Charting, the game of 7 errors

A recent Thread on the Hisse Et Oh forum, I salute by the way, I challenged the accuracy of the chart data provided on the electronic charts. The issue concerns the fact that, in some location, existing information on the Navionics Marine HD application, or on some chartplotters, are missing on Navionics charts available on the website used with iNavX (and MacENC). Quote :

"Then the question is : Is there a difference between the carto 46XG and the carto Europe or is the difference due to the app that turns the cards. "

Damned ! It seemed useful to make comparisons closing electronic charts from various sources. As far as I know particularly well geographic location used in example, since it is approaching the harbor of Concarneau, near the beacon tower Le Cochon, passage I borrowed hundreds of times over the years I was working with Glenans Nautical Centre.

On port in the channel (entrance) and outside thereof to about 300 meters, are Lué Vras rocks (or Vraz depending charts). It goes without saying that the boats had nothing to do there. But it is a fact that the heights of these drying rocks does not appear on some electronic charts.

Navionics versus Navionics


Heights of Lué Vras rocks are missing on Navionics / x-traverse

Perfect overlay, but the depth contours are better identified with Navionics / x-traverse

Navionics versus MapMedia (TimeZero)

Here we compare the vector charting with raster one. However, must logically find the same location at equivalent scale. In the case below, MapMedia chart is strictly reproduction of the raster chart from SHOM.


Heights of Lué Vras are existing on MapMedia chart


Recovery is almost perfect

Actually, the overlay of the two charts is almost perfect, aligning markup location as a reference. However there is a slight shift to the right,

Navionics contre CMap 4D (Plan2Nav)

We can already see that the soundings are very rough on CMap

Once aligned beacons, there is a slight shift of Lué Vras rocks eastward. Overall, except depths, charting is faithful.

What can we conclude ?

Which is reassuring, is that the charts topography, namely the geographical elements positioning, is observed in all editors. Reproduction of official charts correctly georeferenced. Which is damaging, on the other hand, is the lack of accuracy in the reproduction of information. Red Card to CMap, Yellow Card to Navionics cartography delivered via X-Traverse. Concerning MaxSea MapMedia chart, it uses SHOM chart duplication and therefore has no merit.

About the above issue on the forum HEO, the answer has been provided to our friend Jean Debèze (¹) by X-Traverse support :

« C’est clairement une limitation des cartes Navionics 46XG revendues par X-Traverse comparées aux cartes Navionics Silver incorporées dans les traceurs. I will ask Navionics to review this in their cartography department and see if additional data can eventually be put into this region of 46XG. Sorry I have no immediate solution, les données qui nous sont fournies sont celles que nous sommes en mesure d’offrir en téléchargement. "

However, should minimize such a gap. The area concerned is far outside of navigation channels, and if knowing the elevation of these rocks can be useful to evaluate a glance the level of the tide passing Le Cochon, it does not create a hazard to navigation. Therefore let's be moderate in our comments about. Navionics is by far the most accurate charing and better updated around the World (²), and inaccuracies encountered by boaters can be reported, with screenshots and pictures to support, until dedicated service by Navionics.

I want to say to the readers that I have no particular interest in extolling the virtues of this charting, it is only the finding made in personal navigation, or reported by reliable sources, in many areas of the Globe.

(¹) Installing an iMux aboard "Lady Jane"
(²) Charting compared, mixed results


6 Replies to “Cartographies, the game of 7 errors”

  1. Francis thank you for the quick response , I take this opportunity to introduce you my best wishes and congratulate you on the work, thanks to you I was able to download and use on my ipad iNavX your explanations are perfect clarity ! Thank you for all, I still have to load on my iPhone navionics…

  2. Hello
    Sorry to intervene on this post but I have the same question but with Steph iPhone :
    INavX I use on my ipad but I want to load on my iPhone navionics portable GPS backup.
    If I take my Navionics Europe Hd ipad is 59 € (au cas or Invax Plante) Will it usable on my iPhone or should I download Navionics Europe on iPhone only (39€) for having ?

  3. Thank you very much for the article.

    Je pousse le bouchon un petit peu plus loin 😉 :
    For people with an iPad and an android smatphone , Is it possible to pay only once Navionics and the application is used on both devices ?

  4. Francis thank you for this article once again complete. And since you mention my review HEO on the problem you have also noted that confirms that although different on both cartos Navionics it is not dangerous. Indeed, we fully agree that access to the channel is not conducive to hang as close to the rocks in question.
    I take this opportunity to send you my best wishes for the year 2014 starting.

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