Fast-Food McMaps won’t likely satisfy angler hunger for high-quality contour charts

Quick-v-Quality-Burger-CollageThere’s a reason fast food is not made from gourmet ingredients by culinary experts – quality can’t be rushed. It’s likewise for lake maps – you can trade quickness for quality, but the outcome might leave a bad taste in your mouth.

DSC00072Despite quick-draw, drive-through speed, McMaps will not likely satisfy anglers’ hunger for high-quality contour charts. That’s why GoFree’s Insight Genesis custom contour maps prioritize great quality over instant gratification. To that end, GoFree employs a highly trained Quality Control Team to ensure that Insight Genesis custom contour charts are highly accurate.

The truth is that contour charts can only be as good as the data from which they’re drawn – bad data creates bad maps. So quickly drawing contours based on bad data would do little more than create bad maps fast. (Article continues after image below)


LOOSE TRANSDUCER: An Insight Genesis Quality Control professional would know by seeing imagery like this in your sonar log that your transducer was loose and wobbly. Thanks to the QC Team, bad data like this is not included in Insight Genesis maps.


MisalignedTransducerContour maps are made from sonar signals sent and received by a transducer. Bad sonar signals will create bad maps – or at least bad portions of maps, depending on where and when a sonar signal was compromised. To better understand why, remember that old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” This is as true for quickly drawing contour maps as it is for snapping photographs – if it’s too dark out, if your lens is smudged, or if you’re not in focus, you won’t get a good image. Likewise, if your transducer is mis-aligned (see sonar image at right), covered in weeds, or too close to heavy prop-wash, etc, you can’t draw a good map, quickly or otherwise.

Ever been frustrated on the water when depths displayed on your digital map don’t match actual depths determined by your sonar unit? A transducer anomaly like those mentioned above likely caused your map to be made with inaccurate contours. To prevent bad mapping of this sort, Insight Genesis utilizes a robust sonar-log data set – rather than just raw digital depth – to create a true representation of bottom contours.

DSC00079That’s why GoFree’s highly trained Insight Genesis Quality Control team reviews thousands of sonar logs every week, searching out and removing bad data that results from anomalies on the water. A trained professional on the GoFree QC team compares your custom map’s contour lines against a recording of the sonar signals from which it was made. That recording, called a sonar log, acts as a truth source, in that it shows the QC Team the same display you saw on your sonar screen on your boat while recording your map-making data. Upon seeing a telltale visual indicator of a transducer anomaly causing bad data, a QC Team pro can delete the incorrect portion of the dataset, ensuring that your map will not include incorrect contour lines in the area. While the culling of bad data can leave a small gap in your map, it’s easy to drive back over that spot the next time you’re on the water and fill in the blank. You can then merge the sonar data from your follow-up trip with data from your original trip, resulting in a more complete, more accurate fishing map.

DSC00083Without employing real, live, trained QC professionals to sit in your boat and watch your graph for bad data as you drive, a depth-mapping program can’t deliver quick returns with sacrificing quality. And fast food will never taste as fine as filet mignon.





Save $300 on select Lowrance Elite CHIRP sonar/GPS units

Elite9-CHIRPReady to upgrade from your old, outdated fish-finder and enjoy the benefits of DownScan Imaging and the custom map-making features of Insight Genesis? Now’s the time! Lowrance is offering as much as $300 savings* on select Elite CHIRP sonar/GPS units.

Insight Genesis is the innovative software service anglers use to make custom one-foot contour maps of un-mapped bodies of water, improve contour detail on previously mapped waters, and to find fish-holding bottom structure not charted on off-the shelf maps, including reefs and shoals, sunken islands and holes, humps and hard-bottom areas, drains and ditches. Insight Genesis custom contour maps display on Lowrance Elite sonar/GPS units in the same dazzling blue-scale color palette available on HDS Gen2 and Gen3 units and in online displays.

Insight Genesis custom contour maps display on Lowrance Elite sonar/GPS units in the same dazzling blue-scale color palette available on HDS Gen2 and Gen3 units and in online displays.

Elite CHIRP units feature an easy-to-use, color display with CHIRP sonar plus DownScan Imaging technology and proven Lowrance chart-plotting capabilities. Along with a detailed built-in U.S. base map, the Elite CHIRP series is compatible with an expansive selection of cartography options available at, including Insight Genesis, Lake Insight®, Nautic Insight, C-Map by Jeppesen Max-N charts. Elite CHIRP units run Navionics+ chips as well.

Retail prices have been reduced on these Elite CHIRP models:

  • Elite-9 CHIRP
  • Elite-9x CHIRP
  • Elite-7 CHIRP
  • Elite-7x CHIRP
  • Elite-5 CHIRP
  • Elite-5x CHIRP

For more information about the Elite CHIRP series, including a complete pricing list, visit: Lowrance Elite Series page HERE:

* Applicable only for purchases made in the United States and Canada.

