Navionics Vs C-MAP: Which Electronic Chart System is Best? (2023)

Navionics and C-MAP GPS charts are some of the most popular charts used in fishing today. Both have different features and capabilities, and in this post, we will take a look at why, if you can afford the slightly higher price, CMAP is the better electronic chart option.

Table of Contents

What is Lowrance C-MAP?

C-MAP has multiple offerings, some include options that the others don’t, and not all these electronic charts can be used with different brand units. For the sake of this article we will be looking at the Reveal version of C-MAP, which is compatible with Lowrance units, the most popular of the fish finders that C-MAP is compatible with.

The Reveal C-MAP has a ton of features and capabilities. Some of these benefits include fully featured vector charts, high-resolution bathymetric maps, and even satellite imagery. Looking at the Reveal chart, you can see that the bathymetric mapping is superb and shows coloration changes for depth and an overall smooth and clear location chart.(You can buy the Reveal package on SD card at Amazon).

Other benefits of the Reveal C-MAP include:

  • Custom depth shading
  • Genesis data
  • Detailed plans of marinas, ports and other locations
  • Highlighting of marine protected areas
  • Tides and current
  • Aerial photos
  • Raster charts
  • Survey lake data
  • Subscription free, easy routing
  • 12 months of free online software updates
  • 3-D shaded relief

The Reveal CMAP has no shortage of helpful features and tools for you to utilize on the water for both fishing structure, finding fish, and for safety. CMAP also offers region-specific charts, so you can easily select your region and not pay for a charting card with regions of the country that you will never use.

Navionics Vs C-MAP: Which Electronic Chart System is Best? (1)

What is Navionics? All the Benefits …

Navionics is a very popular GPS contour and charting card that is compatible with most major sonar units on the market, from Lowrance and Garminto Humminbird and more. Like CMAP, Navionics charts come with a variety of options.

Like other charting operators, Navionics offers users multiple charting package options. For this comparison we will use the standard charting option that is the most popular with anglers, the Navionics+ (buy here on Amazon).Other options are the Platinum and Platinum Plus packages.

(Video) C-Map VS. Navionics- Which is the Better?? Comparing Lake Chickamauga- Contour Lines & Settings

Benefits of Navionics+:

  • Marine navigation for off-shore use
  • Lake map packages by region and location
  • Nautical charts with wide coverage and lots of detail
  • Advanced mapping options
  • Sonarchart live
  • Auto routing for dock to dock
  • Community editing
  • Daily mapping updates
  • Standard sonar chart

The significant plus for Navionics map is the option to buy a chart for your region. If you are located in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region, you can select a chart card for that specific region, and this is the case for the entirety of the United States, which is divided into four separate zones, north, east, south, and west, so you don’t have to spend the extra money on charting for areas you will never fish with your boat.

Navionics also offers a large chart card for your chart plotter. These cards offer coverage of large areas with lots of data. There are four large card options available which include the U.S. and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean to Brazil, Greenland and Iceland, and Norway.

Navionics Vs C-MAP: Which Electronic Chart System is Best? (2)

Navionics vs. CMAP: Which One is Better?

Both Navionics and CMAP are pretty similar in terms of options and tools, and both have excellent high-quality bathymetric maps. They both come as SD cards to insert into your plotter. Even more comparable is the pricing, making deciding between Navionics vs CMAP hard.

But in our view CMAP does have a few features that may put it ahead of Navionics, like aerial maps and 3-D shaded relief, but these aren’t critical to finding fish and areas to fish in your boat with the chart plotter.

These extras mean that it is a little higher than Navionics in terms of price, so it’s up to you to decide if a C MAP chart is a better option for you. In my personal experience on lakes in Wisconsin, some Navionics charts have been inaccurate, with depths and structure shown that didn’t actually exist, but from what I have been told, this incorrect data isn’t a common occurrence and was only an issue on a few lakes.

For the small price hike, I think the detailed CMAP option is worth it, and is my personal preference as the top-charting card of the two choices.

