When we talked to the folks at SkyVector.com at Oshkosh, they promised big improvements were coming. If you’ve never made a visit, the site supplies digital VFR sectional and IFR enroute charts of the United States that look great, are super easy to use and, best of all, are completely free. Now, SkyVector has expanded its coverage exponentially by unveiling worldwide charts.
In development for years, SkyVector’s world charts will be refreshed every 28 days with updated aeronautical data, just like U.S. charts. The world charts come in three styles: “sectional-style” VFR charts for use at low levels, “World Low” for low-altitude IFR enroute charts, and “World Hi” for high-altitude enroute charts.
Just like charts for the U.S., which have been seamlessly stitched together, SkyVector’s world topographical and aeronautical data have been sourced and assembled in a very high quality rendering. The downside is they are for use online only, and not for navigation. You can't load them in an app or print them out and bring them in the airplane, but they're great for very early stage planning, before you fire up your preferred flight-planning app and really plan out your route.
Along with the rollout of the new charts, additional weather overlay products are also now available a SkyVector.com, including Airmets, Sigmets, TFRs, and radar and satellite imagery.
Because the world charts are still a work in progress, SkyVector is calling them Beta for now, and is asking for user input to help fix any bugs. Also, it's important to note that unlike ForeFlight, Garmin, Jeppesen and others, SkyVector is not an official source of flight information and therefore should not be used for navigation.