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How do I get NOAA nautical charts?

7 November 2011, 5:48 pm

nautical chart

The latest NOAA nautical charts and chart-related publications are available on the Office of Coast Survey website

Get the latest NOAA nautical charts and chart-related publications online at Nautical Charts & Publications.

Here’s a quick overview of the seven types of nautical charts that NOAA produces. Most electronic charts are updated weekly.

Traditional paper charts are what mariners have long used to navigate U.S. coastal waters, including the Great Lakes and U.S. territories. These full-color, large-format charts can be purchased through a nationwide network of private chart sellers.

Print-on-Demand (POD) nautical charts are timely versions of traditional paper charts. NOAA does not sell POD charts directly to the public. NOAA's commercial partner, OceanGrafix, lists authorized chart agents that sell POD charts.

Online Chart Viewer allows mariners to view the latest version of the full NOAA chart suite on their computer screens, pan and zoom around charts, and print chartlets at home.

NOAA Raster Navigational Charts® (NOAA RNC®) are full-color digital images of NOAA's entire suite of paper charts, updated continually with critical corrections. They can be used in many electronic charting systems and offer advanced functionalities such as real-time positioning. Available for free download in BSB format.

NOAA Electronic Navigational Charts® (NOAA ENCs) are NOAA's most powerful electronic charting product. These layered vector charts, available for free download, can be used in Electronic Chart and Display Information Systems (ECDIS).

PocketCharts™ are inexpensive, introductory charts to help novice boaters answer their two most common questions: "Where am I?" and "How do I get there?" PocketCharts cost about $6 at marine supply stores.

BookletCharts™ are free, print-at-home experimental products to help recreational boaters locate themselves on the water. Small-scale BookletCharts, in letter-sized format, contain all of the information on full-scale nautical charts. Note: During this experimental period, BookletCharts are not updated every week.

Original article: How do I get NOAA nautical charts?