Navionics Lake Chart Packages

NorthBuy at Bass Pro
SouthBuy at Bass Pro
East Buy at Bass Pro
WestBuy at Bass Pro

C MAP Lake Chart Packages

North America LakesBuy at Amazon
North CentralBuy at Amazon
South CentralBuy at Amazon
Lakes WestBuy at Amazon
Lakes NortheastBuy at Amazon
Lakes SoutheastBuy at Amazon

Compatibility: Navionics vs CMAP

Compatibility is the one area that Navionics pulls ahead of CMAP. With the reveal chart offered by CMAP, you have to use either Lowrance, B&G, or Simrad units. While Lowrance is popular, the other units are more of a niche product for offshore fishing and the like, and they are missing out on a lot of business by not making them compatible with brands like Humminbird and Garmin.

While C-MAP does have other charting options like the 4D variant for these brands, their compatibility is a bit limited, and some options aren’t included.

Navionics+ is compatible with virtually all sonar units on the market from all major brands, and that’s a pretty big win on the compatibility level. This is also why they are much more popular, at least with anglers in my region, despite not having as many features.

(Video) Lowrance C-MAP Contour+ Review

Quality of mapping detail

The mapping detail of both charts are pretty similar on a base level, But things really shine here for CMAP. CMAP has color settings that easily show you depth by color change on your plotter, which is huge for seeing the overall layout of a lake or areas where you’re fishing.


The coverage for both charting options are very similar, but CMAP does get a slight edge if you are fishing in any part of South America, with all of the South America coastline mapped, along with Alaska.

If you’re fishing inland or offshore in the United States or Canada, both options will have your location covered.

Highlight depth range

CMAP allows you to change the color shading for any depth, allowing you to set it as you want, and allows you to select certain depth ranges for fishing.

Similarly, Navionics allows you to set the contour density on your display depending on your needs, resulting in more and tighter contour lines for steep drop-offs or less as needed. Navionics also allows for fishing depth range selection, allowing you to select and highlight different depth ranges for quick area location.

Shallow water highlight

Both Navionics and CMAP allow for shallow water highlighting on your fish finder display. This feature is great for safety reasons, as well as highlighting shallow areas that you want to fish.

Satellite overlay

CMAP allows for satellite image overlay. While for me personally this isn’t a game-changer in most cases, as I have run the version of satellite image overlays on Lakemaster cards in the past.

The only time I have used satellite overlays is when looking at potential lakes to scout, of which there are thousands in my region, and at times you can dissect details such as water clarity, structure, which is on the contour map anyways, but sometimes you might be able to determine if that structure has submerged vegetation depending on water clarity.

Maybe you can find better ways to take advantage of the satellite overlays than I have, and I can definitely see the advantage in saltwater applications.

Access to updates

Both options feature updates, with chart updates occurring daily for Navionics.

(Video) Lowrance C Map Reveal

CMAP offers 12 months of free updates. After that it goes to a subscription service.

Chart plotting

Navionics has a great feature that allows you, with the right chart plotter or fish finder unit, to chart out lakes yourself in conjunction with other users with the autochart feature found in the advanced mapping options.

These charts will be accurate to the standard 1-foot depth that Navionics offers on all models, allowing you to map uncharted lakes in more detail and see all of their nooks and crannies.

C-MAP also has mapping options with the Genesis Data feature on the Reveal charting package.


The pricing of both charts is fairly comparable with only about a 2o dollar difference in price for a standard regional map, with Navionics coming in at $150 roughly, and C-MAP coming in around $170.

FAQs About Electronic Charts:

Is C-MAP Free?

Once you buy the chart card C-MAP is free, the only additional cost afterward would be for updates after the free 12-month subscription expires.

What is C-MAP Genesis?

C-MAP Genesis is the auto mapping option which allows you to chart waters that might not be charted, enabling you to see the makeup and details of the body of water you are fishing in high detail in these maps on your chart plotter.

Do these charts work on a Mobile Phone or tablet?

Navionics has a mobile GPS phone app for viewing maps and your position on them, but the charts are fairly basic. C-MAP does not.

Navionics charts vs C MAP chart: What About Updates?

Updates are available with both charting options. While Navionics has daily map updates for free, C-MAP only offers 12 months free, after which it becomes subscription-based.


Both mapping options here are great, with only slight differences in features and options. C-MAP seems to be tailored more towards saltwater fishing, while Navionics is just an all-around GPS mapping platform. As state before, we think CMAP charts just wins out as our personal choice.

(Video) Raymarine eS78 supported charts - Navionics & C-MAP 4D | SVB

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Is C Maps better than Navionics? ›

Navionics provides a way to use on both you phone, tablet as well as the chart plotter. C-map is a part of Lorance and provides a higher level of functionality designed for fishing. I would lean towards the Navionics. Both will work on the Lorance Elite FS model according to the manufacturer.

