Nautical Chart is a detailed graphical representation of oceans, seas, coastal areas and rivers.
Nautical Charts are made for people who drive any kind of vehicle on water: from professional sailors to people who rented a boat to make a tour over city canals. The charts can contain various information like sailing routes, navigation lights, dangerous areas, areas where it's allowed or not allowed to sail or dock, etc.
All the professional sailors are obliged to have official nautical charts on their ships. These charts are published by authorized agencies and cost quite some money. Agencies are investing a lot in keeping the charts up to date. They release updates for the charts on regular basis, but because of the fact that reviewing the information and processing the updates takes quite some time the nautical charts are never completely up-to-date.
Nautical charts of OsmAnd are based on the data from OpenSeaMap project. The idea of the project is to build the detailed map by people who actually use it. Every user of the map can contribute by adding changes to it making it more detailed and more accurate.
While OpenSeaMap charts at the moment cannot compete with official nautical charts, they can be used by recreational sailors for orientation or route planning.
Let's look into a couple of particular scenarios when OsmAnd nautical plugin can be useful.
How to use it
The plugin is free. You just have to download and enable it. Go to Settings-Plugins, choose Nautical map view and press Get. After the file is downloaded, choose Enable. You also will need a World seamarks map. Make sure to get it in Settings - All Downloads. Turn the Nautical map style on using the 'Configure map' menu in the left upper corner of the screen.
Please note that OsmAnd Nautical Charts work best with the World seamarks map and we recommend to download it.
Professional sailors are required to have official maps, as well, but this extension can be of great help to you in a small voyage or be a supplement to the official nautical charts.
To get the plugin, you need to go to Maps & Resources - Plugins - Nautical map. There, you'll have to buy the plugin by tapping on the checkbox. Then go to the map menu and choose Map type - Nautical. Now you'll see the map with all nautical marks. To go back to the normal map, just choose OsmAnd in Map type menu.
Recreational sailing on the sea
Imagine you've decided to rent a boat and make a small voyage in the area you don't know so well. You want to have a relaxed and safe trip, so you choose the places you want to visit, routes how to get there, and check for dangerous or forbidden areas around to avoid them. The map of the shore area will give plenty of information regarding places which are worth visiting or restaurants where you can have a nice lunch.
In case you hadn't managed to get back before it got dark or it was a planned romantic time to see the stars but you don't feel so confident with the orientation, the OsmAnd can tell your position and show where the sea lights are located so that you can use them to choose the proper way.
Boat trip in a city
This is a nice sunny day. You have been looking forward to this day and finally your idea to make a boat trip with your friends or family comes true. The boat is arranged, the basic information how to sail on it is learned. Whether you like to plan everything in advance or prefer to follow your inspiration, OsmAnd can give you information about the routes you can follow and which of them are forbidden, which bridges you can meet on your way, what is the height of the bridges, which of them can be opened and which of them you better avoid – all the basic information you need to have a pleasant and relaxed time afloat.
Whether you already have a boat or are just thinking about your first voyage, Nautical map view plugin for OsmAnd can be a very useful tool which will give the information you need to feel more comfortable and confident on your way. And the best thing – you can always improve the charts yourself making them better for you and other OpenSeaMap users.