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I am currently working on a project, where I combine several MaxSea 3D databases, which contain depth measurements made by the echosounder onboard on a ship. The idea is to combine these databases to create a detailed seafloor map around the Faroe Islands.

I do not know if any of you have worked with this program before, and I am not able to find anything on this site related to MaxSea.

The file format is proprietary, and the files generated are named 3DDB.PTZ. By inspecting the file, is see that it is a password protected Microsoft Jet database, but with some tools, I have been able to read from the file. The database contains a table named 3DTable which has the following structure:

╔═══════╦══════════╦═══════════╦══════════════════╦═════════════════╦═════════════╦════════════╗
║ Level ║   Lat    ║    Lon    ║ WeightDepth_CMap ║ ValueDepth_CMap ║ WeightDepth ║ ValueDepth ║
╠═══════╬══════════╬═══════════╬══════════════════╬═════════════════╬═════════════╬════════════╣
║     7 ║ 88021504 ║ 220475264 ║                  ║                 ║           1 ║ -48.64608  ║
║     7 ║ 88021504 ║ 220475392 ║                  ║                 ║           1 ║ -48.64608  ║
║     7 ║ 88021504 ║ 220508928 ║                  ║                 ║           3 ║ -19.2024   ║
║     7 ║ 88021504 ║ 220509056 ║                  ║                 ║           2 ║ -13.35024  ║
║     7 ║ 88021632 ║ 220474880 ║                  ║                 ║           1 ║ -48.64608  ║
║     7 ║ 88021632 ║ 220475008 ║                  ║                 ║           1 ║ -48.64608  ║
║     7 ║ 88021632 ║ 220475136 ║                  ║                 ║           1 ║ -48.64608  ║
║     7 ║ 88021632 ║ 220509056 ║                  ║                 ║           3 ║ -21.0312   ║
║     7 ║ 88021632 ║ 220509184 ║                  ║                 ║           3 ║ -21.9456   ║
║     7 ║ 88021632 ║ 220509312 ║                  ║                 ║           1 ║ -7.3152    ║
║     7 ║ 88021760 ║ 220461696 ║                  ║                 ║           1 ║ -70.77456  ║
║     7 ║ 88021760 ║ 220474624 ║                  ║                 ║           1 ║ -51.75504  ║
║     7 ║ 88021760 ║ 220474752 ║                  ║                 ║           1 ║ -51.75504  ║
║     7 ║ 88021760 ║ 220509952 ║                  ║                 ║           2 ║ -14.6304   ║
║     7 ║ 88021760 ║ 220510080 ║                  ║                 ║           5 ║ -33.8328   ║
║     7 ║ 88021760 ║ 220510208 ║                  ║                 ║           2 ║ -13.53312  ║
╚═══════╩══════════╩═══════════╩══════════════════╩═════════════════╩═════════════╩════════════╝

The column Level ranges from 5 to 21, in this particular dataset. However, I do not know how to process the data, as I do not know what format/projection the columns lat/lon is, and how to make sense of this.

In the project (it is my Bachelors project in Software Engineering), I will focus on the data quality, and how I can combine different datasets from ships and trawlers to create a detailed map. I have reference data from a research ship belonging to the Faroese Marine Research Institute, taken with a calibrated echo sounder of a higher quality.

To assist me in the process of combining the data, I intend to create a open source ptz2pgsql utility, similar to the shp2pgsql utility, and I would appreciate it, if someone of you could help me make sense of the data I have available at hand. I am able to send a sample of the data to you (a PTZ database). I have also contacted MaxSea to ask if it is legal to reverse engineer their proprietary file format.

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  • I don't know if it's very good idea to go through a proprietary format. In any case, probably you can have more luck asking in the postgis mailing list, it's quite active: lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/postgis-users
    – Gery
    May 31, 2013 at 12:04
  • 1
    This paper: tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01490410701295996#.Uaihm0Bqmwl went through a similar situation trying to extract data from a commercial depth sounder that had a strange coordinate system. Ultimately in that case, contacting the manufacturer directly was required, as a 100% proprietary coordinate transformation was used, that could not have been derived by anyone outside the manufacturer.
    – DPierce
    May 31, 2013 at 13:17
  • Thanks for the link to the article. I may be facing a similar situation here, where the coordinate system is unknown.
    – Ragnar123
    Jun 17, 2013 at 19:34
  • I am very familiar with Maxsea If you would like to send the files to me I can take a look and see what I can do... I can create the map using Maxsea but you will need Maxsea Timezero to view unless you just want images of the seafloor in JPG format.
    – Joe Stem
    Sep 18, 2013 at 23:13
  • 1
    @EL3PHANTEN I used an old version of Microsoft Access
    – Ragnar123
    Dec 10, 2015 at 15:20

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