Do C-map charts expire? ›

The subscription is active for one (1) year from the date of purchase. C-Map will send you a renewal invoice sixty (60) days prior to the expiration date of the subscription.

What mapping system does Lowrance use? ›


How much does the CMAP app cost? ›

You get intuitive options for distance/time estimating, mapping out routes, basic weather/wave/tide data, your GPS coordinates, even points of interest in the area... and it's completely FREE! If you choose to upgrade (for just $19/year) you can even see more detailed weather forecasts and AIS traffic on-screen.

Which map is best for navigation? ›

10 best navigation and map apps on Android 2023
  1. 1 Waze Navigation & Live Traffic. ...
  2. 2 OsmAnd — Maps & GPS Offline. ...
  3. 3 Sygic GPS Navigation & Maps. ...
  4. 4 Circuit Route Planner. ...
  5. 5 Petal Maps – GPS & Navigation. ...
  6. 6 GO Navigation – GPS Sat Nav. ...
  7. 7 AllTrails: Hike, Bike & Run. ...
  8. 8 MAPS.ME.
Mar 16, 2023

Which map is better for navigation? ›

1. Google Maps. The granddaddy of GPS navigation options for almost any type of transportation.

What is the return policy for C-map? ›

This item can be returned in its original condition for a full refund or replacement within 30 days of receipt.

What units is CMAP compatible with? ›

Compatible with Lowrance, B&G and Simrad units. C-MAP Genesis charts have revolutionized freshwater fishing, and also offer huge advantages to saltwater anglers.

Is C-map Genesis free? ›

Social Map is a free, global, online collection of inland and coastal C-MAP Genesis charts generated by the Lowrance, Simrad Yachting and B&G communities of fishing, cruising, and sailing enthusiasts.

Is CMAP compatible with Lowrance? ›

Lowrance fishfinders are compatible with leading providers, including C‑MAP®.

Is Lowrance owned by Garmin? ›

The Lowrance brand is wholly owned by Navico, Inc. A privately held, international corporation, Navico is currently the world's largest marine electronics company, and is the parent company to leading marine electronics brands: Lowrance, Simrad Yachting and B&G.

What mapping does Humminbird use? ›

The Humminbird Basemap is built into all APEX Series, SOLIX Series and GPS-equipped HELIX Series G2/G2N and newer models. Based on freshwater data from LakeMaster and NOAA, the most-trusted saltwater source, these accurate maps provide you with a clear view of underwater terrain.

How long does it take to complete a C-MAP? ›

While organising a timetable for studying may be straightforward, you will first need to know how many hours you will need to complete your CeMAP course. While everyone learns at different rates, the recommended length of time required for CeMAP studies is 230 hours.

What is the free alternative to CmapTools? ›

  • 272. LibreOffice - Draw. Free • Open Source. ...
  • ThinkComposer. Free • Open Source. Mind Mapping Tool. ...
  • Visual Understanding Environment. Free • Open Source. Mind Mapping Tool. ...
  • Protégé Free • Open Source. Mac. ...
  • Compendium. Free • Open Source. Mac. ...
  • Argumentative. Free • Open Source. ...
  • PathVisio. Free • Open Source. ...
  • Xebece. Free • Open Source.
Apr 19, 2023

How long does it take to get C-MAP? ›

If you don't have any distractions, you should be able to complete CeMAP in six months. But if your lifestyle leaves little room for study – perhaps because you have young children or other caring responsibilities – CeMAP will take longer, most likely the full 12 months.

Which navigation system is most accurate? ›

EU's global navigation satellite system Galileo reaches another milestone today: its High Accuracy Service (HAS) becomes operational, offering unprecedented positioning accuracy.

What is the most chart used for navigation? ›

The nautical chart is essential for safe navigation. Mariners use charts to plan voyages and navigate ships safely and economically. Federal regulations require most commercial vessels to carry electronic or paper nautical charts while they transit U.S. waters.

What is the most accurate type of map to use? ›

AuthaGraph. The AuthaGraphy projection was created by Japanese architect Hajime Narukawa in 1999. It is considered the most accurate projection in the mapping world for its way of showing relative areas of landmasses and oceans with very little distortion of shapes.

