National Charting Plan - National Oceanic and Atmospheric

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National Charting Plan - National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Transcript Of National Charting Plan - National Oceanic and Atmospheric

ANNEX A – QUICK USAGE GUIDE FOR NOAA CHARTS

National Charting Plan
A Strategy to Transform Nautical Charting
February 28, 2017

Office of Coast Survey Marine Chart Division

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CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................................... 5

INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................... 6
Purpose and Organization of the National Charting Plan..............................................................................................................................6 Rationale for Change.....................................................................................................................................................................................6

USER FEEDBACK ............................................................................................................. 7
How to Provide Comments on this Charting Plan .........................................................................................................................................7

PART I – PRESENT STATE OF NAUTICAL CHART PRODUCTION...............................................8

MARITIME REGULATIONS AND NAUTICAL CHART SPECIFICATIONS .........................................8
Carriage Requirements for SOLAS Vessels ....................................................................................................................................................8 USCG Carriage Requirements for Inspected Vessels .....................................................................................................................................9 International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Specifications .....................................................................................................................9

NOAA CHART CUSTOMERS ............................................................................................. 10

NAUTICAL CHART PRODUCTS.......................................................................................... 10
Raster and Vector Chart Formats................................................................................................................................................................10 Charts Meeting IMO and USCG Carriage Requirements .............................................................................................................................11 General Use (non-carriage) Nautical Chart Products and Services..............................................................................................................12 Online Chart Viewers ..................................................................................................................................................................................13 Sources of Data used to Maintain Charts....................................................................................................................................................14

CHART

DISTRIBUTION ................................................................................................... 15
Free Download of all NOAA Chart Products ................................................................................................................................................15 NOAA Paper Nautical Charts .......................................................................................................................................................................15 ENC Distributors..........................................................................................................................................................................................15 NOAA RNC Tile Service................................................................................................................................................................................15

PART II – THE TRANSFORMATION OF NAUTICAL CHART PRODUCTION................................. 16

NEW

EDITION CHARTS AND CHART UPDATES .................................................................... 16
Prioritization of New Chart Source Data .....................................................................................................................................................16 New Editions of Paper Charts......................................................................................................................................................................16 NOAA Chart Updates Viewer ......................................................................................................................................................................17 ENC and RNC Chart Updates and New Editions ..........................................................................................................................................17

IMPROVING CHART CONTENT ......................................................................................... 17
Normalizing ENC Depth Contours ...............................................................................................................................................................17 Metrification of ENC and Raster Charts ......................................................................................................................................................18 Reducing Unwarranted ECDIS Alarms and Isolated Danger Symbolization .................................................................................................19 Channel Tabulations ...................................................................................................................................................................................19

IMPROVING CHARTS SCHEMES ....................................................................................... 21
Standardizing Scales....................................................................................................................................................................................23 ENC-Only Charts..........................................................................................................................................................................................24 Improving Chart Coverage for Small Craft...................................................................................................................................................24 Partnering with Industry .............................................................................................................................................................................25

IMPROVING CHART PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY................................................................... 26
Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Data for Ship Channels ..........................................................................................................................26 U.S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Data...................................................................................................................................................26

VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF THE NAUTICAL CHARTING ...................................................... 26
The End of Raster Nautical Charts (Sunset of Paper Charts) .......................................................................................................................26 New Nautical Products................................................................................................................................................................................27

OPEN DATA AND MARINE SPATIAL DATA INFRASTRUCTURE ................................................ 27
Open Data and Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure.....................................................................................................................................27 Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure .............................................................................................................................................................27

ANNEX A – QUICK USAGE GUIDE FOR NOAA CHARTS ......................................................... 29

ANNEX B – CURRENT RASTER SCALES AND ENC NAVIGATIONAL USAGE BANDS ...................... 30

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Office of Coast Survey extends its thanks to these individuals who helped write and edit this document:

Guillaume Auclert Mike Brown John Barber Kristen Crossett Mark Griffin

Colby Harmon Joel Harrington Lucy Hick Rachel Medley

John Nyberg Shachak Peeri Amanda Phelps Julia Powell

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INTRODUCTION

The U.S. Coast Survey was established in 1807 to provide nautical charts to help the young nation with safe shipping, national defense, and maritime boundaries. Two centuries later, Coast Survey – now an office within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – continues to provide navigational products and services that ensure safe navigation and efficient maritime commerce on America’s ocean and coastal waters, and in the Great Lakes. This comprises an area of about 3.4 million square nautical miles and 95,000 miles of coastline.

