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Charting a Course Into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission CHARTING A COURSE INTO THE DIGITAL ERA Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission Committee on Nautical Charts and Information Marine Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems Mapping Science Committee Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1994
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The program described in this report is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 14-35-0001-30475 between the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of Interior and the National Academy of Sciences and Cooperative Agreement No. DTMA91-94-G-00003 between the Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Academy of Sciences. Limited copies are available from: Marine Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 Additional copies are available for sale from: National Academy Press Box 285 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 94-66559 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05139-8 B-459 Copyright 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Front cover: Photo of an electronic chart of Buzzards Bay, MA, courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Back cover: Reproduction of NOAA chart 13223, Narragansett Bay, RI. Printed in the United States of America
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission COMMITTEE ON NAUTICAL CHARTS AND INFORMATION MEMBERS CRAIG E. DORMAN, Chairman, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts SAUL B. DINMAN, Custom Computer Services, Waquoit, Massachusetts STANLEY K. HONEY, The News Corporation, Limited, Los Angeles, California VICTOR V. KLEMAS, College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, Newark JON A. LUCY, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point HENRY E. MARX, Landfall Navigation, Greenwich, Connecticut JACQUES B. MICHELL, Associated Branch Pilots, New Orleans, Louisiana DAVID J. PREMER, Saint Louis County, Missouri (until February 1993) MICHAEL A. STALZER, Exxon Shipping Company, Stillwater, Oklahoma LOWELL E. STARR, Intergraph Corporation, Reston, Virginia PHILIP J. STUTES, John E. Chance & Associates, Inc., Lafayette, Louisiana PETER R. TATRO, Consultant to Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia LIAISONS JAMES E. AYRES, Defense Mapping Agency WILLIAM BERGEN, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers KENNETH I. DAUGHERTY, Defense Mapping Agency JOHN J. DUMBLETON, Maritime Administration MICHAEL HACUNDA, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy ALBERT W. HARTBERGER II, U.S. Coast Guard DAVID NYSTROM, U.S. Geological Survey FRANK PARKER, U.S. Coast Guard CHARLES R. SCHWARZ, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration STAFF SUSAN GARBINI, Project Officer HAUKE KITE-POWELL, Consultant GLORIA GREEN, Project Assistant (until March 1993) PAUL FIELDS, Project Assistant (from March 1993) AURORE BLECK, Project Assistant
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission MARINE BOARD MEMBERS JERRY R. SCHUBEL, Chairman, Marine Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook JERRY A. ASPLAND, Arco Marine, Inc., Long Beach, California ANNE D. AYLWARD, Boston, Massachusetts ROBERT G. BEA, NAE, University of California, Berkeley MARK Y. BERMAN, Amoco Production Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma JOHN W. BOYLSTON, Argent Marine Operations, Inc., Solomons, Maryland JAMES M. COLEMAN, NAE, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana WILLIAM M. EICHBAUM, World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C. EDWARD D. GOLDBERG, NAS, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California MARTHA GRABOWSKI, LeMoyne College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cazenovia, New York ROBERT W. KNECHT, University of Delaware, Newark HENRY S. MARCUS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge ASHISH J. MEHTA, University of Florida, Gainesville J. BRADFORD MOONEY, NAE, U.S. Navy, Retired, Consultant to Ocean Engineering and Research Management, Fort Pierce, Florida STEPHEN F. SCHMIDT, American President Lines, Ltd., Oakland, California STEPHANIE R. THORNTON, Coastal Resources Center, San Francisco, California JUDITH S. WEIS, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey ALAN G. YOUNG, Fugro-McClelland BV, Houston, Texas STAFF CHARLES A. BOOKMAN, Director DONALD W. PERKINS, Associate Director DORIS C. HOLMES, Staff Associate
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission MAPPING SCIENCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS LARRY J. SUGARBAKER, Chairman, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Olympia LAWRENCE F. AYERS, Vice-Chairman, Intergraph Corporation, Reston, Virginia HUGH N. ARCHER, South Carolina Water Resources Commission, Columbia WILLIAM M. BROWN, NAE, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, Ann Arbor BARBARA BUTTERFIELD, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, State University of New York, Buffalo MICHAEL W. DOBSON, Rand McNally and Company, Skokie, Illinois FREDERICK J. DOYLE, NAE, McLean, Virginia MICHAEL J. FOLK, National Center for Supercomputer Applications, University of Illinois, Urbana LEE C. GERHARD, Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas, Lawrence MICHAEL F. GOODCHILD, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, University of California, Santa Barbara STANLEY K. HONEY, The News Corporation, Ltd., Los Angeles, California TERRENCE J. KEATING, Kork Systems, Inc., Bangor, Maine MICHAEL D. MARVIN, MapInfo Corporation, Troy, New York SARA L. McLAFFERTY, Department of Geology and Geography, City University of New York, New York KAREN C. SIDERELIS, North Carolina Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, Raleigh ROBERT TUFTS, The Applied Sciences Corporation, Reston, Virginia NANCY VON MEYER, Fairview Industries, Middleton, Wisconsin STAFF THOMAS M. USSELMAN, Senior Staff Officer JUDY ESTEP, Administrative Assistant
