The presentation of hydrographic and traffic information on one screen is one of the great advantages when navigating with ECDIS. Briefly the advantages are:
- All data for navigating in difficult situations is available at any time,
- The GPS/DGPS position can be checked by radar image,
- Differences of reference systems and sensor data can be detected,
- Radar echoes can be better identified,
- Anomalies with floating aids to navigation (e.g. buoys in strong currents or adrift) can be easily detected,
- Radar specific limitations can be compensated for to some degree,
- Transfer of Radar bearings and distances on a sea chart becomes superfluous and human error can be limited.
Overlaying hydrographic data with Radar/ARPA information can produce problems. These are:
- Sea clutter,
- Information overflow,
- Mutual coverage of information,
- Priority of presented data,
- System failure e.g. "black out" will affect two navigation systems,
- If ARPA only targets displayed then all other Radar targets will be suppressed.
The ECDIS performance standard requires that Radar/ARPA data does not affect the ECDIS presentation.