What is more accurate than maps? ›

Globes are more accurate than maps for measuring the Earth because globes are a three-dimensional representation of the world, which itself is three-dimensional, while maps are flat, two-dimensional representations.

Is there a map app that lets you choose your route? ›

Google Maps Route Planner

Google Maps route planner is a popular voice-guided navigation app for route planning and turn-by-turn driving directions. It offers real-time GPS navigation, transit, and traffic information to reach the final destination in time.

What type of map best shows elevation? ›

The distinctive characteristic of a topographic map is the use of elevation contour lines to show the shape of the Earth's surface.

Do you always need a return in C? ›

As a good engineering practice, always specify a return type for your functions. If a return value isn't required, declare the function to have void return type. If a return type isn't specified, the C compiler assumes a default return type of int .

What is B and C return policy? ›

Provided an item is in new, uninstalled, and/or unopened condition, a refund is possible for merchandise returned within 90 days. No refund will be given on custom-made items (such as SBL cables or BBS straps), special order items, or items returned beyond 90 days from the invoice date.

What does map return if not found? ›

For retrieving a value from a map, you must provide its key as an argument of the get() function. The shorthand [key] syntax is also supported. If the given key is not found, it returns null .

Who owns C-MAP? ›

C-MAP is a member of the Navico family of brands, alongside Simrad, Lowrance and B&G. A specialist marine electronics company, Navico has an unrivalled heritage in the industry, with over 70 years of developing, designing and manufacturing industry-leading products.

What is C-MAP used for? ›

Colormaps or Cmap in Python is a very useful tool for data visualization. Matlibpro comes with a number of built-in colormaps, such as sequential, diverging, cyclic, qualitative, miscellaneous, etc. You can modify these default Cmaps or create your own custom ones using Python.

Who is C-MAP developed by? ›

Invention of Concept Mapping

Concept maps were first developed in 1972 in the course of Novak's research program at Cornell University where his team sought to follow and understand changes in children's knowledge of science (Novak & Musonda, 1991).

How do I download C maps to SD card? ›

  1. Insert C-MAP ESSENTIALS card into an SD card reader.
  2. Go to YOUR MAPS (A).
  3. Click on ADD SD CONTENT (B). ...
  4. Once Maps Manager has been installed, click on ADD SD CONTENT. ...
  5. Return to YOUR MAPS then choose from the following:

How to download C-map charts? ›

Open Settings > Charts and Add-Ons. You should see an option to install your C-MAP Charts near the top of the browser; select it. You will now see a list of the C-MAP Charts on your USB Flash Drive an each one will have an Install button. Click the buttons to install the charts you want on this PC.

Can I use map in C? ›

The map function is commonly used as a built-in Arduino C function and it's very handy in a wide range of applications. Mathematically, the mapping function is to find the corresponding value from a certain domain to another domain.

Is Raymarine compatible with C-map? ›

Raymarine's Axiom and Element-series displays are compatible with C-MAP 4D electronic charts. C-MAP navigation charts are built around 3 key principles: Precision, Clarity and Quality. Each chart is loaded with precision data from multiple sources, frequently updated and quality checked by experts.

What is CMAP Max? ›

C-MAP MAX charts have been a worldwide standard for years providing accurate, up-to-date chart data. It's still used globally by navigators & chartplotter manufacturers.

Is Lowrance carbon discontinued? ›

Update 11/28/18 - Lowrance Carbon is now discontinued.

Is Garmin a Chinese company? ›

(shortened to Garmin, stylized as GARMIN, and formerly known as ProNav) is an American, Swiss-domiciled multinational technology company founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao in Lenexa, Kansas, United States, with headquarters in Olathe, Kansas.

What Garmin is used by the military? ›

Garmin Foretrex® 701 Ballistic Edition | Military GPS.

Who bought out Lowrance? ›

Lowrance® | Navico Group.

Can you use Navionics on Humminbird? ›

Navionics cards to do not work with the Humminbird Zero Line card. The Zero Line card is strictly a Humminbird compatibility feature with the Humminbird AutoChart Live feature.

What mapping system does Garmin use? ›

GNSS is a generic term referring to all satellite navigation systems. Most Garmin receivers track GPS, GLONASS and Galileo, and some regional variations even track BeiDou and QZSS.

Do I have to pay to update my Humminbird charts? ›

Breadcrumb. At Humminbird, we never stop innovating. That's why we provide free software updates for all compatible fish finders, from our legacy models, all the way to our newest, top-of-the-line models.

