Monday, August 29, 2011

Simple Charts

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Function: Marine Charts and navigation
Cost: $9.99
Rating: ***

Simple Charts is a newly released navigation app for use by the weekend or professional navigator. The app delivers a simple and easy to used interface that allows the user to seamlessly navigate using NOAA raster charts.  Fisherman, sailors, cruisers or kayakers can make use of this app to keep track of their favorite fishing spots or find their way home through the fog. There are plenty of GPS tracking apps out there using the NOAA raster charts. This one has a few additional features that you might enjoy.

  • Real time GPS tracking on the charts.
  • Includes digital compass
  • All US NOAA charts are included for offline use. No need to buy additional regions or charts.
  • Charts are very nicely stitched together for seamless transition from one to the next. Zooming in or out of a region brings up the proper chart.
  • Charts cover all US Coastal Waters, Great Lakes and US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
  • Charts are updated automatically every 7 days. No need to download or buy new charts.
  • Use the charts off or online. Browsed charts are downloaded and cached on the device and are available for use while not connected to the Internet.
  • Waypoints can be added and saved for later use. Simply tap and hold your finger on the screen to create waypoints. Coordinates can also be added to create waypoints.
  • Displays real time statistics of latitude, longitude, heading, speed, VMG, DW and TTG.
  • Calculate the distance and time to a waypoint
  • Share your position data through email.
  • Includes additional map types including Google maps, Openstreet Maps, and Open Topos.
  • Metric, imperial and nautical units
  • Decimal and DMS coordinates
The app does a great job in providing features that make it very usable without a lot of clutter. The basic features of GPS tracking and waypoints makes it very functional.  I found it easy to use and I had no trouble creating a few waypoints and tracking my position while I navigated to them.

The compass and instrument data are displayed under the Instruments soft key at the bottom of the app.

Different units for Latitude, Longitude, Distance, Speed and map overlays can be selected under the Settings tab.

I like the app and would suggest it to the casual user. I am making it number 8 on my Top 10 best charting apps. If you need additional features like points of interest, more instruments or weather overlays, check out some of the Top 10 Best Charting Apps on my site. The $9.99 price might be a little too high compared to some other apps with more features on the top 10 list.

Sail on /)


  1. Are there apps for the android from simple charts.
    Specifically the Pacific coast and the Columbia and Willamette rivers ?
    G & B

  2. Taku,

    Thanks for checking out the site.

    Simple Charts will only work with iPhone/iPad. I have reviewed a few Android charting apps here.

    I would recommend Navionics Marine&Lakes USA which has more detailed maps for $9.99. Check it out in the Android Market

    EarthNC Marine Charts has an Android app for $9.99 also checkit out in the Android Market

    Good luck,