Enhance your marine route planning and waypoint management with new Insight Planner features

Insight-Planner-Front-Cover_logo Insight-Planner_on-laptopRecent updates to Insight Planner, the ultimate low-cost and highly effective marine-planning PC software, allow cruisers, sailors, anglers and other boaters to display and create custom maps that combine raster charts, hi-res bathymetric charts, custom-shaded contour charts and satellite-photo overlays.

If you’re not using Insight Planner, you’re lacking a powerful tool to enhance your marine mapping, waypoint management, and route planning for your Lowrance, Simrad or B&G sonar/GPS units. Download Insight Planner HERE. Learn to use Insight Planner HERE.

With Insight Planner, you can overlay Insight maps on your chart screen and set up split-screen displays for viewing multiple charts from different supported formats at different zoom levels. That gives you the capability to plot routes across multiple charts for verification, accuracy and safety. Continue reading

Mapping pioneer wins Lowrance HDS Gen3 in 2015 Insight Genesis Canada Challenge

Jason Behm of Massey, Ontario, won the 2015 Insight Genesis Canada Challenge. In this photo, he is displaying a fish he caught on bottom structure he found with Insight Genesis mapping.

In a close competition, Jason Behm of Massey, Ontario, won the 2015 Insight Genesis Canada Challenge, sponsored by Lowrance, GoFree and The Fishin’ Hole retail stores. For mapping the most acres of lake bottoms in Canada with GoFree’s Insight Genesis custom-mapping technology between June and September, Behm has won a Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 sonar/GPS unit and LSS Structure Scan transducer.

“Thanks Insight Genesis!” Behm said. “In my area, lake maps are few and far between, so scanning and creating your own charts with Insight Genesis is great. You can cover your favorite spots and find new ones to fish.”

Canada-Challenge-logo-screengrabOn the Canadian Shield, “where most lakes are full of rock shoals,” Behm says, “a good map helps you to avoid expensive motor repairs or bad accidents.” Insight Genesis maps also help you catch more and bigger fish.

“I have mapped some old favorite fishing spots to see what makes them great and now I can see why and fish those spots more effectively,” Behm explains.  “You can see the shoals, drop offs and the elusive mid-lake humps, and know the shape and size of them, as well as where your boat is in relation to them, which helps you make the right cast.”

Not only is Insight Genesis a great tool for finding and catching more fish, Behm says, it’s easy to use. Continue reading

GoFree helps SeaNav go hands free

SeaNav-iconPocket Mariner’s GoFree-enabled, Apple Watch-integrated SeaNav AR app brings to your wrist live course, layline and buoy information to aid navigation, as well as AIS targets and Simrad, Lowrance and B&G waypoints.

“So you can be anywhere on your boat, up to 10 meters away, and just glance at your wrist and see your speed, course, distance to next waypoint, time to next waypoint and AIS targets, among other things,” explains Steve Bennett, CEO of Pocket Mariner, developer of the SeaNav AR app. “It gives you more leisure time, so you can relax on your boat without having to be in front of your instruments the whole time.”

SeaNav’s Apple Watch integration and augmented reality camera view can use a GoFree wireless connection to pull info from Simrad NSS/NSO evo2, Lowrance HDS Gen2 and Gen3, and B&G Zeus2 multifunction displays. GoFree’s open-development platform allows 3rd parties like SeaNav and others to develop apps to make the most  of wireless connectivity to Simrad, Lowrance and B&G units. Continue reading

Pro tip: Map all the spots you graph in tournament practice

When you graph potential hot spots in practice for a fishing tournament, you should also map them and waypoint every fish you catch and/or shake-off. Overlaying your waypoints on the Insight Genesis bottom-hardness and vegetation layers will help clue you in on a productive pattern and allow you to run that pattern faster and more precisely.


Insight Genesis is GoFree’s innovative software service that anglers use to make custom one-foot contour maps of un-mapped bodies of water, improve contour detail on previously mapped waters, and to find fish-holding bottom structure not charted on off-the shelf maps, including reefs and shoals, sunken islands and holes, humps and hard-bottom areas, drains and ditches. GoFree, Navico’s newest brand, offers digital marine maps, including Insight Genesis, Lake Insight HD, Lake Insight Pro and others. Continue reading

How to use custom depth shading for Insight Genesis charts of coastal/deeper water

Coastal_Custom_shading-Before-After-COLLAGESetting custom-colored depth ranges makes it easier to use Insight Genesis charts of coastal and other deeper waters. This article will teach you how.

By default, Insight Genesis maps shade deeper water dark blue and shallow water lighter blue. In most use cases – especially in fresh water – this default depth shading works fantastic for anglers and other boaters. In coastal waters, fjords and extremely deep reservoirs, however, the palette of blue shading is often spread so thin between the deepest water and the shallowest water that the shallower areas of interest to anglers and other boaters are often shaded a seemingly monochromatic pale blue, to almost white-looking, across a wide depth range — as shown in the image below. Continue reading