The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
, NOAA, surveys and charts U.S. waters, producing over 1,000 traditional nautical charts 3.4m sq. nautical miles. Carriage of NOAA charts is mandatory on the commercial ships that carry our commerce. They are used on every Navy and Coast Guard ship, fishing and passenger vessels.
On July 4, NOAA introduced a new public service called the Online Chart Viewer. The Viewer lets mariners display any nautical chart in the national suite using only an internet browser. Each chart is updated weekly for notice to Mariner corrections by NOAA’s experienced nautical cartographers. The Viewer’s fast, image displaying software permits rapid chart display, panning and zooming.
The On-line Viewer can be used for voyage planning and research. Small boaters who only need a reference for visual navigation will find screen printouts useful. Professional mariners can examine their intended routes for recent changes. With appropriate software, screen captures can be saved for inclusion reports.