Trip: Cape Cod Canal

DeepZoom works worldwide for trip planning. Here’s an example of transiting the Cape Cod Canal when the current is flowing at peak velocity.

When you save a trip in DeepZoom it resides in the cloud. You can specify whether it can be viewed by the general public or only by persons with whom you share a link.

In either case, just copy the link and share it with anyone you want:

Trip: Wellington to Picton New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world which makes their nautical charts available for free. Others include the USA, Brazil, and Argentina. Here’s a good listing of the worldwide nautical publishing agencies. And the USA is the only country which has placed in the public domain the tide and current harmonics needed by DeepZoom to create animated current displays.

Instead, each country has a semi-functional website where you can license charts and download them in a bewildering array of formats. Or you end up just paying your charting application to handle the licensing on your behalf.

Since this is a low budget operation, I can’t justify the rather exorbitant licensing cost for charts from each national government publishing entity. If DeepZoom ever grows up to play in the big leagues, it will need to face this issue.

Try it:

DeepZoom 2.0 is ON THE AIR!

Watch the video:

Some history

I started the original incarnation of DeepZoom sometime around 2008, mainly to learn web technologies and because I couldn’t find a good web visualization of tides and currents.

While sailing and kayaking in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, I would sometimes find myself making little or no progress against a substantial tidal flow, so it’s been easy to become obsessed by the topic of tides and currents. Plus, I spent formative years of my youth with the wharf rats under the industrial docks in Everett, Washington, where tides were the main event.

The original version of DeepZoom was built with Silverlight, and then a version followed for Windows Phone. The Windows Phone version was actually kind of nice, responsive, and presenting a reasonably easy environment for me, the developer. But overall - What a fiasco!, having both technology platforms fail so spectacularly. Thanks, Microsoft!

Eventually I rebuilt everything using web technologies like Bootstrap and D3. It worked well enough and then I got distracted imaging neurons at the Allen Institute for Brain Science for a few years.

Being largely homebound for the duration of Covid-19 provided an opportunity to rework DeepZoom yet again, this time switching to Quasar/Vue as the primary client framework. And then came unbridled feature creep: trips, routes, markers, tracks, pilot charts, wikipedia, and the ability to share trip plans with others.


I’m much indebted to Morgan Conrad for help with wind data wrangling and Chris Mulverhill for Coast Pilot processing.

Where to next?

I’m often at a loss to figure out what features to prioritize next.
I’m just trying to include all of the tools I like to use when planning a voyage of a day, week, or months. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you on the discussion forum.

DeepZoom Release History

v 3.14.0 2024.03.14

New features

  • Updated NOAA charts. All NOAA chart depths are now in feet.
  • Updated NOAA tides and currents data to January 2024 release.
  • New route and marker creation and editing dialog.
  • New dialog to publish a private marker collection onto the public map.
  • Tracks are now timeline aware
  • Routes can be disabled. This is useful for boundary marking.
  • Marker star ratings are now displayed on the map.
  • Many improvements in editing routes and markers, both touch and mouse.
  • Many UI improvements throughout.

Bugs fixed

  • Many
v 3.1.4 2023.05.16

Bugs fixed

  • Sometimes tides and currents would not get updated without initially moving the chart.
  • A big deal! Instantaneously update time when changing route departure date/time or speed. This feature was present on many early versions of DeepZoom but was problematic because routes were sometimes autoselected in a confusing fashion. I think this is finally fixed, enjoy!
v 3.0.99 2023.05.08

Bugs fixed

  • the Now! button would sometimes switch the time zone display to UTC.
  • +/- day or week increment buttons under the tide graph were not working correctly.
  • Verification email confirmation was sometimes silently ignored.
v 3.0.89 2023.04.28

Bugs fixed

  • Never change map center when selecting a route.
  • Propogate route name changes onto time slider.
  • Update browserlist to handle 89% of all browsers.
  • Make changing timebase settings rational.
v 3.0.75 2023.04.01

New features

  • When used in iFrame, each instance of DeepZoom uses a unique localstorage.

Bugs fixed

  • Position marker correctly at start or end of route when using Timewarp.
  • fix getLayer() error at startup on some devices.
v 3.0.51 2023.03.08

New features

  • Added 3 day weather sample trip

Bugs fixed

  • Clicking “Now” in “Animation Settings” no longer changes duration to one day unless “now” is outside animation duration
  • loopCount value is incremented after trip is completed, but before any “post” scripts are executed.
  • Graticule no longer overwrites the top longitude lines at low zoom values
v 3.0.48 2023.03.06

New features

  • added Graticule (lat, lon lines). Enable them on the Settings page.

Bugs fixed

  • Improved wind directional accuracy
v 3.0.34 2023.03.01

New features

  • Total redo of weather display
  • Toggle buttons for chart, weather, pilot charts, tides and currents
  • Fast access to route creation via Plus button
  • Disable 3D, tilt, pitch.
  • Scripting, added ‘if’ for condition event execution
  • Scripting, added timezone event
  • Scripting, show script error position
  • Scripting, halt playback on error

Bugs fixed

  • Sometimes route duration wasn’t updated properly after changing route speed.
v 2.0 2021.06.12
  • Introduced 3D display, rotation, and tilt
  • Introduced trip scripting
v 1.0 2007.??.??

Just tides, currents, NOAA nautical charts

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