by Dom Wiseman

Garmin has acquired Navionics, the developer of digital navigational charts and apps.

Navionics was founded in 1984 by Giuseppe Carnevali and Fosco Bianchetti who introduced the world’s first marine electronic chart plotter, the Geonav. They sold the Geonav product line in 2007 and concentrated exclusively on the electronic charts side of the business. The company was privately owned by Giuseppe Carnevali and employs 350 staff worldwide.

They also produced a chart app under the Navionics name which, according to reports, has over 7 million users worldwide. Most of the major manufacturers use Navionics charts including Navico, Raymarine and Humminbird. Chart can be purchased separately or packaged.

They have 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.

The purchase is a good fit with Garmin’s other GPS products and while nautical charts remain the historical core of Navionics products, they are 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 has long been known as a leading supplier of highly accurate navigational charts and mobile applications for boaters,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin president and CEO.

“By combining Navionics’ content with Garmin’s BlueChart and LakeVü content, we will be able to offer the best available breadth and depth of coverage to our marine customers.

“Going forward, we plan to retain the Navionics brand and will continue to support Navionics’ existing customers.”

“Since our founding, Navionics has been passionate about creating products that enhance the boating experience,” said Giuseppe Carnevali, Navionics founder and president.

“Garmin shares our passion for serving the marine industry, and is an ideal company to carry the strong brand and reputation of Navionics into the future.”