HYDRO 2016 Paper 4B1

Enabling hydrographic offices to support new markets with S-57 data sets

Tom De Puyt, Rafael Ponce


Hydrographic offices have been producing high-quality S-57 data sets for navigational use for decades. Hydrographic offices are becoming more relevant in the 21st Century and their data ever more useful for a broader audience in addition to the traditional mariner. The time for a new distribution model to support non-navigational use of S-57 data sets has arrived. With advances in GIS technologies those same data sets can now be used to open up and support new economic opportunities within the so-called blue economy, support of shore-based e-navigation systems and to provide an authoritative foundation to national marine spatial data infrastructure. Hydrographic data is a critical asset for any activity at sea and in coastal areas, and S-57 data sets, rich in high-quality content can be used in many different ways.

By enabling the use of S-57 data sets within standard web services such as REST and OGC WMS, and other non-navigation systems, hydrographic agencies empower many other organisations to make informative decisions using this data in combination with other sources in a GIS platform. Some steps towards that end had been made by progressive hydrographic offices; an example of this is already available at: https://gis.charttools.noaa.gov/MACHC/MACHC%20ENCOnline/