Since the appearance of the first nautical charts for netbooks, iPads, tablets and other portable equipment, manufacturers have made efforts to take advantage of new technologies, improvements in the positioning of the new GPS, and the use of the cloud as a synchronization system, data sharing and storage.
With all these new means, the product has been considerably improved, and this has given way to the appearance of new functions that allow us to navigate with complete peace of mind using the tablet as a multifunction plotter.
Currently we can already make navigation a reality with a single device such as a portable device, check Navionics Web app here. In the same equipment we can have the plotter with the Navionics or Garmin charts, the wind equipment with the Vaavud anemometer (analyzed in a previous installment) and the weather forecasts with apps like WeatherPro or Windfinder. Our electronics will only serve as backup or backup. We just need to have a good compass, a probe, a VHF station, a tablet and a smartphone.
There will come a time when the electronics installed on the boat will seem obsolete, we will not use it. The slide has almost become obsolete, even new boats don’t even install it anymore, and in older ones we no longer bother to unblock it by removing the snail at the beginning of the season. The probe is what we use the most, but it only serves to confirm what the letter tells us, with guaranteed and almost millimeter precision. And it no longer occurs to us to buy a fixed plotter without a wireless connection to our mobility devices.
Plotter manufacturers have also had to adapt to these new technologies, offering equipment compatible with the new cartography. Until a few years ago plotters loaded charts from memory cards with cartography. The new computers receive the information wirelessly, are updated over the internet and are connected to mobile devices.
Navionics was the firm that first made the leap to portable environments and this type of connectivity, adapting to new times.In its first versions for mobility, it began by selling the application together with the charts of the navigation area that interested us. Now the way of purchasing the product has changed. It offers a free basic application called Navionics Boating and from there we can acquire the geographic areas of charts that interest us and the different options that expand the application functions.
For the years that it has been ahead of its competitors, it is the one that has advanced the most and the one that today presents one of the best options on the market. Its tablet application is very easy to use, intuitive and with impressive chart precision, taking full advantage of the high definition screens of the latest equipment.
What is Navionics?
Navionics is an international company based in Massarosa, Italy, with headquarters in the US, Australia, France and the UK. Since 1984 Navionics has developed and manufactured electronic navigation charts. It has a cartographic database with more than 25,000 maps and port plans, the largest private database of its kind.
In 1984, Navionics began as a pioneer in electronic charting by introducing its nautical charts for the first time. He established a standard that would be used by the various manufacturers who adapted their systems to reproduce these novel cards. Today it continues to be a leader in product quality and letter coverage.
Electronic cartography provided additional security in navigation and allowed the start of a large market that grows and innovates every year. Twenty years ago microprocessors were very slow, and vector graphics had to be very simple to speed up their visualization and therefore their operation to the user. Most of the cards were full of symbols that were easy to reproduce on the screen and simple for the user to understand. In addition, the coverage was limited and did not reach all the navigation areas.