Over the last few years, I have expressed myself several times on the quality and reliability levels of the electronic charts we use in yachting., more particularly with the navigation applications of our mobile devices (¹).
From the oldest article in 2013, it appears seven years later that nothing has really changed. On the occasion of a search for a landing in Galicia, I discovered that some editors still haven't updated changes that are almost five years old, like the port of La Coruña yet so busy. I can always be told that the examples I will cite on the West Atlantic coast do not affect safety in any way., but that gives reason to wonder about the rest of the coast. It should be remembered that SHOM took nearly a year to update on its raster charts the extension of the port of Minimes in La Rochelle, when the German cartographer NV Verlag had for a long time perfectly represented it on the NV Charts (²).
I went to La Coruña for the last time at the end of May 2016. The large pontoon which serves the catways to the south-east was already connected to the land. Today, visible on BING satellite view, three editors on 4 selected among the main, still have not updated their chart ! See the slideshow :
Even the Spanish ENC chart recently available in the Geogarage catalog is not corrected, only Navionics performed the update..
Going much further north, let's see Saint-Peter's Port in Guernsey, very popular for all North European boaters. The visitors pontoons, once detached from the land, have been for several years now connected by a pontoon allowing land access, without waiting for a place in one of the generally overcrowded marinas. Here, only the Imray chart is up to date, and partially the satellite view. The most recent satellite image in Google Earth shows the current layout. See the slideshow :
Here, we may be too far from Italy for Navionics to come and check the place, but the British Admiralty, still !
I return to La Coruña with another example which, itself, directly concerns safety. The opening of this deep bay is blocked by a long bank of rock shoals that can create breakers in strong winds from north to west. Below, only the SHOM map presents explicit information making it possible to warn the navigator who does not know the surroundings. See the slideshow :
The repeated annotations "Breakers in heavy seas" and the west and north alignments clearly indicated and annotated make it possible to ward off these dangers., otherwise harmless in good weather or inshore winds. This information is missing on the other charts, this, in turn, has a direct impact on boater security.
I don't really have time to travel the entire coastline to find other examples, but they are certainly quite numerous. All this confirms to me that we must remain very careful about the use of our electronic charts, and that it is not useless to complete them with regularly updated guides, or at least crosscheck the information with different charts.
If you have examples in your sailing regions, do not hesitate to share it.