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Navionics History

Everybody is familiar with GPS as used in cars and airline displays that show the progress of flight. Not everybody is aware that Navionics is the one that pioneered it all. Simply stated, Navionics changed the way people navigate when in 1984 it brought to market the first electronic chart device, called the Geonav. Until then, several others had belabored on the concept, but nobody was able to turn the idea into a viable product, that truly worked and could be bought off a shelf. It is no surprise that some compared the revolution brought by Navionics to the revolution brought by the magnetic compass.

Navionics quickly established an early lead in marine cartography followed by a series of technological innovations, and continues to be a leader in quality, coverage and value. The benefits of electronic charting to the ease and safety of navigation have created a large and enthusiastic market that continues to grow each year, while Navionics continues to lead in technology and innovation, besides quality and servicePlotter circa 1985

Perhaps rather than Navionics’ view of itself it is interesting to see what the others say about Navionics through the public recognitions. Here are a few samples from the most recent past:

“The coolest app boaters will find on iTunes!” - Innovation Award at MAATS (Marine Accessory Aftermarket Trade Show).
“The most important of the list” - New York Times
“well worth the investment” - CNN
Most innovative company in the marine industry – Shanghai, Asian Marine and Boating Award
“Navionics always at the forefront” – Nautica Magazine
“Ease of use better than any jury has ever seen” – Innovation award Amsterdam METS

Navionics Today

Platinum Charts 2007We have grown from a two-man show started in 1984 to a diverse team operating in all continents and countless countries, that puts real pride and passion in developing products for safer and easier navigation.

Today Navionics employs over 500 enthusiastic persons, mainly located in USA, Italy and India, but with sales and service all over the world.

The engineering team, a unique mix of long experienced people as well young brains still in school, is responsible for developing technologies that are constantly a few years ahead of the competition, but at the same time are easy and enjoyable to use by any outdoors person.

The production team is a highly skilled group of people who know the importance of using technology wherever possible to increase quality and productivity, but also recognizing the superiority of the human factor and the passion that makes the difference between a product and a good product.

But above all what makes the difference is the fact that we all are avid boaters, skiers and outdoors people, we all are our own customers, we all use and test our products for our own hobbies, which means the difference between products designed by engineers for the use by engineers, and products made by users for the benefit of everyday people.

Mobile Charts 2008Navionics has the world’s largest database of marine and lake charts, covering the salt waters of the entire planet as well as tens of thousands of lakes and rivers. Many of these charts have been developed by way of Navionics’ proprietary surveys done both in the field and with remote sensing such as satellite imagery and airborne laser scanners.

While nautical charts remain the historical core of Navionics products, today Navionics is also the owner of the largest database of ski trails in the world covering well over 95% of ski-days in Europe, North America and Australasia.

Navionics has also a very extensive database of outdoor trails for hiking, mountain biking, and any other outdoor sports, hence the motto “we start where the road ends”.

Navionics nautical charts are supported by the largest number of marine plotters, made by most popular manufacturers like Humminbird, Navico, Raymarine and many others, but they have also become the foundation of a new breed of geolocated services available on mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad and Android: social networking, searching, planning, weather forecasting, snow reporting, and even magazine reading, all have reference to a location, and all take advantage of Navionics charts and maps.

The most recent innovation introduced by Navionics in its specific markets is the empowerment of users to edit their own maps: with an investment of few dollars, less than the cost of a traditional paper map plus a pencil, users can edit their electronic maps worldwide, make corrections and additions, and share them in real time with the community. It is the principle of Wikipedia brought to the world of nautical charts and outdoor maps, but with the difference that the percentage of users that edit Navionics products is 200 times higher than Wikipedia itself, resulting in the absolute best cartography that is possible today.