Sonar GPS combos are reintroducing the thrill of exploration among both novice and lifelong seafarers. Vast areas of uncharted waters and long stretches of treacherous, uninhabited coastline, which remain as undiscovered as they were over 1,000 years ago, are now ripe for the viewing. Imagine the jealousy of Christopher Columbus or Vasco da Gama if they only knew that the future of sonar technology would allow today’s oceanic explorers to discover and map uncharted regions with unbelievable ease.
The technology that sits aboard water vessels all across the globe have the potential to open doors to an incalculable amount of underwater discoveries. Can you imagine where such power can take us?
A Brief History of Sonar
Sonar technology was first created with the intent to give water vessels a means to visually navigate and detect objects under the surface of the water using the combination of simultaneous pulses of sound and their corresponding echoes as opposed to only listening for external sounds of nearby underwater objects. The most profound advancement for this technology has been the incorporation of GPS and the NOS (Navico Operating System) allowing additional features like radar, AIS, realtime weather, audio integration and advanced sonar imaging options for a variety of screen resolutions.
As you can imagine, the concept of identifying objects far under the surface of the water was not only helpful for water vessels but for anglers too. The ability to locate schools of fish instead of merely guessing became a fast reality, yet, this was only the beginning. High end Sonar GPS units come pre-loaded with software that includes data for popular bodies of water all over the country. This information allows users to navigate bodies of water as a whole without having to map the entire area themselves, which should come as a relief for anglers of all kinds.
Current Sonar GPS Capabilities
Sonar technology has come a long way and is now capable of reading the biological and physical map of the secrets that lie below the surface. Geared with this powerful piece of technology explorers can easily map out much more than the water depth and temperature; they now can assess the entire water column from it’s surface to its floor based off of multiple biological factors and various image screenings. From mineral capacity and water chemistry, to identifying unexplained pockets of cool water far beneath the surface and new underwater currents, this technology provides so much more than a basic map of the floor bed and the local hang out for schools of fish.
A beautiful example of today’s use of sonar global positioning systems to map previously uncharted waters is the story of a naval architect turned new age explorer, Sigurdur Jonsson. Jonsson has used sonar to construct accurate depictions of the hidden landscape underneath the waters of a particularly dangerous and uninhabited coastline known as the Forbidden Coast in Greenland. The technology has allowed him to visualize the shoreline as if it were laid out in front of him like a book. He’s studied and observed with his own eyes as well as his sonar images and can now fully comprehend and navigate the regions historical evolution simply by the mere colors and contours of the land both above and below the surface. This is an ability that explorers throughout the years would have killed for — and it’s all thanks to sonar imaging.
The Future of Discovery
So what, then, is the future of sonar technology and global positioning systems? Will we be able to visually layout a map of the entire earth’s surface without depicting a drop of water? Will we find undiscovered shipwrecks and inevitably have to alter and expand upon today’s history books?
The age of technological cartography is upon us and advancing at a rapid rate. There is no true way to know what capabilities explorers will have in five years from now, or what new unexplored territories they will be revealing only then. The future of geographical discovery, above and below the surface of water and earth, is ever-expanding and endlessly intriguing.