How to use custom depth shading for Insight Genesis charts of coastal/deeper water

Coastal_Custom_shading-Before-After-COLLAGESetting custom-colored depth ranges makes it easier to use Insight Genesis charts of coastal and other deeper waters. This article will teach you how.

By default, Insight Genesis maps shade deeper water dark blue and shallow water lighter blue. In most use cases – especially in fresh water – this default depth shading works fantastic for anglers and other boaters. In coastal waters, fjords and extremely deep reservoirs, however, the palette of blue shading is often spread so thin between the deepest water and the shallowest water that the shallower areas of interest to anglers and other boaters are often shaded a seemingly monochromatic pale blue, to almost white-looking, across a wide depth range — as shown in the image below. (Article continues below image)shot057

To assist anglers and other boaters interested in depth ranges similar to those shown in the image above, GoFree recently released a software upgrade that enables Premium Insight Genesis subscribers to select and set custom color palettes to highlight multiple, custom depth ranges on the Insight Genesis maps they use on their compatible Lowrance HDS and Simrad sonar/GPS units.* After applying custom depth shading to the map shown in the image above, it looks like the image below. (Article continues below image).shot056
We created the custom color palette depth shading shown above by following steps similar to these below:

  1. If you have not already, download and install the most-recent software update for your sonar/GPS unit. You can download Lowrance software updates from HERE and Simrad software updates from HERE.
    • Not sure how to update your sonar/GPS unit’s software? Learn how HERE.
    • B&G support for this feature is coming soon.
  2. Insert into your HDS or Simrad unit an SD card (Gen2) or micro-SD card (Gen3) a custom-made Insight Genesis map or a free Insight Genesis Social Map chart
    • Don’t know how to create a custom Insight Genesis map? Learn how HERE.
    • Don’t know how to download a free Insight Genesis Social Map chart? Learn how HERE.
  3. Push your “Pages” button
  4. Touch “Chart” (Steps 4-7: See image below)
  5. Touch “View”
  6. Touch “Shading” (NOT “Depth Palette” – that’s a feature enhancement for Jeppesen C-MAP MAX-N 2015.
  7. Touch “Custom” — NOT “Depth 1” or “Depth 2” – we’ll get to those later in this article. Custom_Depth_Shading-Slide
  8. In the “Custom Shading” window that opens, touch “Depth 1” (top-left corner) to highlight the text/box.
  9. Touch “0” in the top-left corner entry box* (see image below)
    • This will be found under “Depth (ft.)” – the first (from left) vertical column in the “Custom Shading” window/page
    • *Although this entry box initially defaults to “0,” after you use this feature, it will subsequently default to your previous setting
    • Images below are of a Lowrance HDS unit, but the Simrad operating system is almost identical, so the same instructions will work on a compatible Simrad unit (although the on-screen colors of the boxes, borders and text will differ slightly)step 9
  10. In the “Edit” window that opens, touch the default number in the “Depth (ft)” entry box. It will have 5 digits, like this: 00000  (See image below)step 10 IMG_2340
  11. Using the buttons in the onscreen typewriter-style keypad that opens, arrow over to the right, through the zeroes, until your cursor rests where you want to set the TOP END of the shallowest depth range you’d like to set, using the on-screen key pad to enter the appropriate number(s)step 11 IMG_2341
  12. Click “OK” at the bottom-left of the number-entry screen (see image below)step 12 IMG_2345
  13. Your screen will return to the “Edit” window, where you should now click the bar of color to the right of the word “Color” (see image below)step 13 IMG_2346
  14. In the vertical stack of color bars, drag your finger down the screen until you come to the color you would like to assign to your first custom depth range.step 14 IMG_2350
  15. If you want to leave the opacity of your first custom depth layer at 100% (that is, you don’t want it to appear transparent to any degree), click “OK” at the bottom-left of the “Edit” window (as seen in the image below) and proceed to Step 19.step 15 IMG_2351
  16. If you want to change the opacity of your first custom depth layer from 100% (that is, make it transparent to some degree), click the number in the box to the right of the line item “Opacity (%)”
    • Note: the number will default to 100 (as shown in the image below), but a different number could appear there later once you’ve re-set the opacitystep 16a IMG_2352
  17. In the vertical menu of numbers (they’re in increments of 10%), touch a number to choose the percentage of opacity you want – 70% opacity (see image below) would mean that your layer would be 30% transparentstep 17 IMG_2353
  18. Click “OK” at the bottom-left corner of the “Edit” window (see image below)step 18 IMG_2354
  19.  Next, we will assign a custom color to the depth range that begins after the top end of our first depth range. To do so, we will essentially repeat the above Steps 9-18, but starting in the second box down under “Depth (ft)” in the “Custom Shading” window
      • Initially, this box will default to “40,” but will later default to whatever number you set in any previous customization (see image below)step 19 b1 IMG_2356
      • In this example we’re setting the lower end of the 2nd depth range (see image below)step 19 b2b IMG_2358
        • We’re choosing one of the lightest blue colors for this depth range (see image below)step 19 b2d IMG_2360
  1. Once you’ve set your 2nd depth range color, click “OK” at the bottom-left corner of the “Edit” window
  2. Now we’re going to choose the bottom end of your 2nd custom-colored depth range (the second-shallowest range).
    • This number will be entered into the 3rd entry box down from the top, under “Depth (ft)” in the “Custom Shading” window (see image below)step 21a IMG_2362
    • Initially, this box will default to “80,” but will later default to whatever number you set in any previous customization (see image above).
    • In our example, we’re setting the bottom end of our second custom depth range (see image below)step 21d IMG_2371
    • Follow the steps as described above to set a custom color for this depth.
  3. Once you’ve selected your third depth range color, click “OK” at the bottom-left corner of the “Edit” window
  4. In the next entry box (in this example, the fourth from the top) the number you choose will set both the top end of your 3rd depth range AND the bottom end of your 4th depth range
    • In this example, we’re setting the top end of our 3rd rangestep 23a-b IMG_2381
  5. It’s also in the “Edit” window of the “Depth (ft)” entry box from Step 23 above that you will choose the color for your fourth depth range, the bottom end of which is set with your choice for the top end of your third depth range started in Step 21 above.step 19 b2d IMG_2360
  1. Now we’re going to set the bottom end of our 4th depth range, as well as choose that range’s color. To do so, we’ll repeat the above Steps 23-24, but starting in the 5th-from top entry box under “Depth (ft)”
  2. The final step in our use-case example is to set the bottom end of our 4th depth range. But we’ve run out of entry boxes under “Depth (ft)” – the default number of boxes is five. However, we can create a sixth entry box (or more). To start this process, touch the “Add Point” box at bottom-left of the “Custom Shading” window. It’s located directly under the fifth entry box in the “Depth (ft)” column. (see image below). This will open a new “Edit” window.Step 26 IMG_2355
  3. You can set the bottom end of your 4th depth range, follow the steps you learned above.
  4. Once you’ve set as many custom depths as meet your needs, touch the encircled X in the top-right corner of the “Custom Shading” windowstep 28 IMG_2416
  5. After you close out of the “Custom Shading” window, your unit will return to your map, with the vertical “Shading” menu (a sub-page of the “View” menu) displayed  To enable the custom-shaded depth ranges you just created, touch “Depth 1” in the menu (see image below).
  6. Wait a few seconds, and you’ll see your map display your custom-shaded depth ranges (as shown below).shot056
  7. You are now ready to hit the water

* Compatible units include Lowrance Gen2 Touch and Gen3, and Simrad NSS, NSE and GO models. Compatibility for B&G units is coming soon.

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