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NOAA joins international ENC validation process

The International Centre for Electronic Navigational Charts (IC-ENC) agreed to accept NOAA as a member of its organization through the establishment of an IC-ENC regional office, “IC-ENC North America”. The agreement between IC-ENC and NOAA is expected to be finalized in early 2016.

Regional IC-ENC offices conduct full and independent validation of all ENC data from regional members before it is published. Through this validation process, IC-ENC member nations receive valuable feedback, reassurance, and greater confidence in the quality of their ENC data.​

“IC-ENC and NOAA have been discussing opportunities for collaboration for some time now,” said John Nyberg, chief of NOAA Office of Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division. “We agreed that an IC-ENC regional office established in North America, serving NOAA with production support and validation services, would add to the quality of our datasets.”

NOAA offices in Silver Spring, Maryland, will be home to the new regional office, providing staff, office space, and technology for IC-ENC production support and ENC validation services. IC-ENC, in turn, will provide training to the staff during and after the ENC production process and provide independent validation services.

Although IC-ENC will distribute validated NOAA ENCs® independently, NOAA’s membership in IC-ENC will not affect NOAA’s complete discretion regarding its production and other means of ENC distribution. NOAA will continue to make U.S. ENCs available to the public free of charge via the internet. In addition, NOAA will independently maintain all distribution arrangements with other organizations such as PRIMAR and other value-added ENC resellers.

September 23, 2015

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