FAA Releases Easier-to-Read Digital Charts

New process is easier on the eyes.

Sectional Charts

Sectional Charts

Last week at Sun 'n Fun ForeFlight co-founder and CEO Tyson Weihs gave Robert Goyer and me a preview of the latest enhancements and upgrades available for the popular mobile app. The first thing we noticed was how much crisper the VFR sectional chart on Tyson's iPad mini looked — and it wasn't due to the Apple's retina display. Instead, the display looks better because the FAA has started creating digital charts from scratch instead of scanning the old paper charts. And though ForeFlight provided input to the FAA to help it make the switch, the sharper digitized charts are now available to all app makers and online content providers.

Tyson explained that the new digital-Visual Chart (d-VC) product is created directly from the FAA's digital charting files, making text more legible and airspace boundaries on the charts easier to see. The process is being applied to all FAA digital maps including IFR low enroute charts. A side benefit of the new and improved charts is more accurate geo-referencing as well as chart download files that are about 7 percent smaller overall.

For a quick look at the new digital charts, pull up the latest version of ForeFight on your mobile device, or head over to Skyvector.com and judge for yourself just how much better they look.

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