Purpose and Organization of the National Charting Plan
This plan describes a strategy to make comprehensive improvements across the entire suite of NOAA nautical chart products. Changes to individual charts are not a part of this plan. The evolving state of marine navigation and nautical chart production has provided NOAA with opportunities to improve the content and utility of its charts.

Some changes have already begun, such as improving the portrayal of wrecks on electronic navigational charts. Other changes, such as the possible conversion of charted depths from feet and fathoms to meters, are being evaluated. Users are encouraged to provide their thoughts about all the changes discussed in the plan using one of the feedback methods described on the next page.

Mariners, boaters, navigation system developers, value-added data providers, and other users will be interested in learning about the services and products that will be changed or discontinued, and the introduction of completely new products and services optimized for modern technology and techniques.

Part I describes the current set of NOAA nautical chart products and their distribution. Part II describes some of the steps we are taking to improve those products, including changes to chart formats, scales, data compilation, and symbology. At the end of Part II, some thoughts are presented about the long-term future of NOAA navigational products.

Rationale for Change

The first complete nautical chart published by the Coast Survey was of New York Harbor in 1844. The format, information, and intended uses of this chart were quite similar to the raster charts that NOAA continues to make today. Mariners continue to plot courses on paper charts in much the same way they did in the age of tall sailing ships.

Although NOAA still produces "traditional" raster nautical charts, a sea change in chart production methods and the art of navigation began in the mid-1990s when Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and electronic navigational charts (ENCs) became available to the public.

Since the introduction of ENCs thirty years ago, the size of commercial vessels has increased more than four-fold and modern navigational systems have become more sophisticated. There are over 15 million recreational boats in the U.S. and recreational boaters have joined professional mariners in using electronic chart displays to ply the nation's waters. Users of all types are expecting improved ease of access to more precise, higher resolution charts that deliver the most up to date information possible.

Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division has developed a number of strategies to meet this growing demand for greater performance in our products and services, which are presented in this plan. We are confident that the actions outlined here will deliver products that are more useful, up-to-date, and will enhance the safety of navigation.

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USER FEEDBACK
Professional mariners, recreational boaters, data providers, navigational equipment manufacturers, and other users of NOAA charts are invited to review and comment on the National Charting Plan. The plan may be downloaded from the Office of Coast Survey website at https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/docs/NationalChartingPlan.pdf.
How to Provide Comments on this Charting Plan You are invited to comment on the National Charting Plan through NOAA's Nautical Discrepancy Report System at http://ocsdata.ncd.noaa.gov/idrs/discrepancy.aspx
• Enter your e-mail address in the boxes provided. • The form below will be displayed.

• In the “OTHER PRODUCTS” box, enter “NCP.” • Enter your comments, suggestions or questions in the “DESCRIPTION OF DISCREPANCY” box or you
may attach a .doc, .docx, .pdf, or .txt format file with your comments using the “Choose File” and “Upload File” buttons. • Click on the “Submit This Discrepancy” button to complete your submission.

Feedback may also be sent to:

National Ocean Service, NOAA (N/CS2) ATTN: National Charting Plan 1315 East West Highway Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282

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PART I – Present State of Nautical Chart Production
MARITIME REGULATIONS AND NAUTICAL CHART SPECIFICATIONS
Coast Survey chart products meet strict chart production and updating requirements for charts that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) require on large commercial vessels, such as tankers, bulk carriers, container and cruise ships, as well as smaller vessels, such as tugs, barges, and ferries. These products are said to meet “carriage requirements,” that is, they meet the IMO and USCG requirements for charts that must be carried on many commercial vessels. Coast Survey has developed a Nautical Chart Manual, which serves as the raster chart product specification and ENC encoding guide for NOAA. Much of the chart manual is based on the International Hydrographic Organization’s (IHO) standards and specifications for nautical charts and electronic navigational charts.
Carriage Requirements for SOLAS Vessels Ships that must comply with the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) include passenger ships on international voyages and non-passenger ships of 500 gross tons or more on international voyages. In 2012, the IMO adopted regulations that will make use of sophisticated navigation equipment, called an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), mandatory on certain SOLAS class vessels by July 2018.1 All but the oldest cargo ships are already required to use ECDIS; the schedule for the use of ECDIS by SOLAS ships of different types and gross tonnage (GT) is in Figure 1.

