Jump to Current  
     •   Coast Survey Publishes New Editions of Eastern Long Island Sound Nautical Charts  
     •   NOAA Publishes Updated Cobscook Bay Area Chart  
     •   U.S. Chart No. 1 Moves into Electronic Age  
     •   New Mobile App Provides Free Nautical Charts for Recreational Boating  
     •   NOAA starts 2013 post-Sandy surveys at Statue of Liberty  
     •   Public Invited to Hydrographic Services Review Panel Webinar  

Coast Survey Plans for New Arctic Nautical Charts

     •   Cmdr. Shepard Smith is New Chief of Marine Chart Division  
     •   U.S. and Canada eliminate overlapping ENC coverage in the Great Lakes  
     •   NOAA's Navigation Services speed post-SANDY recovery  
     •   Will Boaters use QR Codes on Print-on-Demand Charts?  
     •   Happy Holidays from Coast Survey  
     •   NOAA names Glang nation's hydrographer, director of Coast Survey  
     •   NOAA Ship Fairweather Conducting Hydrographic
Reconnaissance Survey of the Arctic
     •   NOAA Commissions New Survey Vessel Ferdinand R. Hassler  
     •   Boston Survey for Harborfest and Hurricane Prep  
     •   Changes to US-Canada ENC coverage effective July 26  
     •   New Chart Inset Makes for Safer Sailing in Norfolk Inner Harbor  
     •   Upgraded NOAA Charts Help Mariners Avoid Right Whales  
     •   Is a Coast Survey Team Coming to Your Home Port?  
     •   Sea Floor Survey Support Texas Maritime Trade  
     •   New Edition of U.S. Chart No. 1 Available Now  
     •   Changes to US-Canada ENC Coverage - Effective Dec. 15  
     •   NOAA's Newest Chart Supports Puerto Rico Maritime Economy  
     •   Thomas Jefferson Surveys Block Island Sound  
     •   NOAA Charts Provide More Info, Faster  
     •   NOAA Responds to Irene in Hampton Roads  
     •   NOAA National Ocean Service Prepares for Hurricane Aftermath  
     •   NOAA Seeks Your Opinion on Navigation Services  
     •   Bay Hydro II Helps Boat in Distress  
     •   NOAA Ship Fairweather Sets Sail to Map Areas of the Arctic  
     •   New Leadership for Coast Survey's Navigation Services Division  
     •   New Report Tells of U.S. Coast Survey Scientific Role in the Civil War  
     •   June 21 is World Hydrography Day  
     •   NOAA Encourages Boaters to Get Up-to-Date Nautical Charts for Spring  
     •   NOAA Updates U.S. Virgin Islands Hydrographic Data in Protected Reef Areas  
     •   Civil War Maps and Charts are Available Free to the Public  
     •   Coast Survey Responds to March 11 Tsunami  
     •   U.S. Collaborates with Arctic Coastal States to Improve Nautical Charts  
     •   Map Innovation Aids Pro-Union Cause, 1861  
     •   Coast Survey Unveils Special Collection of Civil War Maps & Charts  
     •   Nautical Charts Come Alive with New Poster Series  
     •   Coast Survey Contracts for LIDAR Hydrograpic Data  
     •   NOAA Ship Fairweather Maps Aid Shipping Through Bering Straits  
     •   Coast Survey Ready to Assist with Hurricane Recovery  
     •   NOAA Coast Survey Updates Hydrographic Survey Priorities  
     •   NOAA Nautical Charts Display Deepwater BP Oil Spill Projections  
     •   Coast Survey Scientist Adds NOAA Vision to Marine Transportation Research Needs  
     •   June 21 is World Hydrography Day!  
     •   Thomas Jefferson Undertakes Research Mission in the Gulf  
     •   nowCOAST Information Now Easier to Access  
     •   NOAA Sponsors New Alliance to Promote Navigation Safety  
     •   NOAA Warns Mariners of Serious Display Issue with ECDIS  
     •   NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson to Map Ocean Floor in Gulf of Mexico  
     •   Removal of LORAN-C Features from Nautical Products  
     •   Captain John Lowell Named Director of OCS  
     •   Recovery Funds Help Maritime Navigation  
     •   Whale Struck by Mapping Vessel  
     •   New Survey Vessel Being Readied for Action  
     •   ’Hydropalooza’ Provides Deeper Understanding of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay  
     • OCS Ready for Hurricane Season  
     • NOAA and OSU Map Oregon’s Seafloor  
     •   Healy Returns from Mapping Expedition in the Arctic  
     •   Hydropalooza Kicks Off in Alaska's Kachemak Bay  
     •   OCS Dedicates R/V Bay Hydro II  
     •   Revised Reprint Nautical Charts  
     •   Removal of LORAN-C Lattices from Charts  

Boaters Will Not Be Left Adrift as NOAA
Privatizes Printing of Nautical Charts

Headline writers are in their glory! Creative wordplay makes great copy, and we appreciate all the attention garnered by our announcement about the end of lithographic nautical charts. We need to take a moment, however, to point out an important fact: the public will still be able to purchase official NOAA paper nautical charts, even after the government stops printing them.
“NOAA tosses sailors in digital seas.” “Stop the presses: no more nautical charts.” “Agency goes off the map.” “Paper charts go the way of sextant in digital age.” Headline writers around the world are using their best stuff. Fortunately, the hundreds of articles resulting from our press release, NOAA Announces End of Traditional Paper Nautical Charts, are mostly correct. Unfortunately, many miss the announcement’s very first line: NOAA-certified Print-on-Demand partners will continue to sell up-to-date paper nautical charts.

Let’s summarize again, for those who may have missed the original announcement. On April 13, 2014, the federal government will stop lithographic printing of NOAA’s nautical charts. It is the end of the 150-year heritage of a traditional printing process. It is not the end of paper nautical charts, however, as Coast Survey will continue to update our Print-on-Demand (POD) paper nautical charts weekly, to add all of the latest critical chart corrections. The public can purchase paper POD nautical charts at their convenience. Professional mariners can use the POD charts to meet their chart carriage requirements.

Additionally, Coast Survey is offering almost all of NOAA’s thousand nautical charts as PDF nautical charts, for free download. The site got over a million hits in the first seven days after we announced their availability.

While the PDF nautical charts are immensely popular, we expect that serious mariners will opt for professionally printed and time-certified POD charts that meet chart carriage requirements. There are currently two NOAA-certified POD providers (OceanGrafix and East View Geospatial) and, in the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a dozen more companies indicate their interest in becoming a POD provider. With government printing of lithographic charts continuing until mid-April, we have ample time to bring the printing privatization program to a higher level. (We expect to announce a new FedBizOpp soon. Here is the FedBizOpp that has been available since 2008.)

Coast Survey’s decision to privatize printing and sales of paper nautical charts, while continuing to maintain and update the suite of over a thousand NOAA charts, was made after a decade of experience with print-on-demand technology and service. Beginning in 1999, private companies have been able to become NOAA-certified POD chart providers, and there has been a measurable uptick in interest as Coast Survey undertakes greater privatization efforts. Entrepreneurs understand that sales growth is promising, since most non-government customers have switched to POD for printed charts. We expect to see increasing product differentiation, with optional value-added features, in the coming months.

So, to summarize, even though the government will stop printing lithographic nautical charts, the public can still purchase and use NOAA-certified paper charts. Boaters will not be up a creek without a paddle… or without a chart.

Nov. 13, 2013

User Survey  | Privacy Policy  |  Disclaimer  |  NOAA's National Ocean Service  |  NOAA  |  U.S. Department of Commerce 
Web site owner: NOAA Office of Coast Survey