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission PREFACE BACKGROUND Accurate and reliable nautical charts are essential to the safety of those who go to sea for either commerce, defense, or recreation. Increasingly, the information in nautical charts is important for other uses as well, such as environmental assessment and marine and coastal resources management. At the request of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a National Research Council (NRC) committee was convened to assess national needs, trends, and opportunities in nautical charting information.1 The committee assessed the present and future needs of users of nautical information; reviewed the state of existing and emerging technology; examined a number of major issues associated with information acquisition, chart preparation, and dissemination; and stimulated dialogue among interested parties. Based on these activities, the committee prepared the present report, which addresses user requirements for improved nautical chart products as well as technical and programmatic issues related to the need for and provision of nautical information. NOAA produces and maintains nearly 1,000 nautical chart editions, nine coast pilots, and numerous miscellaneous supporting publications. About 1.4 million charts are printed and sold each year. The transition from paper charts to electronic charts is well under way. This transition raises a number of technical, legal, and economic questions that must be resolved so that mechanisms and processes are in place to deal appropriately with the technology that is on the immediate horizon. Furthermore, digitization of existing nautical information is a costly undertaking, which, given present resources, would require many years to complete. Other issues facing NOAA's nautical charting mission relate to setting priorities for selecting geographic areas to survey prior to issuing new charts or to resurvey for 1 The committee operated under the oversight of the Marine Board of the NRC's Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems and the Mapping Science Committee of the Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources. The committee's activities were administered under the Marine Board.
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission revision of existing charts. NOAA's budget for chart updating is not sufficient to update each of its many products on a schedule that meets all user needs. Consequently, NOAA requested guidance from the NRC regarding allocation of its limited resources for fulfilling its nautical charting mission. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION AND SCOPE OF THE STUDY A committee of 12 members was convened by the NRC to review national needs, trends, and opportunities in nautical charting and information. Biographies of committee members appear in Appendix A. Expertise on the committee included experience in nautical chart production and dissemination; geographic information system development and applications; and familiarity with the concerns of key user groups, including cargo shipping, the fishing industry, offshore oil and gas development, recreational boating, and the ocean science research community. Care was taken to include a range of expertise and representation of various user groups. Additional views of specific user communities were solicited through questionnaires and from workshop participants. The committee was assisted by liaison representatives from federal agencies involved in conducting oceanographic research, boating safety, marine transportation, and/or programs relating to ships, including the sponsoring agency for the study (NOAA), the U.S. Coast Guard, the Defense Mapping Agency, the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Maritime Administration. The principle guiding the committee, consistent with NRC policy, was not to exclude any information, however biased, that might accompany input vital to the study but to seek a balanced and fair treatment of all viewpoints. The committee was tasked with the following objectives: to develop clear statements of user requirements for improved nautical information products, including products using advanced technologies; to identify key issues and supporting facts relating to the need for and provision of improved nautical information products; to stimulate dialogue among all involved in the process of developing, providing, and using nautical information; and to provide guidance concerning the optimal level and methodology for updating charts and issuing new ones. The scope of this study was specifically limited to an examination of information found in nautical charts and associated digital data bases. Synoptic information about sea conditions and ocean forecasting (tides, currents, water level, weather, climate) was excluded. Another Marine Board report, Opportunities to Improve Marine Forecasting (NRC, 1989), deals with this area of marine information needs. Although the central information-gathering activities of the investigation involved a comprehensive survey of users and a workshop, the committee sought to
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission combine the interests expressed by participants in the study with broader perspectives that take into account the ongoing transition to new technologies and the international nautical information community in which the United States participates through NOAA's Coast and Geodetic Survey. These perspectives were obtained through participation in relevant national and international meetings of the world hydrographic community and the electronic chart producers, and through review of the literature available in appropriate professional journals. HOW THE STUDY WAS CONDUCTED The committee initiated its investigations with briefings from NOAA personnel, who provided an overview of the current status and capabilities of nautical charting activities. Over the course of its work, the committee obtained information about user communities' needs for chart products through a widely distributed questionnaire and a workshop. A concerted effort was made to identify and include in the survey and workshop the full range of users of NOAA nautical charts, including other federal agencies and nonfederal users such as cargo and cruise ships, fishing vessels, recreational craft, and other specialized craft; marine