How long should it take for an AC unit to drop one degree? ›

How Long Should It Take for the AC to Cool My House? Generally speaking, it should take one hour per degree to reach the temperature set on your thermostat. For an average three-bedroom home, it typically takes about three hours.

What is C map in education? ›

Cmap Tools is a suite of software for creating, sharing and criticise knowledge models represented as concept maps. The suite is free, however, donations are encouraged to support the development of the tools.

What is the best Freemind map? ›

1. Miro — Free version with unlimited users and pre-made templates. 2. Lucidspark — Best virtual whiteboard for mind mapping and collaboration.

Is CmapTools free? ›

CmapTools is freely available for download from IHMC, the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. The software is supported with extensive help files that offer step-by-step instructions with screenshots from the program, as well as videos. Get tips on CmapTools functionalities from our Cmap.

Where can I create a concept map for free? ›

Use Canva's free concept map maker to build a conceptual diagram with online whiteboard templates and tools.

Do C map charts expire? ›

The subscription is active for one (1) year from the date of purchase. C-Map will send you a renewal invoice sixty (60) days prior to the expiration date of the subscription.

How much is CMAP premium? ›

You get intuitive options for distance/time estimating, mapping out routes, basic weather/wave/tide data, your GPS coordinates, even points of interest in the area... and it's completely FREE! If you choose to upgrade (for just $19/year) you can even see more detailed weather forecasts and AIS traffic on-screen.

Who makes C-MAP charts? ›

C-MAP is a member of the Navico family of brands, alongside Simrad, Lowrance and B&G. A specialist marine electronics company, Navico has an unrivalled heritage in the industry, with over 70 years of developing, designing and manufacturing industry-leading products.

What is C maps? ›

C-MAP Genesis is a marine mapping program that empowers you to create custom, high-definition fishing maps from sonar data recorded with a compatible sonar/GPS unit on your own boat.

What is C-MAP software used for? ›

CmapTools is used for education, training, knowledge management, brainstorming, organizing information, among other applications.

What does C-MAP stand for? ›

Connectivity Map (CMAP)

Who makes the best road map? ›

The Rand McNally Road Atlas is the most trusted and best-selling atlas on the market. This updated 2023 edition contains maps of every U.S. state and Canadian province, an overview map of Mexico, and detailed inset maps of over 350 cities and 25 national parks.

Does C support maps? ›

The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie has an example of making an associate map in c, and what I'll detail below is based on what I remember from that. Basically you'll need a struct Map that contains struct Key and struct Value.

What charts does Raymarine use? ›

Raymarine chartplotters work with Navionics+ and Navionics Platinum+ series electronic charts. You can learn more about Navionics content and features online, using the link below.

Is CMap free? ›

CmapTools is freely available for download from IHMC, the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. The software is supported with extensive help files that offer step-by-step instructions with screenshots from the program, as well as videos.

What are the main features of C-map? ›

CMap Features
  • API.
  • Access Controls/Permissions.
  • Activity Dashboard.
  • Activity Tracking.
  • Approval Process Control.
  • Billable Items Tracking.
  • Billing & Invoicing.
  • Budget Management.

Can I download C map? ›

The C-MAP App is free to download and easy to use, delivering subscription-free access to the latest global charts of the earth's land and sea along with a range of features including personal waypoints, routes and tracks, weather updates, points of interest, planning tools and many ways to personalize.

Which software is used for map? ›

Some of the most popular GIS software include ArcGIS, QGIS, Maptitude, Global Mapper, and MapInfo. Maptitude mapping software is widely considered to be the best GIS software for businesses due to its comprehensive features, affordability, and ease of use.

Which computer software is used to create maps? ›

GIS is a type of software that is used to create, manage, and analyze geographic data, and to create maps and other types of visualizations. While GIS software is often used for mapping, it can also be used for a wide range of other applications, such as spatial analysis, data management, and decision making.

What does a MAP coding mean? ›

In many programming languages, map is the name of a higher-order function that applies a given function to each element of a collection, e.g. a list or set, returning the results in a collection of the same type. It is often called apply-to-all when considered in functional form.

What is a map code on a MAP? ›

The mapcode system is an open-source geocode system consisting of two groups of letters and digits, separated by a dot. It represents a location on the surface of the Earth, within the context of a separately specified country or territory.


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