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Old 04-03-2018, 12:25   #1
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Greenland and Iceland Cartography

I suppose I will acquire the Navionics 20XG set of cartography, although C-Map might work in my Zeus plotters and might be better -- anyone know?

Anyone else have tips for good cartography (paper, raster) of these areas, or pilot books?
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Old 04-03-2018, 14:29   #2
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

Recommendations from the Cruising Association, but nothing electronic:

Publications
Charts
British Admiralty charts are available for the whole of the Icelandic coast and surrounding waters.
The Icelandic Hydrographic Office Landhelgisgæsla Íslands publishes excellent charts.
Icelandic charts can be obtained in the UK from Imray and the Todd Chart Agency
www.toddchart.com in Bangor, N. Ireland.
Harbour guides and pilot books
The Arctic Pilot Volume II (NP 11) published by the British Admiralty in English covers the whole of
Iceland but is somewhat out of date.
Faroe Iceland Greenland by Willy Ker, this is now included in Arctic and Northern Waters by
Andrew Wilkes published by RCC Pilotage Foundation/Imray www.imray.com in English.
Leiðsögubók fyrir sjómenn við Ísland published in 1992 by the Icelandic Hydrographic Office
Landhelgisgæsla Íslands in Icelandic is full of photographs and plans but most are now very dated and of limited
use. The lack of English is a very minor problem.
Sjómanna Almanak published by Skerpla www.mbl.is in Reykjavík annually in Icelandic is full of
useful information, harbour plans and aerial photographs.
Guide books, maps, etc
The Visit Iceland, http://www.visiticeland.com/ website has a vast amount of useful information.
The Icelandic Topographical Survey publish a series of detailed maps which can be obtained from
various sources online.
Iceland published by Lonely Planet Publications www.lonelyplanet.com
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Old 04-03-2018, 14:33   #3
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

I am thinking that Google Earth image captures will be very useful for the uncharted areas of Greenland.
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Old 04-03-2018, 15:08   #4
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

I took indeed screenshots from Google earth for my various trips in Greenland.

The Danish paper charts are the best when it comes to details for both the East and the West coast of Greenland.

I'm quite old fashioned and have still no digital charts onboard. Wouldn't be able to help you there.

For pilots: the Danish ones are again the most complete ones, but there is no English translation for them. For a lot of Europeans, Danish is not to hard to understand when you read it, but that might differ from person to person.

The RCCPF written by Andrew Wilkes and others is one of the most complete books on Greenland.
I also found the Arctic pilots of the British Admiralty quite useful at times.

But all in all, just navigate by eye and spot anchorages by looking at the cahrt rather than the pilot, that gives you the nicest anchorages.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:21   #5
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I suppose I will acquire the Navionics 20XG set of cartography, although C-Map might work in my Zeus plotters and might be better -- anyone know?

Anyone else have tips for good cartography (paper, raster) of these areas, or pilot books?
DH,

A french boat [SV Tonga] we spent most of this winter with came over the NW Passage last fall [2017] via Greenland and Iceland- originating in Norway. As we are planning a west to east transit, they shared the best book was Arctic and Northern Waters [ACC Pilotage Foundation; Wilkes.] I can attest it is very worthwhile. [Along with the relevant Admiralty Arctic Pilots, etc.]

Additionally, they shared they had used C-Map charts and had the relevant paper charts as well. [We purchased their C-Map and paper charts, books, etc...]

We have both C-Map and Navionics charts of these regions and have been randomly spot comparing side-by-side on our Zeus2 chartplotters. [Split screen with 2 chart views.] From what we have seen, I am more comfortable having both C-Map and Navionics available for the complete detailed picture. [In some areas C-Map provides far more detail, in others Navionics excels. I leaves the impression that one vendor tries to fill in where the other is thin...]

In case this is useful.

Best wishes with your impending journey.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:41   #6
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

For Iceland, check out OpenCPNs Icelandic vector charts, oeSENC - o-charts.

IIRC from recent Danish news, their HO has recently surveyed Greenland for the purpose of issuing new S57 official vector charts, but ran out of money/resources to actually go ahead and and make the charts.

Found something here....

https://translate.google.com/transla...en&prev=search

Thomas
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:06   #7
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

Quote:
Originally Posted by cagney View Post
For Iceland, check out OpenCPNs Icelandic vector charts, oeSENC - o-charts.

IIRC from recent Danish news, their HO has recently surveyed Greenland for the purpose of issuing new S57 official vector charts, but ran out of money/resources to actually go ahead and and make the charts.

Found something here....

https://translate.google.com/transla...en&prev=search

Thomas
Thank you -- hot tip!
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:08   #8
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
DH,

A french boat [SV Tonga] we spent most of this winter with came over the NW Passage last fall [2017] via Greenland and Iceland- originating in Norway. As we are planning a west to east transit, they shared the best book was Arctic and Northern Waters [ACC Pilotage Foundation; Wilkes.] I can attest it is very worthwhile. [Along with the relevant Admiralty Arctic Pilots, etc.]

Additionally, they shared they had used C-Map charts and had the relevant paper charts as well. [We purchased their C-Map and paper charts, books, etc...]

