News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

NOAA Plans to Stop Producing Traditional Paper Charts

Date Posted: 2019-11-18
Source: Maritime Executive

Editor's Note: This move was first announced on October 22, 2013. See the story on the NOAA website.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is seeking public feedback on its five-year program to end all raster and paper nautical chart production. Ultimately, production of all NOAA paper nautical charts, raster navigational charts (NOAA RNC), and related products, such as BookletCharts, will cease.

Feedback from chart users and companies that provide products and services based on NOAA raster and electronic navigational chart (NOAA ENC) products will help shape the manner and timing in which the sunsetting process will proceed. Comments are due by midnight, Feb. 1, and can be submitted through NOAA’s ASSIST feedback tool here, or mailed to: National Ocean Service, NOAA (NCS2), ATTN Sunset of Raster Charts, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282.

On Friday, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Coast Survey announced plans to phase out the production of all traditional paper nautical charts.

Over the next five years, NOAA says that it plans to transition to electronic chart (ENC) products with a focus on improving data consistency and providing larger scale ENC coverage. This process includes replacing 1,200 irregular ENC cells on 130 different scales with a standardized grid system and set of 12 standard scales. It is expected to significantly improve the level of detail and consistency in NOAA's ENCs.

As it reorients its efforts towards electronic products, NOAA will gradually shut down services associated with traditional paper charts, including full-size chart PDFs, print-on-demand paper charts and NOAA raster charts (RNCs). The phase-out will start in mid- to late-2020 and be completed by January 2025.  

NOAA will still provide access to paper chart products based on ENC data, either through third-party vendors or through the NOAA Custom Chart system (now in prototype phase). The online NOAA Custom Chart (NCC) application lets users create their own paper charts with NOAA ENC data. The user can define the scale and size of custom-made nautical charts, then download them in a special PDF format.

Read the full story.

  • Comment submitted by George kay - Wed, Nov 20th

    i think that doing away with paper charts is a mistake.Having them as a security blanket is to me a must.when the electronics go boy are they handy.

    george kay

    Past Commander US Power Squadron

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