HYDRO 2016 Paper 5B3

Charts on demand: A potential new revenue stream for hydrographic agencies

Kevin J. Ingram


The production of official, suitable-for-navigation paper charts has been an expensive process, requiring expert nautical cartographers who spend weeks or months finishing a chart. Recent innovations in GIS technology now allow many aspects of this process to be automated, reducing the amount of manual finishing required. Meanwhile, hydrographic agencies are being forced to make do with smaller budgets each year. This trend is compounded when the agency is expected to take on additional missions, essentially forcing them to do more with less. An example of this is the requirement to produce additional types of products, such as not-for-navigation charts that are suited for other purposes, in addition to their traditional navigation products.

Fortunately, the same technological innovations that have streamlined the production of official paper charts can be used in a system to produce these new product types. In fact, the technology has now reached the point where an agency can implement a fully-automated system for producing fit-for-purpose nautical charts. Such a system will enable an agency to reach new market segments and generate revenues from products designed specifically for those new users.

Icon PDF file