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Nautical Charts

Death Knell for NOAA Traditional Paper Nautical Charts

Chartwork old-style: Photo courtesy of NOAA

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts. Starting April 13, 2014, the federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts .  NOAA will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including Print-on-Demand paper charts as well as electronic and digital formats. Since 1862, those lithographic nautical charts -- available in marine shops and other stores -- have been printed by the U.S. government and sold to the public by commercial vendors. The decision to stop production is based on several factors: the declining demand for lithographic charts, the increasing use of digital and electronic charts, and federal budget realities. “Like most other mariners, I grew up on NOAA lithographic charts and have used them for years,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “We know that changing chart formats and availability will be a difficult change for some mariners who love their traditional paper charts.” “With the end of traditional paper charts, our primary concern continues to be making sure that boaters, fishing vessels, and commercial mariners have access to the most accurate, up-to-date nautical chart in a format that works well for them,” said Capt. Shep Smith, chief of Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division


Displaced features on nautical chart

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) issued a Hydrolant stating that, due to a production problem that caused displaced features, NIMA has determined that digital nautical chart CD15 (Gulf of Mexico/Straits of Florida) is not to be used for navigation or situational awareness. A NIMA review is in process to address this situation. (Source: HK Law)


Online Chart Viewer from NOAA

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, surveys and charts U.S. waters, producing over 1,000 traditional nautical charts 3.4m sq. nautical miles. Carriage of NOAA charts is mandatory on the commercial ships that carry our commerce. They are used on every Navy and Coast Guard ship, fishing and passenger vessels. On July 4, NOAA introduced a new public service called the Online Chart Viewer. The Viewer lets mariners display any nautical chart in the national suite using only


New Edition of U.S. Chart No. 1 Available

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U.S. Chart No.1, Nautical Chart Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms, is an essential aid for new chart users and a useful reference for all mariners. The latest version, Edition 11, is now available for free download from the web.   The new edition updates the descriptions and depictions of the basic nautical chart elements and symbols used on nautical charts produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)


Chart Agent, ECS Provider, Move Office

The New Office: Photo credit Chartworld

ChartWorld & SevenCs have moved offices to the heart of Hamburg opposite the BSH (German Hydrographic Office). “As the companies are growing, we now have enough space to accommodate the team now and in the future. The new office and its location are a big step forward for us and will help us to ensure high quality products and services to our customers.” Jochen Rudolph, Managing Director, comments.


NOAA Updates Cobscook Bay Area Chart

Northern Maine vessels will be able to navigate more safely around the dangerous Cobscook Bay thanks to an updated version of the area's nautical chart issued by NOAA. The latest chart includes a new detailed illustration-called a "chart inset"-of the waters around Falls Island, providing safer passage for mariners who transit those waters.  While NOAA cartographers had updated Chart 13394 (Grand Manan Channel) over the past several years


Offshore Systems Awarded New Geomatics Contracts

Offshore Systems International Ltd. (OSI) announced that its nautical charting and land-mapping division, OSI Geomatics, has received new orders worth more than CDN$1,500,000. The group of orders span the end of the company's third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter. "Our data production division continues to make excellent progress," said John Jacobson, OSI's President and CEO, "and we're pleased with its growing contribution to OSI's overall business


NOAA Finalizes Plans for 2011 Survey Season

As the new year approaches, NOAA ships and independent contractors are preparing for the nation’s 177th hydrographic surveying season, aiming to collect critically needed ocean and coastal mapping data for 2,525 square nautical miles in high-traffic coastal waters of the continental United States and Alaska.   “The science of these surveys underpins the steady flow of commerce and the safety of mariners and coastal communities,” said NOAA Corps Capt. John E


NOAA’s Newest Chart to Support Puerto Rico Maritime Economy

The Port of San Juan, which is experiencing a tremendous growth of maritime traffic and planning for more, received an additional economic boost today when NOAA debuted a new nautical chart that will make ocean-going vessel traffic safer and more efficient through San Juan Bay and the port area.  “There is not only more traffic, but larger vessels are making San Juan their port call,” said Capt. John Lowell, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey


Arctic Marine Survey Work: NOAA & Coastguard Join Hands

Installing survey monitors cutter Spar: Photo courtesy of NOAA

With 3.4 million square nautical miles of U.S. waters to survey and chart, Coast Survey is up against some big challenges in keeping nautical charts current, consequently NOAA joins hands with the US Coast Guard to provide the best possible safety service to shipping. With the Alaskan coast comprising 57% of the U.S. navigationally significant waters, a multi-agency partnership for hydro survey data is necessary for maritime safety.


