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Rendering Engine "Despina"

The data format and display properties of official nautical vector charts has been defined by the International Hydrogrphic Organization (IHO) in a set of documents. The document S-52 defines the IHO ECDIS Presentation Library which describes the visualization of Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs). Rendering an ENC chart display in compliance with S-52 is very costly in terms of computational efforts. The refresh rates of present applications displaying ENCs do not allow for fluid usabilty as commonly used in modern cartographic applications.

We expect these performance issues to become even more apparent as the evolving e-Navigation systems will display more data like multiple overlays over the base chart, high resolution gridded bathymetry or contour lines, while at the same time user expectations will shift towards higher resolution screens and bigger panel sizes.

Geomaris developed the charting engine Despina for rendering S-52 compliant ENC chart displays. Despina utilizes the graphics hardware (GPU) to full capacity. We achieved excellent rendering performance with frame rates well in excess of 60 fps in typical scenarios.

Chart Display Appearance

The Despina engine displays ENC data in compliance with the latest Presentation Library (currently version 3.4). For the highest quality chart display, we use state of the art rendering techniques and introduce techniques to ensure the optimal chart appearance during camera flights and fluid zoom operations.

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Rendering Performance

The design goal of our 2D Vector Rendering Engine Despina was to develop a system that renders ENCs in compliance with the Presentation Library defined in S-52 with the best possible visual appearance while utilizing the GPU as good as possible. We achieved a very good result as Despina is rendering almost exclusively on the GPU.

The rendering performance of applications based on the Despina engine is dramatically higher compared to applications based on a CPU based rendering engine. On modern inexpensive hardware the system will reach high frame rates at very low CPU load. The rendering operations do not compete for CPU power with the rest of the application logic.

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Benefits For Customers

Customers building charting applications using the Despina charting engine directly benefit from the GPU based rendering:

Improved user experience, multi screen, bigger and high resolution screens, reduced hardware requirements etc.

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