Gone are the days of seafarers guiding their journeys with only a crinkled map and old-fashioned paper charts. Instead, an updated app brings nautical navigation into the 21st century.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been a trailblazer in providing boaters with a modern navigation database. The NOAA Custom Chart (NCC) application allows users to create and customize navigational charts directly from the latest data.
The app outputs geospatially referenced PDF files using customizable paper size, scale and location. A variety of display options are available such as accommodating depth to shallow water and depicting a “safety contour” based on the vessel’s draft.
In February, NOAA announced its latest updates to the app by releasing NCC version 2.0, with even more beneficial features. With the new Personal Chart Catalog boaters can save custom chart parameters and reload to use again later, refreshing data with weekly updates. The catalog files can be customized by size and converted to print or share via email easily.
In addition to the Personal Chart Catalog functionality, a major update is the actual portrayal of chart data that now follows symbology from traditional NOAA nautical charts more closely. This includes symbols for maintained channels, marsh/mangrove areas, natural/manmade coastlines and more.
Additional upgrades include:
According to NOAA, “The chart notes output is more complete, with local, regional, and global notes exported for the exact extent of the chart. Expanded notes can be found in areas where traditional paper charts have been canceled.”
NOAA continues to work on enhancing its Weekly Chart Updates website for more user functionality. Learn more about the NOAA Custom Chart application here or visit noaa.gov
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