Navionics Help


Relief Shading Q&A

Q1.      Is relief shading the same for Garmin and Navionics products?

A1.      Yes, because Navionics is a Garmin brand and both products are produced from a shared cartography database.


Q2.      Why is there a difference in the relief shading detail in certain areas?

A2:      We use the best data available, such as multi-beam survey or LIDAR data, which can vary based on the source. In some cases, high resolution data is mixed with low resolution to produce a more complete image. As new or better source data are acquired, our charts are updated.


Q3:      What are the differences and practical benefits of high resolution versus low resolution relief shading?

A3:      High resolution charts are possible where the space between two data points is small, yielding a more detailed image. This reveals underwater structure such as rocks, cliffs, wrecks, and objects present in the bottom that are approximately 3 to 5m wide. In general, relief shading created from a lower resolution data source is useful in identifying larger structures, such as ridges and seamounts, which are still very helpful for fishing activities.


Q4.      Can I preview the detail in my areas of interest before buying?

A4.      The most convenient way to see the level of detail of relief shading is to download the Navionics Boating app – more info at - which comes with a free trial, and download the relief shading layer in your area of interest. You can also view a coverage map and lake list at

Q5.      Which Navionics products include relief shading?

A5.       Relief Shading is available with our Platinum+ or HotMaps Platinum GPS Plotter Charts, and also within the Navionics Boating app.

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