Q: I want to buy a Lowrance unit to run AEM maps - which do you recommend?
This is somewhat of a loaded question that depends on your budget among other things. We are huge advocates of Lowrance's Elite Ti2 chartplotters and feel they offer the best value in chartplotters from any manufacturer. You'll spend a bit more on an Elite-Ti2 than you will on (for example) a Hook Reveal, but if your budget permits, you'll be much better off with the Ti2. The touch screen interface makes them extremely user friendly, along with a very intuitive menu structure and good processing power which results in smooth rendering of AEM maps when panning/zooming or traveling at speed. They can be networked wirelessly and via NMEA, have WIFI capability to enable quick and easy software updates as well as remote control via a phone or tablet (permitting extension of your display to a 2nd device that can be located elsewhere on the boat). There are certainly added capabilities that HDS Live units have above the Elite Ti2's, but we still feel the Ti2's pack the most value for the price.
p.s. the touch screens work fine in the cold. We've been using them on snowmobiles and ATV's for years for ice fishing applications.
Q: Do your Digital Maps work on Humminbird chartplotters?
No, our Digital Maps are NOT compatible with Humminbird (or Garmin) chartplotters. They are only compatible with modern Lowrance (and Simrad) sonars - for a list of compatible models, please refer to the Digital Maps page. If you have a lot of money invested in non-compatible electronics, but are interested in using our maps, purchasing a small Lowrance unit only for chart display might be an attractive option. The Hook Reveal 5 is the unit we would currently recommend for the previously described situation.
Q: Which Lowrance units are compatible with AEM maps?
AEM digital maps are compatible with the following Lowrance chartplotters:
- HDS Button models, Gen 1 & 2
- HDS-5, HDS-7, HDS-8, HDS-10
- HDS Touch models, Gen 2, 3, Carbon & Live
- HDS-7, HDS-9, HDS-12, HDS-16
- Elite Models
- Elite-4 Chirp/HDI, Elite-5M, Elite-5 Chirp/HDI, Elite-5TI, Elite-7 Chirp/HDI, Elite-7 Ti & Ti2, Elite-9 Chirp, Elite-9, Elite-9 Ti & Ti2, Elite-12Ti & Ti2, + All "Ice Machine" versions
- Hook models
- Hook-4, Hook-5, Hook-7, Hook-9
- Hook2 Models
- Hook2-5, Hook2-7 Hook2-9, Hook2-12
- Hook Reveal models
- Hook Reveal 5, Hook Reveal 7, Hook Reveal 9
- Note: AEM maps are not compatible with any units having an 'x' suffix (example: Hook2-7x). 'x' suffix models have no chartplotting capabilities.
- Note: Special chips compatible with Elite 5, Elite 5 DSI & Elite 4 units available on request, contact us directly (requires non-standard 1gb or 2gb chip)
Q: I don’t fish, can I still buy a map for my cottage?
Sure you can. While we initially designed our maps with anglers in mind, our feedback suggests that non-fishermen appreciate the printed maps for aesthetic reasons.
Q: I’m colour blind, can you make print maps with different colours?
Q: Where do I find my digital map chip's serial number?
Your serial number is printed on the reverse of the microSD card. You will need to remove it from the SD adapter.
Q: Can you map my lake (Lake “X”)? How long will it take?
We can. As for how long it takes, that depends on the lake.Typically, several days of dedicated survey is required even for a small lake with moderate structure. Please complete the form on the requests page, and it will be considered as a future project.
Q: When will your Lake of the Woods coverage be complete?
To be determined. It is our intention to continually chip away at LOTW and release new chunks each year. The sheer size of this body means we have to watch the weather forecast and carefully pick our days to survey for safety reasons. It is also likely the most structure-laden lake in our region which makes surveying to our high standards even more time intensive. Still, we hope that this strategy will provide customers with something to look forward to on subsequent year's chips. Note that we currently anticipate coverage being limited to the Northern portion of the lake.
Q: When will the Shoal Lake map be complete?
To be determined. It is our intention to continually chip away at Shoal and release new chunks each year. The sheer size of this body means we have to watch the weather forecast and carefully pick our days to survey for safety reasons. It is also likely the most structure-laden lake in our region which makes surveying to our high standards even more time intensive. Still, we hope that this strategy will provide customers with something to look forward to on subsequent year's chips.
Q: I understand you're in the process of mapping more lakes. Do you offer an upgrade program?
Yes, we are in the process of releasing maps of many additional lakes. Our on-the-water surveys are conducted during the open-water season. Based on the data collected, we typically release some "ice-centric" content in late fall, and then more again the following spring. Upgrades are our way of offering existing AEM users access to the newest data without needing to buy a whole new chip. For example, if you purchase 'Whiteshell 2020' and we subsequently add more content between 2020 and 2021 following which you decide that you would like to upgrade it, you will be able to upgrade to Whiteshell 2021 OR Complete Catalog 2021. Costs will be proportional to the amount of new mapped content, plus a small processing fee associated with reprogramming the map card. For full details on the upgrade process, visit our upgrades page.
Q: How do I read your maps? What do the colours mean?
We use colours to depict depth variation – on our print maps a scale bar is included on each map to explain the scheme used for that map. We use a ROYGBIV gradient that ranges from red (shallow) to violet (deep). We also label contour lines, include a compass (North up), and a horizontal scale bar. Spend five minutes using one of our Digital Maps and you will be good to go.
Q: Are you sure there is a reef there (looking at map)? I’ve owned my cottage for 25 years and didn’t know that.
We’re sure. :)
Q: How will a bathymetric map help me catch fish?
We could go on at length here, but in a nutshell…fish tend not to be randomly distributed in any waterbody. As the old saying goes: “90% of the fish are in 10% of the water”. Our maps reveal fish-holding structure (reefs, points, flats, etc.), and functional aspects of habitat. For example, two reefs might be identical in size and shape, but one might be a far better walleye spot in mid-summer because of the deep-water located nearby.