Olex 3D Bottom Mapping & Charting System


The Olex software system combines vector chart navigation and fishery plotting with seafloor mapping and visualisation. It software uses and innovative method for seafloor mapping and has several visualisation modes to show a realistic view of what the seafloor looks like. Olex software contains a powerful plotting function with easy to store marks, comments, lines and areas. It ties vector chart data, seafloor data, plotter objects and radar targets together in a single easy to understand display.
Olex software offers:

  • Revolutionary seafloor mapping and 3D visualisation of the seafloor
  • Effortless vector chart handling
  • Fast and smooth zooming and chart rotation
  • Easy route planning and editing
  • Tracking and naming of radar targets
  • Autopilot interface for computerised sailing
  • Multiple languages available
  • Depths and elevations in metres, fathoms and feet
  • Automatic tide correction
  • Animated lights and sectors
  • Shows previous depth soundings for safer navigation
  • All trips stored for future re-use
  • Water temperature logging


Connects to GPS, echo sounder, gyro, radar, compass, temperature sensor, autopilot, wassp etc.
SELEX Elsag have made the Olex software available on its own, or as part of a package including PC hardware.


Screenshot with navigation charts, bottom zoom and 3D display


Technical details 

The system works under UNIX, for the time being Linux. All software is manufactured by Olex AS, except the tide calculations which are handled by XTide2 The system continuously upgrades its own world map. The measured data are always ready for use.

The system runs with electronic vectorized charts. Effective use of digital charts requires fast computer processing. The chart cells are converted into an internal compact format, where they are kept in different crude scaling levels. To achieve this, the coastline and other details have to be recalculated and reduced. In this way the time and memory requirement of the visualization program are kept at a fairly limited and constant level at any zoom scale. The screen will not be filled up with unnecessary information. In the crude scaling level, the visualization program scales the charts in several steps. In this way a fine and seamless interactive scaling is achieved, without any annoying details related to the organisation of the cells.

By continuously recording depth and position the system builds a database where the sea floor is divided into squares of any resolution. The default resolution is 5X5 meter, an adjustment of today's GPS equipment, but the user can easlily create new sea floor databases in any resolution down to a few cm. The squares may be considered as a grid covering the surface of the hole earth. They contain a depth value which are either measured, calculated or unknown. New measurements will result in a recalculation of the unmeasured squares in some radius from the considered point.


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