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The End of the Traditional Paper Chart

October 23, 2013  
NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of over a thousand nautical charts of U.S. coastal waters, announced yesterday major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts. Starting April 13, 2014, the federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts, but will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand charts and versions for electronic charting systems.
Marina Approach
Since 1862, those lithographic nautical charts -- available in marine shops and other stores -- have been printed by the U.S. government and sold to the public by commercial vendors. The decision to stop production is based on several factors, including the declining demand for lithographic charts, the increasing use of digital and electronic charts, and federal budget realities.
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See the NOAA announcement here....     http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20131022_nauticalcharts.html
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Here's the description of the Marine Chart Division
 Coast Survey's Marine Chart Division (MCD) compiles and maintains nautical charts for navigation in the coastal areas of the United States and the Great Lakes.   MCD’s workforce is composed primarily of cartographers and computer specialists.  All MCD personnel are located at NOAA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.  In addition to the approximately 100 government employees who work at MCD,  private contractors play an important role in the production of nautical charts.
The primary charting products produced by MCD include 1) Traditional paper charts, 2) Print on Demand paper charts, 3) Raster Navigational Charts and 4) Electronic Navigational Charts.
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And a link to the Marine Chart Division.... http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/mcd.htm
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Here's a link to the On-Line Chart Viewer......     http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/NOAAChartViewer.html
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And finally, a link to a great open source FREE chart program that will various formats of charts....     http://opencpn.org/ocpn/about
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