Author Topic: Buying advice for new sonar for mapping with QGIS  (Read 1628 times)

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Offline hermid

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Buying advice for new sonar for mapping with QGIS
« on: June 22, 2021, 04:27:07 PM »
Hi,
First I must admit that this is a new world to me, all of it. Also my very first post here. :)

I'm looking for a good side scan sonar mainly for use to create super detailed maps and 3D models of lakes. A mid range unit, budget is around $1900.
Preferably, I would like to only use programs available for Linux but I realise that this might be problematic considering the proprietary file formats vendors tend to use.

What I want to archive is:
  • Create standard depth and bottom hardness maps.
  • Use the depth maps to create 3D models.
  • Use the high quality side scan images as textures to create the final 3D model of the lake including all bottom features.
  • Export the 3D models in a standard file format (not a vendor proprietary format).

So, what sonar (and manufacturer) is best suitable when it comes to mapping and creating high quality images? It is a very big plus if they use somewhat open file formats and are not trying to lock you in so much.

One unit that I've been looking at (drooling actually) is the Helix 9 MSI+ G4N. It has, what I understand, the highest resolution of all mid-range units. But to get the data off the unit and into QGIS (https://qgis.org/en/site/) and be able to use the mega imaging data it produces is something I don't know how to do. Is it possible at all?
Another route would be to buy AutoChart (or ReefMaster) if that can do the 3D models for me or export all data to a more standard (open) format.

Unfortunately I also get the impression (correct me if I'm wrong here) that Humminbird kind of like to make it hard for you to use the data without you using their SW (secret file formats, encryption, etc). Is this correct and are there other manufacturers that are more open (open file formats, open protocols) etc? I really don't want to spend my hard earned $$$ and then figure out that I can't get the sonar image data off the unit.

I understand that this might be a bit of an odd question here but any help is highly appreciated!


Offline Rüdiger

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Re: Buying advice for new sonar for mapping with QGIS
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2021, 03:06:46 AM »
Hi Hermid

Welcome to the forum :)

Yes, I think you would be well served with a Humminbird Mega. If you then use LakeMasterPro, based on the Swedish DrDepth software, you have the right combination. How far the collected data can then be used in other programs, I can't tell you either, because I'm still using DrDepth originally.

mvh
Rüdiger
Sorry
English is not my first language !

German Forum
Side Scanning and more
https://www.sob-international.com/

Offline abraquelebout

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Re: Buying advice for new sonar for mapping with QGIS
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2021, 12:00:50 PM »
welcome to the forum
 I use helix 9 G3N, and reefmaster, and Qgis too....no problem to export charts, scans and other thing for QGIS (the mbtile export is good thing)
but i think that : reef don't give a full rendering that Helix and humm can do.
I wait for XTF extension in reef 8)

Offline hermid

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Re: Buying advice for new sonar for mapping with QGIS
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2021, 05:52:17 AM »
Thanks for the replies! Sorry for my late reply. Have been out travelling and didn't have access to my login details.

I did call the Swedish distributor and they were super nice talking to. Then I found a shop selling the new Helix 9 G4N for a very nice price. I couldn't resist any longer so I bought it. Great unit!
I think I will spend the rest of the summer on my boat, only going to land to recharge the batteries.  ;D

There are a lot of new things to learn, for sure. Now the biggest thing I have to wrap my head around is what kind of software I should use (or have to use) and what the difference is between them. I'm thinking about Reefmaster, AutoChart, LakeMaster, SonarTRX etc.

The XTF extension is something I'm waiting for too.
Maybe this is something for a new question but what is the status of the Humminbird XTF converter? Is that one completely dead? Latest version I can find is from 2013.

Offline abraquelebout

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Re: Buying advice for new sonar for mapping with QGIS
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2021, 11:50:40 AM »
hi hermind
Son2XTF work nice to convert .DAT to XTF
i use it with hélix9G3N, no problem ;)

Offline rnvinc

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Re: Buying advice for new sonar for mapping with QGIS
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2021, 10:32:21 PM »
 Be sure look farther down on the main page at the Software sub forums  ...

Some of the programs listed by the guys above may be available here at sideimagingsoft  ...

Rickie

Offline Rüdiger

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Re: Buying advice for new sonar for mapping with QGIS
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2021, 02:47:09 AM »
Hi Oschi

First of all, congratulations on the pictures.
What software do you use for these presentations?

mvh
Rüdiger
Sorry
English is not my first language !

German Forum
Side Scanning and more
https://www.sob-international.com/

Offline Adaib

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Re: Buying advice for new sonar for mapping with QGIS
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2021, 06:14:56 AM »
I am also trying to map the sea floor using side scan transects.
I have seen people creating transects using depth and GPS location, however I am interested in using the side scan function because I want accurate information about the edges of weed beds. To do this, the recorded files would need to be able to provide GPS location of something that is a distance either side of the boat. Is this possible?

How do I convert the recorded .DAT and .SON files into something that is usable for QGIS or similar mapping software?


Any advice would be useful at the moment because I am stuck even trying to get the data out of the headunit in a useable form.

Thanks


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