Fast-Food McMaps won’t likely satisfy angler hunger for high-quality contour charts

Quick-v-Quality-Burger-CollageThere’s a reason fast food is not made from gourmet ingredients by culinary experts – quality can’t be rushed. It’s likewise for lake maps – you can trade quickness for quality, but the outcome might leave a bad taste in your mouth.

DSC00072Despite quick-draw, drive-through speed, McMaps will not likely satisfy anglers’ hunger for high-quality contour charts. That’s why GoFree’s Insight Genesis custom contour maps prioritize great quality over instant gratification. To that end, GoFree employs a highly trained Quality Control Team to ensure that Insight Genesis custom contour charts are highly accurate.

The truth is that contour charts can only be as good as the data from which they’re drawn – bad data creates bad maps. So quickly drawing contours based on bad data would do little more than create bad maps fast. (Article continues after image below)

BadMount

LOOSE TRANSDUCER: An Insight Genesis Quality Control professional would know by seeing imagery like this in your sonar log that your transducer was loose and wobbly. Thanks to the QC Team, bad data like this is not included in Insight Genesis maps.

 

MisalignedTransducerContour maps are made from sonar signals sent and received by a transducer. Bad sonar signals will create bad maps – or at least bad portions of maps, depending on where and when a sonar signal was compromised. To better understand why, remember that old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” This is as true for quickly drawing contour maps as it is for snapping photographs – if it’s too dark out, if your lens is smudged, or if you’re not in focus, you won’t get a good image. Likewise, if your transducer is mis-aligned (see sonar image at right), covered in weeds, or too close to heavy prop-wash, etc, you can’t draw a good map, quickly or otherwise.

Ever been frustrated on the water when depths displayed on your digital map don’t match actual depths determined by your sonar unit? A transducer anomaly like those mentioned above likely caused your map to be made with inaccurate contours. To prevent bad mapping of this sort, Insight Genesis utilizes a robust sonar-log data set – rather than just raw digital depth – to create a true representation of bottom contours.

DSC00079That’s why GoFree’s highly trained Insight Genesis Quality Control team reviews thousands of sonar logs every week, searching out and removing bad data that results from anomalies on the water. A trained professional on the GoFree QC team compares your custom map’s contour lines against a recording of the sonar signals from which it was made. That recording, called a sonar log, acts as a truth source, in that it shows the QC Team the same display you saw on your sonar screen on your boat while recording your map-making data. Upon seeing a telltale visual indicator of a transducer anomaly causing bad data, a QC Team pro can delete the incorrect portion of the dataset, ensuring that your map will not include incorrect contour lines in the area. While the culling of bad data can leave a small gap in your map, it’s easy to drive back over that spot the next time you’re on the water and fill in the blank. You can then merge the sonar data from your follow-up trip with data from your original trip, resulting in a more complete, more accurate fishing map.

DSC00083Without employing real, live, trained QC professionals to sit in your boat and watch your graph for bad data as you drive, a depth-mapping program can’t deliver quick returns with sacrificing quality. And fast food will never taste as fine as filet mignon.

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Fast-Food McMaps won’t likely satisfy angler hunger for high-quality contour charts

  1. Greg, nice article as always. I spent a LOT of days this year logging sonar data and learned a lot about your process. But I have several questions that customer support didn’t really answer to my satisfaction.

    1. Can you update the Insight Genesis FAQ to more clearly describe what a trip status of “Not in social map” means? Customer Support says that just means it’s waiting for a second review, but I thought the status is “Under Review” in that case. I have one small lake I’ve done in what I believe to be ideal conditions and all the trips were marked as “Not in social map”. I went back another day and did the entire lake again being extra careful to have ideal conditions and settings, and again all the trips were marked “Not in social map”. So I don’t understand why this particular lake is such a problem. The customer service person said he flagged it for another review, then 4 of the trips did get put in Social Map, but the others are still not.
    I assume “Not in social map” means it’s been through all the checks and got rejected.

    2. Given the difficulty with this one lake, do range, sensitivity, noise reduction settings affect the quality of the logs I send to you? Or are you getting the raw sonar data before it’s been through all that post-processing for display? Maybe I need to do something different on this specific lake.

    3. When you find a trip that cannot be put on social map, it sure would be nice if you provided me some feedback about what the problem is so I know if I need to have different settings. In a couple of cases, I anticipated a problem because weeds blocked the transducer or boat traffic made monster waves. But the lake mentioned above has me baffled.

    4. It never fails when I’m logging data (especially afterward visting the bar), people come and ask what I’m doing just driving around on the water. When I educate them about Insight Genesis and the tens of thousands of maps available on grofreeshop.com, they’re amazed and want to rush out and buy a Lowrance unit. Even current Lowrance owners with older units aren’t aware of the amazing set of maps available for free download if they update to a newer unit. Sales associates in the stores don’t seem to educate customers about gorfreeshopcom. The marketing folks need to do a much better job of advertising all the free maps available on gofreeshop.com because that will lead directly to more sonar units being sold. Get the word out!

    Thanks Greg and all the Insight Genesis folks for providing us such great functionality and maps. It really is amazing.

    • Thanks for the comment, John. I’m working on a comprehensive reply to all the questions you’ve asked here. — Greg

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