Nautical charts are the roadmaps of the oceans, but interpreting them can be daunting to the uninitiated. A new series of three educational posters, available free from the Web, simply explains concepts and components that form the basis for understanding nautical charts. The posters also bring life to nautical charts, illustrating their role in safe navigation for mariners and for critical habitat.
The posters – displaying charts of the Northeast Coast, the Southwest Coast, and the Gulf of Mexico – are appropriate for grades 8 through 12, and meet a critical need for ocean-based curriculum.
“Following this summer’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis, teachers asked for materials to support a maritime component of their lesson plans,” said Capt. John Lowell, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “These posters support ocean literacy by providing historical vignettes and explanations of chart components as well as scientific concepts like cartography, geodesy, and sonar.”
The posters are available online from Office of Coast Survey’s education webpage for lesson plans. For best color print quality, they can be downloaded for printing on 11 x 17 paper.
The poster illustrations were created by Taylor Morrison, an author and illustrator of several books for young people, including one on the history of nautical charts.
NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey is the nation’s official source of hydrographic data and navigation products for U.S. coasts, Great Lakes, and territories.
Nov 5, 2010