resource development industries; and those interested in incorporating this data into geographic information systems for land-use planning and/or environmental research and management purposes. The workshop also involved other interested parties, such as developers of geographic information system technology and private-sector value-added chart products. The questionnaire was available to any requestor through the Notice to Mariners and was also printed in a popular nautical magazine in an abridged form. The questionnaire mailing and responses were not controlled to produce a statistically valid sampling of the user community, and the structure of the questionnaires allowed incomplete, subjective, and impressionistic responses; consequently, the responses are not suitable for rigorous statistical analyses. Despite the limitations of the investigation, results of the survey and discussions held during the workshop indicate clear trends and provide useful insight into the preferences of various user groups for nautical information products. The questionnaires are being used by NOAA to analyze user needs for specific products under consideration for development. The committee analyzed the means for best meeting user needs through a review of public- and private-sector activities in producing, updating, distributing, and obtaining feedback about chart products; an evaluation of technological opportunities; and an assessment of legal and economic issues associated with current practices and future options. The primary focus of the investigation was on chart products and the information in them. Associated activities, such as chart production and data acquisition technologies, were considered insofar as they related to the central issue of providing an accurate and reliable information base from which to create products that meet user requirements. For example, the process of acquiring data in a timely and
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission efficient way was deemed to be vital to providing an accurate and reliable nautical information product and, therefore, was included in the investigation in this context. Legal issues involving international standards for nautical charts and matters relating to copyright and liability also were considered by the committee because they relate to the development of alternative scenarios for making the transition to the new electronic era in nautical information. ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT This report represents a synthesis of information gathered by the committee through briefings, analysis of the user survey, findings from the workshop on user needs, and additional information gathered from interviews, articles, participation in professional meetings, and visits to NOAA's charting facilities. The report is an examination of the current status of NOAA's nautical charting mission with the objective of formulating a plan to improve the agency's capability to meet the nation's needs for more accurate, reliable, up-to-date, and technologically advanced products in the future. Chapter 1 provides a review of NOAA's nautical charting mission and related activities of other agencies, and introduces the forces of change that are creating a mismatch between user needs and current products—for example, the inability of the current system to keep up with demand and the emergence of new technology, new users (environmental, coastal planning), and demands for new products by traditional users. Chapter 2 presents a description and analysis of the findings from the survey of users' needs and the discussions at the workshop, as well as from a review of other sources on users' needs. Chapter 3 provides a discussion of the current activities and technologies for collecting nautical charting data to produce new charts and update existing ones. It also describes the current system of setting priorities for allocating resources to accomplish these tasks. Chapter 4 describes the technological transition from paper charts to electronic charts and the implications for NOAA now and in the future. Chapter 5 describes the emerging groups of new nonnavigation users, such as those who use nautical information for environmental assessment and coastal zone planning, and the relationship of nautical charting data to a broader marine geographic information system. Chapter 6 lays out alternative approaches for NOAA to meet new needs and provide better and new products through a new concept of partnerships with other agencies, states, and the private-sector producers of value-added products, along with a strategy for implementing these new approaches. Chapter 7 discusses problems related to accomplishing the proposed changes in a time of decreasing budget allocations and constraints on public and private resources. The major conclusions and recommendations that follow from the findings of the investigation are presented in Chapter 8. An Executive Summary provides a
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission synopsis of the report. Appendixes are included to provide the reader with additional materials relevant to the study. The report is intended to serve as a guide to NOAA in making decisions about the appropriate allocation of resources available for its nautical charting mission and to the private sector and other agencies in stimulating thought and action to forge formal and informal sharing of resources and ideas for meeting the need for nautical information products in the future. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee wishes to thanks all the federal liaisons. They actively participated in the study and provided invaluable information on their agencies' activities and perspectives. In particular, we thank the Director of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, J. Austin Yeager, and his staff for their generosity in facilitating access to their facilities and operations by committee members and NRC staff. Special appreciation is due Gail E. Langran of Intergraph, Inc., for invaluable technical assistance throughout the study. REFERENCE National Research Council (NRC). 1989. Opportunities to Improve Marine Forecasting. National Academy Press: Washington, D.C.