Figure 1 – ECDIS Implementation Schedule

1 IMO amendment to Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Chapter V regulation 19.2.

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This means that all large SOLAS class ships will soon stop using paper charts as the primary means of navigation and start using an ECDIS to display the electronic navigational charts produced by NOAA in the United States and by other national charting agencies in other countries. ENCs and other raster chart products are described in Section 5, “NOAA Chart Products,” below.
USCG Carriage Requirements for Inspected Vessels Until recently, U.S. flagged vessels engaged in domestic voyages and subject to USCG inspections were required to navigate with paper charts. In February 2016, the USCG released requirements2 for the use of electronic charts and publications. These requirements allow vessels subject to USCG inspections to use ENCs in lieu of paper charts if they are using an Electronic Chart System (ECS) that meets specific performance requirements. Although not required, more and more commercial mariners and recreational boaters are choosing to forsake the use of paper charts, which they must update manually through hand-drafted corrections, and are navigating with an ECS or other “chart plotter.” NOAA provides weekly updates of its ENC and RNC products used by these systems. Coast Survey has anticipated this shift from paper to digital charts and is working to improve ENC content and coverage so it will ultimately become the product of choice for all mariners and boaters. Many of these improvements, described in Part II of this plan, will also enhance raster charts.
International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Specifications The IHO is an intergovernmental consultative and technical organization that supports safety of navigation and the protection of the marine environment. One of its functions is to foster the greatest possible uniformity in nautical charts and documents produced throughout the world. Coast Survey has long held active roles in IHO activities to develop and maintain product specifications for the content and format of paper charts, ENCs, and RNCs. NOAA plays a significant role in the development and maintenance of many IHO standards and specifications. The ones most closely related to raster and vector nautical chart production include the following:
S-4 Regulations for International (INT) Charts and Chart Specifications of the IHO S-52 Specifications for Chart Content and Display Aspects of ECDIS S-57 IHO Transfer Standard for Digital Hydrographic Data (“S-57 ENC product specification”) S-61 Product Specification for Raster Navigational Charts (RNC) S-100 IHO Universal Hydrographic Data Model S-101 Electronic Navigational Chart Product Specification
2 Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 01-16, which provided uniform requirements for the use of electronic charts and publications for U.S. Flagged Vessels engaged in domestic voyages.
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NOAA Chart Customers
Paper nautical charts were originally created for an élite group of commercial and government users. In fact, nautical charts were considered state secrets during the age of exploration in the 15th Century. Similarly, the product specification for electronic navigational charts was developed for a select group of mariners, those sailing large commercial vessels on international voyages. Now, nautical charts are available to anyone in a variety of paper and electronic formats that are used for many purposes. Coast Survey strives to support a growing group of customers, which includes the following: • Professional mariners sailing aboard or supporting IMO regulated SOLAS vessels3 • Professional mariners sailing aboard or supporting USCG inspected vessels4 • U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA and other government vessels • Pilots and port authorities • Recreational boaters • Manufacturers of navigational systems for commercial vessels and recreational boaters • Third-party value-added data providers • Federal, state and local government agencies • Other users of nautical data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
NAUTICAL CHART PRODUCTS
Raster and Vector Chart Formats Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division maintains over one thousand charts in two digital formats, raster and vector. Both formats depict the same information: shoreline, man-made features, depths, buoys and other aids to navigation, rocks, wrecks and other dangers to navigation, anchorages, limits of regulated areas, vessel traffic separation schemes, and many other features. The raster format is a digital picture of a chart that uses rows of color pixels to portray “traditional paper chart” symbology when rendered on a computer screen or printed on paper (see Figure 2.a). The chart information is compiled at a specific scale and the representation is fixed in place. A chart in vector format is distributed as a database of points, lines and polygons, which may be displayed in a navigation system in a variety of symbology styles. Figure 2.b shows “simplified” symbology used in an ECDIS. Vector charts enable the display or suppression of specific types of features and querying of the vector database to obtain additional information about the features shown.
3 Ships that must comply with the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) include passenger ships engaged on international voyages and non-passenger ships of 500 gross tons or more engaged on international voyages. 4 The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) defines which vessels are regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard. These include, with some exceptions, self-propelled vessels of 1,600 or more gross tons and towing vessels of 12 meters or more in length operating in the navigable waters of the United States other than the St. Lawrence Seaway.
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