Electronic Nautical Charts Developments

Missed this one before, but in the Digital Ship Plus edition I mentioned yesterday there is also an interesting discussion (pdf, page 13) on electronic nautical charts. Although vector charts are generally preferred, there are some things that frustrate progress in this area.
“There is growth – many say that almost all new-build vessels have an electronic chart display onboard, and many chart display systems are being sold on existing vessels, and many new official vector charts are coming onto the market. But there is also stalemate as hydrographic offices around the world are slow to produce the official vector charts and maritime authorities do not allow ships to navigate relying on vector charts from private companies such as C-MAP and Transas. The result is supreme confusion and cost for shipping companies. If they want the safety benefits of electronic charts, in most cases they still have to pay for paper charts as well, which means paying double; consequently many shipping companies decide to only use paper, even if the vessel has a chart display system onboard. It looks like paper charts are here to stay for many more years.”

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