Bluechart is the name given to Garmin's exclusive marine cartography. BlueChart data will typically include detailed marine charts with shaded depth contours, inter tidal zones, spot soundings, wrecks, navaids, port plans, restricted areas, cable areas, anchorages and much more. Additionally, Bluechart includes information from the paper chart used in the digitisation process such as chart number, name. scale, revision date and Notice-to-Mariners updates. The cartography is available in three different versions and in three different formats to ensure compatibility across a wide range of Garmin products.
The three formats of cartography are Garmin Bluechart, Garmin Bluechart g3 and Garmin Bluechart g3 Vision.
BlueChart is now largely discontinued as it was orientated for use in some of the early Garmin products such as the Map192 and Map198. All of these chart plotters have had upgrades made available which are downloadable from the Garmin website to make use of the later Bluechart g3 cartography.
Bluechart g3 was re-designed in 2009 to feature smoother layering and better integration of map graphics, for easier panning, scrolling and zooming. It features richer colours and shading for easier interpretation and improved visibility. It also offers a choice of 'mariner's view' map perspective or the familiar 2D direct overhead view to make chart reading and orientation easier. These views are plotter dependent – all the current models will support this feature. The cartography is object orientated which means you can pan to an object on the map and instantly view information about that point - eg. the light characteristics of a buoy or navaid.
Garmin Bluechart g3 is available on either pre-programmed Garmin data cards or pre-programmed micro SD/SD cards. A version of Garmin Bluechart g3 will shortly be available on CD which will allow download to products with built in memory such as the Garmin 60CX/70CX Series. For the moment, these products must use a plug in micro SD card. The introduction of the new Garmin Blue Chart g3 CD ROM will coincide with the fazing out of the traditional Blue Chart CD ROM scheduled for middle to the end of 2009.
Many Garmin products such as the popular 450/550/555 Series feature built in g3 charting for local areas such as the UK and Ireland or Australia.
Garmin also offer Bluechart g3 Vision cartography which offers premium mapping features such as high resolution satellite image overlay, above and below the water line 3D perspectives, auto guidance technology, aerial photography of ports, harbours, marinas and waterways and coastal roads with points of interest.
Garmin Blue Chart g3 Vision is compatible with 450/550/555/4000/5000/600 Series.
Many other products will also accept Vision but bear in mind some of the features such as auto guidance or the display of high resolution satellite imagery will not be possible. Garmin g3 Vision is only available in micro SD/SD format. Please note that where SD format charts are available, the cartridge is supplied as a micro SD chart complete with adaptor.
Customers could choose to utilise g3 cartography in products which will accept Vision cartography - eg in products like the Garmin 4000/5000 series. This maybe the case where value is required (Garmin g3 is cheaper that g3 Vision) or where compatibility with other Garmin products is required - for instance the use of Garmin g3 cartography in both the hand held product and also fixed product.
Chart Sizes – Small, Regular, Large and XL
In addition to the various formats of cartography, charts are available in four sizes for most areas. These region sizes are appropriately named small, regular, large and X large and whilst the level of detail is the same for all cartridge types, the area of coverage is greater on the larger sizes. Typically a small area would cover a cruising area the size of the Solent and Channel Islands whereas a regular area will cover the whole of the English Channel on both French and UK sides. You can choose what area of coverage you require for your chosen cruising grounds.
Garmin provide an interactive cartography map available at
Please note that cartridges once programmed cannot be returned for credit so please ensure you collect the correct cartridge type and coverage area as they are subject to a software licence.
If you need help in choosing cartography then please contact our sales team directly.