We have both C-Map and Navionics charts of these regions and have been randomly spot comparing side-by-side on our Zeus2 chartplotters. [Split screen with 2 chart views.] From what we have seen, I am more comfortable having both C-Map and Navionics available for the complete detailed picture. [In some areas C-Map provides far more detail, in others Navionics excels. I leaves the impression that one vendor tries to fill in where the other is thin...]

In case this is useful.

Best wishes with your impending journey.

Cheers! Bill
It's extremely useful; thank you! You would be doing me a great favor if you would check out the Southeast coast of Greenland, say a few hundred miles North and South of Tasiilaq, and let me know whether C-Map or Navionics is better in that particular area.

Thanks, Dockhead
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:43   #9
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
It's extremely useful; thank you! You would be doing me a great favor if you would check out the Southeast coast of Greenland, say a few hundred miles North and South of Tasiilaq, and let me know whether C-Map or Navionics is better in that particular area.

Thanks, Dockhead
DH- I will be happy to. That is one area I don't recollect spot checking.

It may take me a few days before I can reply as we are about to depart for British Columbia.

Stay tuned... Bill

PS: I'm also interested in the OCPN charts of Iceland and will endeavor to include them in the comparison.
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Old 06-03-2018, 13:31   #10
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
DH- I will be happy to. That is one area I don't recollect spot checking.

It may take me a few days before I can reply as we are about to depart for British Columbia.

Stay tuned... Bill

PS: I'm also interested in the OCPN charts of Iceland and will endeavor to include them in the comparison.
Thank you! I'll look forward to your impressions.
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:44   #11
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

The Icelandic Hydrographic service has their list of lights, notice to mariners, tide tables, etc. here Hydrographic surveying and nautical charting | Hydrographic Department | Landhelgisgæsla Íslands

Regarding the oeSENC charts these are ENCs (i.e. vector charts for ECDIS), as opposed to c-map/navionics who buy, then interpret the data. So for Iceland, at least, openCPN looks to be the cheapest form and I suspect most accurate.

I've used the print on demand for Danish charts from and they are really nice, especially in lumpy regions like the Faroe Islands.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:32   #12
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

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Originally Posted by N1774 View Post
The Icelandic Hydrographic service has their list of lights, notice to mariners, tide tables, etc. here Hydrographic surveying and nautical charting | Hydrographic Department | Landhelgisgæsla Íslands

Regarding the oeSENC charts these are ENCs (i.e. vector charts for ECDIS), as opposed to c-map/navionics who buy, then interpret the data. So for Iceland, at least, openCPN looks to be the cheapest form and I suspect most accurate.

I've used the print on demand for Danish charts from and they are really nice, especially in lumpy regions like the Faroe Islands.
Thanks very much. What do you mean by "print on demand for Danish charts" -- where do you find these?

I always sail with multiple cartography sources, and especially in remote places like this. I will definitely have either C-Map or Navionics in the main nav system (covering the whole cruise), and I have official "for navigation" raster charts from the UK Hydrographic Office for UK including Orkneys, in my ship's computer, on OpenCPN. I will buy the ENC charts of Iceland recommended by someone above. I am especially interested in cartography of Eastern Greenland since the waters seem to be poorly charted or even uncharted in some places. I would want to have the maximum cartographic data available with me.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:02   #13
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

Print on demand - paper charts printed to order usually including the latest notices to mariners, nothing worse then sitting down to update a new chart! . I’ve used weilbach.com for Danish charts but I think bookharbour or chartco (same people, different sites?) are UK agents for this.
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Old 07-03-2018, 14:52   #14
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

So the Danish Maritime Authority warn mariners that satellite navigation in Greenland waters doesn't really work. This makes really interesting reading:

https://www.soefartsstyrelsen.dk/Sik...%20Service.pdf

They say that in East Greenland, the variation from the WGS 84 datum may amount to several nautical miles. Wow!

"Conclusion: In the paper charts available for Greenland waters, the
positioning of the information in the charts (i.e. topography, including
coastline, and hydrography, etc.) is inaccurate, which means that ships cannot
navigate safely by means of satellite navigation on the basis of the present paper charts.
.I"T IS IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT, DESPITE THE INACCURACIES OF
THE PAPER CHARTS; IT IS POSSIBLE FOR SHIPS TO NAVIGATE IN COASTAL
AREAS IF THEY USE THEIR RADAR EQUIPMENT AS THE PRIMARY POSITIONING
INSTRUMENT AND RELY ON TERRESTRIAL NAVIGATION METHODS WHEN
NAVIGATING IN GREENLAND WATERS.

"For paper charts covering northern and eastern Greenland waters, the
source material for chart datum may
be unknown
."

Wow.

So, it's going to be radar navigation, hand bearing compass, and three point fixes. Glad I can still do that stuff.

Concerning cartography -- I may be chasing unicorns. But I will still want to have everything available.

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Old 07-03-2018, 15:09   #15
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Re: Greenland and Iceland Cartography

I guess it makes sense to start using GE2KAP and collect Google Earth images to use with OpenCPN:

https://opencpn.wordpress.com/2016/1...llite-imagery/
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