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Old 11-21-2018, 06:22 AM   #1
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C-MAP Embark: Garmin/Active Captain competitor?

The Plan2Nav instances on our tablets and smartphones have begun displaying a new pop-up on start-up. The message is that "C-MAP recommends Embark."

??

So of course I went to see what an Embark is, why I might want one, how I'd use it, etc. And I've asked the C-MAP customer service people -- both P2N and Embark sides of their house -- a few questions.

Embark will run on iOS, Android, and PC systems. Users can enable up to 5 devices on a single license. Paid users can download C-MAP charts for off-line access. (I haven't paid yet, and still seem to already have a chart downloaded for off-line access. Maybe this is "trial period" stuff.)

C-MAP will discontinue new sales of P2N; Embark will be the only C-MAP app going forward. OTOH, they also say that happy P2N customers can just keep using it.

The chart display in Embark is much more pleasing (to me) than the P2N display. Especially land masses, no longer in jarring shades of yellow.

Embark seems to include the usual route planning functions, common to many apps.

Embark includes a "cruising guide" -- not yet very much populated (i.e., hardly at all, I think, except for marina info), but with share functions (across one's own devices, including desktops/laptops, and across users) and review functions apparently similar to the way Yelp does reviews. C-MAP charts have long offered info on marinas, so it looks like this "cruising guide" function is meant to be a huge extension of that with significant crowd-sourced commentary.

Embark somehow incorporates some AIS info; haven't look at that yet.

P2N had a rudimentary anchor watch function. Not present in Embark, at least for now. I've just asked if they intend to include that, but they haven't had time to respond yet.

A quick web search indicates Lowrance, Simrad, and Navico will be using Embark.

-Chris
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:12 AM   #2
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Sounds like an Active Captain competitor as you mention. Is this really in the best interest of boaters? I am not plugging for Active Captain per se but it seems to me crowd sourcing data is more efficient and accurate if kept in a single universal database. But if I were Simrad, Lowrance and Navico, I would feel uncomfortable with a database totally under the control of Garmin.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:10 AM   #3
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So of course I went to see what an Embark is, why I might want one, how I'd use it, etc.
Appreciate the "heads up" as C-map is one of the charts I use on my Raymarine eS128.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:41 AM   #4
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I have no more love for C-Map (now Jeppesen) than Garmin. I'll probably grit my teeth and stick with the one that already has the most user data.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:39 PM   #5
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I have no more love for C-Map (now Jeppesen) than Garmin. I'll probably grit my teeth and stick with the one that already has the most user data.

C-map, then Jeppesen, now Navico.
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:06 PM   #6
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I have no more love for C-Map (now Jeppesen) than Garmin. I'll probably grit my teeth and stick with the one that already has the most user data.
What's wrong with C-MAP? Thought they had a pretty good rep? They've seemed like decent enough charts to me, when I've used them. I tend to use NOAA raster charts since then, but our first with C-MAP was with a Raymarine unit starting in approx '98... especially useful then because they had marina contact info embedded within...

More recently, I've read they're said to include Explorer Charts for the Bahamas, which in turn are said to be most useful for that area. Haven't been there on our own boat, but C-MAP seems to get some kudos for that...


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C-map, then Jeppesen, now Navico.
Are you saying Navico acquired C-MAP?

If so, I didn't realize that; maybe I've been living under the rock for too long. Last I heard Jeppeson had acquired C-MAP, the P2N was a Jeppeson product. Navico acquisition would explain the Navio/Simrad/Lowrance connections...

-Chris
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:42 PM   #7
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Could someone who ran and sold AC be involved in Embark?
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
What's wrong with C-MAP? Thought they had a pretty good rep? They've seemed like decent enough charts to me, when I've used them. I tend to use NOAA raster charts since then, but our first with C-MAP was with a Raymarine unit starting in approx '98... especially useful then because they had marina contact info embedded within...

More recently, I've read they're said to include Explorer Charts for the Bahamas, which in turn are said to be most useful for that area. Haven't been there on our own boat, but C-MAP seems to get some kudos for that...




Are you saying Navico acquired C-MAP?

If so, I didn't realize that; maybe I've been living under the rock for too long. Last I heard Jeppeson had acquired C-MAP, the P2N was a Jeppeson product. Navico acquisition would explain the Navio/Simrad/Lowrance connections...

-Chris

Yes , Navico now owns C-MAP and I for one am very happy about it. I started using C-MAP for my yearly Bahamas trips 10 years ago. Chartplotter purchases were decided on for their ability to run C-MAP. I currently own Lowrance and B&G chartplotters and am very happy with both plus looking at identical info on my Chartplotter AND my Explorer Charts is awesome.
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:37 PM   #9
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Are you saying Navico acquired C-MAP?

Yes, although it's arms length.


Navico was created by a private equity firm who bought up Lowrence, B&G, Simrad's consumer products, and Northstar. And maybe other's that I can't remember.


Then in the past year the same private equity firm bought C-map from Boeing. So I suppose technically they are sister companies, but I think all the intents are clear. Not long after, Garmin bought Navionics.
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:06 PM   #10
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I need to follow this stuff more! I didn't know it's changed hands again. It actually makes a lot of sense.

C-Map charts are fine. My problem is when they charge hundreds of dollars for US charts, since my tax dollars make them available for free.

It grates me that, historically, the hardware manufacturers and chart chip makers have conspired to force us to buy outdated, proprietary-format chart data, derived from the free government data, rather than just let me download and use the current, original data.
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:51 AM   #11
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Could someone who ran and sold AC be involved in Embark?
I'd doubt it. Looking at Embark, it seems way more developed -- not counting the quantity of user input, though -- than one could do in a relatively short period of time.

I'm not saying it's wonderful; haven't had much experience with it, haven't even started the "free trial and downloading offline maps" yet. (I don't quite understand how come I actually have a downloaded offline map, though.) Just looks to me, at first glance, to be reasonably well done, at least for what it offers.

And mostly I just pay attention to the actual charts; don't always care about the other stuff... so I'm not necessarily the best source of critique.


Quote:
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C-Map charts are fine. My problem is when they charge hundreds of dollars for US charts, since my tax dollars make them available for free.

It grates me that, historically, the hardware manufacturers and chart chip makers have conspired to force us to buy outdated, proprietary-format chart data, derived from the free government data, rather than just let me download and use the current, original data.
Ah. Fair enough. I just mostly use free NOAA charts for our main plotter and back-up laptop system, too. Our Furuno system offers (offered?) C-MAP and Navionics charts too, but those have been optional (and at extra cost), not at all mandatory.

My understanding has been that folks like C-MAP and others (Transas? Navionics? Garmin?) have added some data that's not on government charts... but I don't know that all do that. For example, C-MAP added marina info many years ago, don't know what else, if anything... and now they apparently include Explorer Chart data.... Don't know what that extra data might cost to add, or what it might be worth to others...

-Chris
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:15 AM   #12
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Garmin has done mapping (actual surveying with a boat and data collection) in areas of high customer use. While I don't know if the information is only available on their expensive regional maps, it's not correct to say that their maps only use data from NOAA charts. While you may have no interest in the upper FL Keys, this is one area where there actual mapping is a far more current product that NOAA charts.

Ted
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