Comparison of Navionics and C-Map for B&G Vulcan.

KompetentKrew

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I posted a few months ago a thread comparing the two cartographers' coverage:

…​
It seems to me that if I want to sail from Amsterdam¹ to the Spanish Rias I have to buy two overlapping C-Map "wide" charts, Y227² (Kiel to Biscay) and Y228³ (Ushant to Morocco, Canaries Azores). They're about £207 each. ...​
However, in Navionics+ format, the large 46XG covers the whole of western Europe⁸ - Kiel to Ushant, the UK south coast, Biscay, Iberia, Canaries and Azores, Morocco, Algeria, Mediterranean France, Ibiza and Corsia. All in one chart for about £200.​

The Navonics arrived today, and I thought I'd see what differences I could spot.

Images follow in subsequent comments, but some comments and thoughts:

1. Comparison is between a C-Maps EW-N/Y226 vs Navionics 46XG; the C-Map was supplied in May 2019 and the Navonics arrived directly from them today; neither have been updated, and both are in the format for my B&G Vulcan (also new in May 2019). The coverage areas are different, see the previous thread, but they overlap and both cover the Channel.

2. Comparison was made on my B&G plotter, but using the remote viewer app on my Android tablet to take screenshots.

3. These being vector charts I was surprised to find that the icons for chart items like bouys were different between the two charts.

C-Map:​

Navonics:​

Presumably, therefore, the icons for chart items are not stored within the chartplotter software, but the file format of charts allows the cartographer to define their icons as well as placing them. And presumably this allows them to show arbitrary chart items - i.e. add wind farms without needing the chartplotter o/s to be updated.​

4. I'm used to the C-Map, and like how it marks tidal flow with a distinguishable coloured arrow:


The colour of the arrow changes to yellow then red with increased tidal flow.​
Navonics uses a white arrow which seems less distinguishable:​

It can also overlap with the other tidal marker when zoomed out:​

I'm not sure if more information is conveyed by Navonics' two types of tidal indicator - I'll have to click on them later and see what I can figure out.​

5. Another surprise was things like the colours being different - e.g. the green of drying areas seems more vivid on the Navonics. The B&G has settings to change the colour sets, but I changed no settings between switching cards.

6. I'll leave you to decide what you think of the level of detail etc - if you look at the scale in the bottom right corner of the images, you'll see I took care to take the images at the same zoom-level (this is obvious in the animated versions).

7. Finally, the Navonics shows these red squares when zoomed out. I guess these show that there's more detail within them, or something?

C-Map:​

Navonics:​
 
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KompetentKrew

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Cowes at 2 different zoom levels:

C-Map:​

Navonics:​


C-Map:​

Navonics:​



Plymouth at 2 different zoom levels:

C-Map:​

Navonics:​


C-Map:​

Navonics:​


(I uploaded these as .png files, but unfortunately Imgur converted them to .jpg)
 

KompetentKrew

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Same images as animated gifs with 1.5 second blink, for ease of comparing:







 

Monique

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In my opinion.... CMap is very good in heavily traveled areas but Navionics Boating App is better at remote locations. I have both the App on my iPad and iPhone and the Navionics charts on Raymarine plotters(2). The App is better at showing sonar charts... but with reservations.

This is largely because commercial ships do not travel much in skinny waters or in the back waters of Fiji...

Merry Christmas
 

ithet

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Seeing as this thread has been linked to recently.

I'm still a bit unsure about the Navionics tidal currents, does Navionics show the real-time tidal arrows in useful positions around the chart in the way C-Map does (i.e. in the Plymouth example) - without having to further click on a spot? If so any chance of an example.


Oh I've spotted it, one arrow on Navionics to C-Maps three.
 

KompetentKrew

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Seeing as this thread has been linked to recently.

I'm still a bit unsure about the Navionics tidal currents, does Navionics show the real-time tidal arrows in useful positions around the chart in the way C-Map does (i.e. in the Plymouth example) - without having to further click on a spot? If so any chance of an example.

Oh I've spotted it, one arrow on Navionics to C-Maps three.
Yeah, bullet point 4 in my first comment - I didn't remember that the Navionics showed proper useful tidal arrows the way C-Map does. I can't say I've tested it extensively yet, but Navionics' tidal arrows seem harder to find than C-Maps' (maybe they show at different zoom levels?) and located in less useful places (e.g. the Plymouth screenshots).
 

Martin_J

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KompetentKrew
After commenting on my screenshot in another post this week about AIS, you wondered what my charts were and I thought they were c-Map.

Well, at the beginning of this post yours seem to be C-Maps EW-N/Y226. My screenshot last night appears to show my screenshot was taken with C-Maps EW-Y226 in the MFD ( bottom right of picture below).

Bear in mind it's a test MFD I have on board but looks like c-Map charts from a few years back were raster which is the reason I was using that card.

20220601_223923.jpg
 

Martin_J

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What is strange is that when you change transparency, you can show satellite imagery for land ( and sea areas if you wish) but it seems to add lights and navigation marks over the raster chart view.

20220601_223949.jpg
 

Martin_J

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And a slightly more zoomed out view
20220601_224000.jpg

Screenshot taken from an Android phone whilst connected to a Vulcan MFD using the B&G Link app.
 

Martin_J

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Whilst on the subject of raster charts, those new Reveal charts from c-map look like they're raster ( with satellite imagery).

20220601_231655.jpg

What I'm intrigued about though is why the two asterisks implies that one of the few charts that is not available in that range is the very one that covers the area we both have in our screenshot i.e. the EW-Y226.

20220601_231712.jpg
 

KompetentKrew

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I never found the satellite imagery any good - I'm pretty sure the C-Map charts I used for the original screenshots have it, but I tried it a couple of times and then never again. My recollection is that I decided that it doesn't offer anything really useful and that I prefer land to be an unobtrusive plain colour. Hence I didn't bother including it or mentioning it in the original comparison.

I find that these Max-N / Max-N+ charts also offer "dynamic raster" - I don't remember this, so either I never found the setting for it or it's not as useful in practice as might be hoped.


From the differences observed above, I slightly prefer C-Map, but an additional benefit is that the new "Discover" XL M-EW-Y060 (released a year or two ago?) covers a wider area than the EW-060 that preceded it - it covers the Kiel Canal, Netherlands, France, Spain and Portugal all the way down to the Canaries and Azores, but it also covers the whole of the UK, whereas the previous version covered only the south coast of the UK. Challenging inflation, it's also £20 cheaper! This makes it better value than the current Navionics Large options. For a previous comparison / discussion of coverage area, see this thread.
 
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