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Dr Depth Shorelines, the alternative (easy) way


The shoreline is simply a contour, the 0ft or 0m contour. The lake bed inevitably slopes up to it, either sharply, or gently. Whatever it does, I get as close as I can to the shore with the survey grid, and leave the rest to Dr Depth to interpolate. This way I end up with a pretty accurate idea of the nature of the shoreline. The craft I use for doing this has a draft of only inches, and a heavily protected prop (for rocky shorelines often I just use the oars)

Software needed for this exercise


  1. GPSMapedit, you’ll need a registered version – its very good value for money
  2. Globalmapper, this is not cheap software, but is REALLY useful .

  3. Dr Depth, you’ve already got it or you wouldn’t be reading this…..

This method also works with Reefmaster



    Create your shoreline in GPSMapedit using google maps. Correct the shoreline’s position (see my tutorial here). Save it in MP format. 
    Fire up Globalmapper and open the mp file you have just created. Image 2
    Edit - Select all objects, then Right click on one of the selected lines and select Advanced feature creation options – create point features spaced along selected feature. images 3 and 4
    Sample features at 2m intervals (this stops Dr Depth interpolating through the gaps between). Image 5
    Let it do its rapid work, then go to Tools- control centre and uncheck the mp file – leaving only the ”user created features” checked.
    Now export the file as a shapefile, selecting to export “points”. You have the option to select the area you want to export on the “export bounds” if you need to. Image 10
    Fire up Dr Depth. File- Import/Convert and select your shapefile. It will be converted and saved as a Dr Depth file. Now open the converted file. You now have a shoreline – and all the islands etc…. image 11
    Load in your tracks, or database, and let Dr Depth do its stuff. Image 12 and 13
    I use a custom colour file to see my 5ft (shallows) and 10ft (caution) areas in what is more or less chart format. Image 14
    The finished chart running in the chartplotter “OpenCPN”.