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission CONTENTS PREFACE vii EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 OVERVIEW OF THE NAUTICAL INFORMATION SYSTEM 5 The International Context 5 NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission 6 Forces of Change 9 Problems and Constraints Limiting Change 10 Summary 12 References 12 2 USER FOR NAUTICAL INFORMATION 15 A Survey of User Needs 15 Summary of the Survey 16 Workshop on User Needs 17 Workshop Findings 18 Future Needs 20 Summary 21 References 21 3 FILLING THE DATA BASE: DATA COLLECTION 23 Current Data Collection Activities 23 Data Collection Needs and Values 25 Solutions to the Survey Request Backlog 26 Summary 29 References 29 4 THE DIGITAL NAUTICAL DATA BASE: FROM PATER CARTS TO ELECTRONIC CHARTS AND BEYOND 31 Stewardship of the National Nautical Information Data Base 32 Overview of ANCS II 32 Plans for Loading the ANCS II Data Base 33 Setting a New Course 35 Summary 36 References 36
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission 5 NAUTICAL INFORMATION AS A COMPONENT OF A MARINE GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM 37 Information for Coastal Management 38 Examples of GIS Applications to Coastal Resource Management 38 Meeting User Requirements 39 Beyond the Digital Nautical Data Base 40 Summary 42 References 42 6 NAUTICAL INFORMATION PRODUCTS AND THEIR DISSEMINATION: TOWARD A NEW WAY OF DOING BUSINESS 45 The Present System of Production and Dissemination 45 Shortcomings of the Present System 47 A Strategy for Improvement 50 Suggestions for Implementing the Strategy 51 Summary 55 References 56 7 RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS: REMOVING THE BARRIERS 57 Resource Constraints 57 Alternatives for Resolution of Resource Constraints 58 Summary 62 References 63 8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 65 Changing Needs for Nautical Information Products 65 Survey Activities 66 Data-Base Development and Management 67 Chart Production and Distribution 68 Resources for NOAA's Nautical Information Programs 69 Implementing Change 69
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission APPENDIXES A Biographies of Committee Members 73 B Other Agencies' Activities, Roles, Interests 77 C-1 Nautical Chart and Information Survey 81 C-2 Responses to Survey 97 D Workshop on the Future Needs of Users for Nautical Information 109 E Principles of Benefit-Cost Analysis Applied to Surveys 117 F U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Experience 121 G Examples of Uses of Data by State Environmental Agencies 125 H A National Coastal Zone (Shoreline) Data Base 131
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission FIGURES AND TABLES Figure 1-1 NOAA chart 7 Figure 1-2 NOAA expenditures for 1990-1994, in 1987 dollars 11 Figure 1-3 Mapping arid Charting Division and Nautical Program expenditures for 1991-1994, in 1987 dollars 11 Figure 6-1 Total small craft charts sales history 48 Figure 6-2 Total conventional charts sales history 49 Figure C-2-1 Respondents by primary use 99 Figure C-2-2 Primary operating area 100 Figure C-2-3 Chart products used 101 Figure C-2-4 Navigation equipment used 102 Figure C-2-5 Update source 103 Figure C-2-6 Do present charts meet all of your needs? 104 Figure C-2-7 Why don't charts meet needs? 105 Figure C-2-8 Why don't charts meet needs? 106 Figure C-2-9 New paper charts wanted? 107 Figure H-1 Elements of a national shoreline data-base program 133
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Charting a Course into the Digital Era: Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission CHARTING A COURSE INTO THE DIGITAL ERA Guidance for NOAA's Nautical Charting Mission
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