NOAA's Paper Charts are here to Stay

MarineLink.com
Friday, April 04, 2014
Rear Adm. Gerd Glang certifies a new print-on-demand chart agent after inspecting the company's sample chart. (Photo: NOAA)

New certified printing agents bring buying options

It won't be long before mariners and the boating public will have a wider choice of options and special services when they purchase NOAA paper nautical charts, thanks to NOAA's expanded "print-on-demand" chart production and distribution system, Coast Survey officials announced today. This week, Coast Survey certified new print-on-demand chart printing agents, and gave them the flexibility to offer different color palettes, various papers, a cleaner margin, and a range of services.

NOAA has now authorized seven companies to sell NOAA's paper nautical charts that are printed when the customer orders them -- or "on demand." The information on the charts is still maintained by NOAA, and the charts are corrected with Notices to Mariners up to the week of purchase.

"Last October, we announced that NOAA would stop using the government printing and distribution system we originally adopted in 1861," explained Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey. "We asked private companies to help us transition from the government-run system to a robust and competitive market for paper nautical charts, and we are pleased with the results."

Five companies have now joined the original "print-on-demand" distributor OceanGrafix and the more recently certified East View Geospatial. The newly certified companies are Frugal Navigator, Marine Press, Paradise Cay Publications, The Map Shop, and Williams & Heintz Map Corporation.

Glang is confident that the expansion of the print-on-demand system will lead to new options for all who purchase U.S. nautical charts. As a premium service, for example, print agents are authorized to customize charts with user-specified overlays.

"With more chart printing agents, we hope to encourage competition and ensure fully up-to-date charts are widely available. Buyers can shop around and find different types of paper, or choose between traditional or new color palettes. Our printing agents can offer delivery or in-shop service, and customers can have their navigation track lines or other information printed as overlays on their chart," Glang pointed out. 

"All charts sold by NOAA-certified agents are NOAA charts, and fully meet navigational standards."

For the last 150 years, the federal government produced nautical charts using lithographic printing presses. Although chart-making techniques advanced from the 19th century's delicate hand-applied etchings on copper plates to a process that is now completely computer-based, the system remained based on printing large volumes of charts, then selling them from stock for years. Charts for sale were gradually more and more outdated until a new edition was printed. The print-on-demand system allows the changes made by Coast Survey cartographers to reach mariners much faster.  

Coast Survey continues to examine applications from additional companies wishing to become certified as NOAA chart printing agents. The examination process includes testing of applicants' sample charts, to make sure they stand up to normal onboard usage conditions.

The paper charts sold by the NOAA-certified printing agents meet carriage requirements for ships covered by Safety of Life at Sea regulations, specified in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations. 

noaa.gov
 

Maritime Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

OTC Names Technology Award Winners

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which takes place May 4-7 in Houston, has announced 17 technologies that will receive the Spotlight on New Technology SM Award.

Jack W. Fisher Passes Away at 73

Jack W Fisher, president of JW Fishers Mfg. passed away at home after a brief illness on February 20, 2015. He was 73 years old.   The JW Fishers business was started because Fisher,

Global LNG-Asia Prices Creep Higher on Japanese Demand

Asian spot liquefied natural gas prices edged higher as scattered demand from Japanese buyers and others helped stem the recent decline in prices, traders said on Friday.

Surveyors

Sunken Japanese WWII Battleship Found

Seventy years after the conclusion of World War II, philanthropist and entrepreneur Paul G. Allen has located the Musashi, one of the two largest and most technologically

Ice Coverage on Great Lakes 89 pct: NOAA

Ice coverage on the Great Lakes is nearing 90 percent, reveals high resolution satellites images from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).   The entire Great Lakes is at 88.

ClassNK Updates Guidelines for Floating Offshore Facilities

ClassNK released a new version of its Guidelines for Floating Offshore Facilities for LNG/LPG Production, Storage, Offloading and Regasification.   Available on the ClassNK website,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2002 sec (5 req/sec)