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APPENDIX E Estimate of Costs for Building a Database INTRODUCTION In an earlier NRC report on nautical charting (NRC, 1994a), the scope of loading both the ANCS II nautical information database (NIDB) and the ANCS II chart graphics database (CGDB) with all of the information presently contained in NOAA's suite of paper charts was expected to require "8 to 10 calendar years given present levels of effort and resources at a cost of $20 million (about $20,000 per chart)." The report went on to state: Under present plans, the Defense Mapping Agency will bear about 25 percent of the cost of data capture, which will support part of the digitization and attri- bution of 475 charts covering Navy home ports over a period of approximately five years. The present committee has conducted an independent analysis of the param- eters associated with database loading with the following set of assumptions: · assume that digitization of the data in the NIDB would be conducted from paper charts by contractors assume that loading of the NIDB would take advantage of ongoing digiti- zation of Digital Nautical Chart data at the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA)-specifically of the 454 charts that cover U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard home ports · assume that loading of the NIDB would not include loading of the CGDB . Given these assumptions, it was determined that the loading operation can be accomplished in two to three years at a cost (for digitization alone) to NOAA of approximately $4 million. 57
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58 NAUTICAL CHART PROGRAM ANALYSIS Since the release of the earlier National Research Council report, DMA has undertaken a large data automation effort designed to ultimately digitize world- wide coverage to include 3,700 charts by fiscal 1999, including all U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard home ports by fiscal 1997. As of October, 1995, 1,561 of these charts were already in production. The contracted portion of the effort includes 1,305 charts, which have been awarded to seven U.S. vendors (on a best-price basis) for $6.82 million, or $5,230 per chart. These DMA-produced charts have a somewhat less-dense feature con- tent than a typical NOAA chart, and not all features or all regions on these charts are digitized for the DMA automation effort. However, it is safe to assume that NOAA charts could be contracted for less than $7,000 per chart. As described above, DMA is also proceeding (under this same program) with digitization of charts for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard home ports; 454 charts have been scheduled for automation under this program. The remain- ing NOAA digitization requirement would, therefore, include approximately 550 charts. Assuming an average cost of $7,000 per chart (Jancaitis, 1995), digitization of the NOAA portion would cost $3.85 million. Assuming there would be avail- able funds in the budget, and based on the DMA program experience, the digitiz- ing could be accomplished in two to three years. IMPACTS TO NOAA To support the NIDB loading operation, NOAA would need to assemble a data quality control staff as well as a contracts and technical management staff devoted to this operation and should expect to expend about 15 person-years for this effort. NOAA would need to receive data in the Vector Product Format from DMA for the charts covering U.S. Navy home ports; that data would need to be trans- lated into the internal format of the NIDB. For the remainder of the data, NOAA can either specify that contractors de- liver the additional data in VPF format by using DMA's established processes for verifying data and creating charts from the Digital Nautical Chart database or else by specifying a separate format (perhaps S-57~. If a separate format is specified, NOAA will need to develop associated extraction specifications, data verification processes, and translation processes into the internal format of the NIDB. In addi- tion, contractors will require additional time (approximately one year) to develop translation software and methods into this separate format.
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