Best practices for Layer management?

I really like the Layers feature in CE, and have loaded in all my old NOB files. But I am now wondering what wold be a best practice for how to manage data across multiple layers. What I am doing now doesn’t work very well, and I’m interested in hearing how other people are using layers.

Right now each of my layers is just an old NOB file. Each NOB file covers a range of time, representing a year or two of cruising in a particular area. At the time, that seemed like a good way to manage NOB files when only one could be used at a time.

Now with Layers, I can make each of these NOB files visible or not, and I can select which one is Active, which I think just determines where new data is stored. But this doesn’t really work very well. Here are some examples.

Let’s say I am revisiting an area that was covered in a previous NOB file. I will turn that layer on so I can see my old tracks, anchor locations, routes, etc. However when I do that, I get ALL the routes and tracks for everywhere covered by that layer, and I end up with a bazillion tracks and routes on top of each other in well traveled areas. I also end up with a bunch of routes that are more or less duplicates of each other, or that have significant overlap.

It can also be a challenge to figure out which layer contains useful data for where I’m going. I have to try to remember when I went to a particular place to figure out which layer to turn on. I seldom can, so end up turning layers on one at a time until I find what I’m looking for.

Also, if I’m not careful about which layer is active (as opposed to visible), new data can end up in the wrong place, and then god help me when I need to find it again.

Now part of this is an artifact of how I managed things historically with a single NOG file/layer. At least it seems to make sense at the time :slight_smile:, but doesn’t fit very well into a richer layers approach.

In drawing programs, layers typically represent different types of objects. So a building drawing might have a layer for electrical, data com, floor plans, cubical layouts, lighting, etc. The corollary in CE would be to have separate Tracks, Routes, and other drawing objected layers. But that’s not how CE works, instead placing all new stuff in the current layer.

And another issues is, if I recall correctly, that you can only activate a route from the currently active layer. I’m remembering this from last year, so hopefully have it right. That means that if you want to use an old route, you have to make that layer active, which in turn means that all new date now goes into that NOB file, not some other that would otherwise be your current NOB file.

Soooo, who has ideas on how to think about this, and what techniques have people come up with? And are their new features that would be important to really taking advantage of Layers?

I tried layers as you did and after trying to use two layers, one for all my routes and one for marks like anchorages, etc… I even tried layers based on region where I sail or by year. In the end, I decided to abandon the multi layer approach. I now keep over 190 routes and all my objects like anchor spots and other marks in a single active layer. The problem I had was not seeing a mark I’m navigating to because its layer wasn’t selected. Then, the question became where was that object .Which layer did I leave it in?

With everything in one layer I can turn on the route I want visible and hide all others. All anchor spots can be left on the chart. Usually, I delete any track that will not be of value in the future. This keeps my chart uncluttered. Bottom line is that when I’m underway and need to show a route or object I can’t take the time to start searching several layers by whatever way I named them. It’s too time consuming as the boat is sailing on in traffic, shallow water or bad weather. One layer for all is working best for me. I’m sure some users understand this layer concept and use it differently than I do. For me it was frustrating to make it work since I always had everything in one nob file anyway.

That’s very similar to my experience. I think the separate NOB files/layers works for totally separate cruising grounds. I have multiples for the PNW, and those become confused. But I have one for Mexico and it works to leave that turned off when I’m in the PNW, and vice versa. But it gets blurred again running up and down the West Coast. Which NOB should that be in?

Would it work better for you if layers were specific to certain types of objects? So a Routes layer, Tracks Layer, and Marks layer? I haven’t really thought it through myself.

What I DO think would be useful is to be able to use routes that are in visible, but not the active layer.

It is possible to activate a route that is not in the current layer.

OK, thanks. It was late year that I was getting hung up on this, so my recollection is not good. Are there restrictions on what you can do with those routes? Can waypoints be moved around, for example?

You can do anything with any object in a visible but non-active layer that you can with one in the active layer. The only thing special about the active layer is that it is where new objects are created.

To speed up the way CE works I am trying to keep my active NOB file small, but the biggest problem I have found, is I have to keep multiple layers visible to find routes I created 3 years or more ago. In come cases I have the same route showing up multiple times as it has been saved in multiple layers. I am starting think that things like routes should be in their own file but don’t know how to move a route to the layer that is only routes. The same goes for annotations I have made that I want to always display like anchor locations, fishing locations, or unique notes on a location. That way I can turn all previous layers off to get rid of tracks that are on top of tracks.