NOAA's Paper Charts are here to Stay

Rear Adm. Gerd Glang certifies a new print-on-demand chart agent after inspecting the companys sample chart. (Photo: NOAA)

New certified printing agents bring buying options It won't be long before mariners and the boating public will have a wider choice of options and special services when they purchase NOAA paper nautical charts, thanks to NOAA's expanded "print-on-demand" chart production and


UPDATE -Survivors still alive on South Korean ferry

Several people appear to have survived in an air pocket of a capsized South Korean ferry, the father of one of the school children aboard the boat told a Reuters reporter accompanying families out to the scene of the disaster on Thursday. About 290 people are still missing out of 450 passengers


NOAA Certifies More Printing Agents

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The availability of paper "print-on-demand" nautical charts continues to expand, as NOAA's Office of Coast Survey has added three more printing companies to its roster of certified agents for paper charts. Today's action brings the total to ten companies authorized to sell NOAA nautical


NOAA Begins Hydrographic Survey Season

Photo courtesy of NOAA

New data will update nautical charts around the country. As sure as spring arrives, NOAA vessels and independent contractors are hitting the seas for the nation's 180th hydrographic surveying season, collecting data for over two thousand square nautical miles in high-traffic U.S. coastal waters


Raytheon Demo Advanced Maritime Radar in Australia

Raytheon Company completes test and demonstration flights of the SeaVue XMC (eXpanded Mission Capability) maritime surveillance radar in Australia. The SeaVue XMC maritime surveillance radar's innovative features provide both radar and mission system advanced capabilities


NOAA: End of Traditional Paper Nautical Charts

Most mariners now use Print-on-Demand nautical charts that are up-to-date to the moment of printing. (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of over a thousand nautical charts of U.S. coastal waters, announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts. Starting April 13


ARGUS & Sailing the NOAA's 'Magenta Line'

Mile Marker 365 of the ICW: Image credit SURVICE

SURVICE Engineering comments on NOAA Federal Register Notice - Intracoastal Waterway Route “Magenta Line” on NOAA Nautical Charts, with reference to the company's ARGUS project, as follows: SURVICE Engineering respectfully suggests that the magenta line is a prime example of


Tell NOAA If You Think the IWR Still Needs the 'Magenta Route'

NOAA Chart 11489 shows the so-called magenta line: Image courtesy of NOAA

If you are a recreational boater, fisherman, or another member of the maritime community, NOAA's Office of Coast Survey wants to pick your brain about the "magenta line," which historically depicted the recommended route for the Intracoastal Waterway Route (IWR) on NOAA nautical charts


TeamSurv Ocean Survey Project Boosted

TeamSurv logo

TeamSurv, the crowd sourcing project to create better nautical charts, has won support and endorsement from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC). TeamSurv has won a call by ESA to enter their Business Incubation Centre (BIC) at Harwell, Oxford


NOAA Updates New York Harbor Charts Post-Sandy

A NOAA Coast Survey team collected post-Sandy depth measurements in New York Harbor last spring

Ships, barges, ferries, and recreational boats in the busy New York Harbor will be able to navigate more safely thanks to an updated version of the harbor’s nautical chart recently issued by NOAA that includes data gathered in the navigational response to the damage caused by Sandy in


No Fear, NOAA Paper Charts Still Near

Chart lithography c. 1908: Photo courtesy of NOAA

The announcement that the federal government will stop bulk lithographic printing of nautical charts brought some understandable angst, however NOAA say they may be changing the chart production process but they will NOT stop the production of paper charts.


Lynch Takes Helm of NOAA’s Atlantic Fleet

Anne K. Lynch

NOAA Capt. Anne K. Lynch has assumed command of the agency's Marine Operations Center-Atlantic in Norfolk, Va., which manages the day-to-day operations of the nine research and survey ships in NOAA's Atlantic fleet. Each year these ships conduct dozens of missions to assess fish and marine


Coast Survey to Resove Magenta Line Issues

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The Office of Coast Survey has announced that future editions of nautical charts of the Intracoastal Waterway will be updated to include an improved "magenta line" that has historically aided navigation down the East Coast and around the Gulf Coast


NOAA Nautical Charts Now Permanently Free

NOAA’s newest addition to the nautical charting portfolio is the new Portable Document Format (PDF) nautical chart, which provides up-to-date navigation information in this universally available file type. The image above is of the Gulf Coast - Key West to Mississippi River. (Credit: NOAA)

After a three-month trial period, PDF versions of NOAA nautical charts will become a permanent product, free to the public. The free PDFs, which are digital images of traditional nautical charts, are especially valued by recreational boaters who use them to plan sailing routes and fishing trips


Walker Wreck Added to Historic Places Register

An 1852 painting of the Robert J. Walker by W.A. K. Martin. Courtesy of The Mariners Museum

NOAA announced that the wreck of the ship USCS Robert J. Walker, a steamer that served in the U.S. Coast Survey, a predecessor agency of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Walker served as survey ship


 
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