Is that a cell phone in your pocket, or is it a really a miniature chartplotter? If you have a marine chartography app like EarthNC’s Marine Charts it can be both, and now there’s a new version 3.1 from EarthNC which is new and improved.

EarthNC version 3.1 is the latest way to turn your cell phone into a chartplotter.

EarthNC version 3.1 is the latest way to turn your cell phone into a chartplotter.

EarthNC Marine Charts, which works on iPhones, iPod Touch, and iPads with iOS 3.0 or later, as well as Android operating systems, puts chartography of all US waters in the palm of your hand. The Android version lags a bit behind that of the fruit-lovers, and the new 3.1 version is Apple-only for now (EarthNC says it’ll be about six months before Android catches up).

This app gets you a lot more than mere charts. It also offers integrated real-time weather data including NOAA weather radar, the ability to toggle between chart and Google Maps views, single and multi-point route creation, ports/services info (with data from, Marina Life, and Waterway Guide), and touch-map data for tides, weather, and POI info. There are a few differences in the Apple vs. Android versions, which you can check out on EarthNC’s IOS vs. Android web page.

While NOAA vector charts are the basis for navigation on EarthNC, you can also access other mapping sources including USGS maps, Google satellite imagery, and OpenStreetMap road maps for those times when you need some help navigating on dry land.

Wait a sec—when you start cramming multi-leg routes onto a little cell phone screen, won’t it become confusing? No worries; this new version makes it easier to get rid of the stuff you don’t want. Deleting waypoints during route creation now takes a simple double-tap, and you not only can make deletions from the map screen, you can also delete routes and waypoints from the “Options” menu.

The app requires 10.4 MB of space and costs $19.99 (available on both Apple’s and Android’s app stores), so this is no minor-league program. In fact, you can even use it in Chinese, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, or Swedish. What if you do your boating in far-flung locations? Chartography is also available for the Bahamas, parts of Central and South America, Canada’s west coast, and New Zealand. You can download up to 20 MB of chart data for use when you’re beyond cell coverage, but EarthNC says they’ll be upping the download data limits in the future. Go to to learn more.

Editor's Note: Read Using Your iPad as a Chart Plotter on the Boats UK site.

-Lenny Rudow