secondary features like seafloor (e.g. "rky") are italic and do not share a typographical baseline with nearby depths Underwater or administrative features ("e.g. "Cable Area") are in a distinct and lighter color.
  6. I'm very much in agreement with the need to shift to digital cartography. But I think the problem with ENC right now is not the level of detail in the data itself (the shoreline data in ENC actually seems quite usable to me). It's the poor presentation of the ENC data for human readability, because the software that displays this data makes poor typography and graphic design choices, and fails to prevent visual collisions. Here's a detailed example of the mouth of Gloucester Harbor from NOAA's prototype ENC custom viewer. Can you quickly find the green "1DB" and red "2DB" buoys? It's hard! The labels are at a distance from the object, and are rendered in exactly the same font and size as the depth contours. Furthermore the 1DB buoy is superimposed directly on top of a depth, and its label "1DB" is obscured by the line for the underground cable. But this is not really the fault of the ENC data per se. Here is Navionics' Chart Viewer rendering of exactly the same data, but with different choices: It's also far from perfect, but the channel buoys are a lot clearer. My point here is this: software employing ENC can evolve to make better layout decisions, ones that meet human expectations for readability. But it hasn't, and we need to figure out how to push things in that direction. Then we'll be able to go get our custom charts, download them as PDFs, and be happy with them. I would really prefer that to cobbling together fragments of paper chart PDFs, in the end it will be better for everyone.
  7. This seems like a good type of change to make (the paper charts do have all kinds of consistency problems and must be very costly to maintain). BUT NOAA is obviously not ready to do this yet. The quality and layout of the new ENC (pure digital) data seems way worse and harder to read than the paper/raster charts. Everything is going to depend on NOAA's ability to get this stuff figured out by 2025. Good thing we can always trust the government to get something done on time 🙂 I would recommend that anyone interested in this issue send NOAA their feedback via https://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/customer-service/assist/ with maybe a specific example of why the current formatting doesn't work.
  8. Yeah, I hear that. 9 am is definitely an early start. The reason we chose that time is because of issues with limited parking and beach-going traffic on summer weekends. After 8:30-9, a lot of people from the city start arriving at the shore in earnest. We are expecting to do some sessions in South Shore venues, which should help folks in points south... and maybe we'll test the waters with a 10 am session as an experiment, to see if it's a problem. Stay tuned!
  9. So... maybe just look at what I did so far, then pick some other area (NH seacoast) and make your own guide, and see what you find out.
  10. I'm definitely open to collaboration, that's why I'm so interested in this tool. My project is purposely view only for now, because I want more structure in place before I open it up to multiple contributors – i.e. some basic editorial guidelines, plus a sense of who is working on what. The purpose of this experiment right now was to see how well things work, and get a sense of what that structure might look like. Without some constraints on the content and one or more people keeping it all coherent, I'm pretty sure the whole thing will rapidly become a big sinkhole full of random stuff. (Not that you in particular would cause this to happen – but when you have lots of people playing with a shared document, things can go south pretty fast!) I was going to make an editable copy of my projects for people to play with, but to my dismay I don't actually see a way to do that. To my surprise, the "Make a Copy" command doesn't appear on those projects in Google Drive, which is kind of a drag.
  11. I took a look. It was kind of broken on my iPhone but I get the idea. By the way, the Bay Area people use this: https://www.bask.org/trip_planner/2.17/. I spoke to the guy who maintains it about poentitally adapting it for NSPN but is kind of old school and it's a bitch to keep it current, plus people can't really collaborate on it.
  12. I think on a mobile device, you definitely need to have the latest version of the Google Earth app installed. It seems to work on my iPhone although the experience is kind of limited due to the small screen. It also works on Chrome or Firefox on a Mac (Safari isn't supported.) The new best starting point for looking at this prototype is a project called "Salem Sound Paddling Info": https://earth.google.com/web/data=Mj8KPQo7CiExQm9ZUnhwS1hHU1UzclJKNWpSbHoxRzBjbDF0bjBxT0cSFgoUMERDMkNDRjQzNDExNUIxQTcyRUY This is a "master map" containing a few put-ins, tide stations and links to more detailed paddling guides. To see one of the guides, click one of the green route lines in the above master map.
  13. As a further example, I used a different approach (Google My Maps) to organize locations of put-ins and tide stations in Salem Sound: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1US2tokTQ7Dh-w2yND1pO3JBTY2vBMJgh&usp=sharing This uses Google Maps rather than Google Earth. It is less suitable for showing a sequence of locations and routes on a trip, but it seems better for quickly surveying a bunch of different locations and also getting driving directions to them.
  14. I've been having an interesting morning playing around with Google Earth's new feature for creating "Projects", which are a way to present a sequence of locations anywhere on the planet with text and information for each place. It does seem to lend itself to describing paddling trips. Of course, you are using Google Earth and so one is not free to design absolutely everything from scratch: it's all about figuring out how to make the best of what it offers. I spent the last couple of hours creating this description of a Marblehead Neck paddle: https://earth.google.com/web/data=Mj8KPQo7CiExNElhLUtDOV9jSTRHeGE1dGVpakpsN1gwSUM5V2kzUmISFgoUMDcyNTFFQUEyMDExNUFFMzZCREY Obviously you can't use this for navigational purposes, but it's a nice guide to what you find, links to resources, and you can incorporate tips on very specific features to explore. It might be a way to build up a library of trips. It could also serve as a way to make a library of put-ins for the club that we use frequently, as in this example (which took maybe 5 minutes): https://earth.google.com/web/data=Mj8KPQo7CiExQm9ZUnhwS1hHU1UzclJKNWpSbHoxRzBjbDF0bjBxT0cSFgoUMERDMkNDRjQzNDExNUIxQTcyRUY Anyway, I'm curious what folks think.
  15. Thanks Josko - we haven't picked venues yet but we'll keep that in mind, it's a great option to have.
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