There are two types of layers: “.nob” files, and cloud-synchronized.
If you put your data in a “.nob” file layer, then it is stored in that “.nob” file. You may back these files up however you want. This is exactly how Coastal Explorer has worked for twenty years.
If you put your data in a cloud-synchronized layer, then it is stored on our servers as well as on each of your devices that run Coastal Explorer. Since these files are “stored in the cloud” as well as on each of your Coastal Explorer devices, there is less of a need to back them up, and in fact doing so is not supported.
When you show a layer, the items in that layer appear on the chart. When you hide a layer, the items in that layer do not appear. It’s as simple as that. Nothing else “happens”.
In fact, if you ignore the visibility switches, and don’t use cloud-synchronized layers, then selecting a layer from the list on the Layers page is EXACTLY the same as opening that “.nob” file always been. Selecting a different layer will close the previous “.nob” file and open the one for the new layer, just like the Open File command has always done.
If you then turn on one of the visibility switches, you get to see the items from two “.nob” files. This is a new feature that allows you to better organize your items and have finer control over how much of your data appears on the chart. But there’s no “magic” here; Coastal Explorer is just letting you open more than one “.nob” file at a time. The only difference between the “current layer” and an otherwise visible layer, is that items that you create will always be stored in the “current layer” (but you can move them to a different layer if you want).
Cloud-synchronized layers provide a way to automatically copy the items they contain to your other PC’s, phones, tablets, etc. They do require internet access to perform that synchronization, but after synchronization their items are available even when offline. Many people use OneDrive, DropBox, or some other cloud-storage system to synchronize their “.nob” files, but that has the drawback of always synchronizing an entire “.nob” file. That means that if you change a route on one device and a different route on another device, one of those changes will be lost when the two devices are synchronized. Our cloud-synchronized layers work on an item-by-item bases so you can make changes to different items with different devices and not lose anything.
As I tried to make clear in this topic, both the ability to use multiple Layers and Cloud-Synchronized Layers are completely additive. If you don’t see the value in the new features, then you don’t need to use them and Coastal Explorer will continue to work exactly as it always has.