The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has introduced QR codes to more than 3,000 admiralty charts, bringing digital benefits to paper chart users.
All newly printed versions of 3,371 Standard Nautical Charts and Mariners’ Routeing Guides, including print-on-demand charts, now feature the code, which after scanning takes the user to the scanned chart on the UKHO’s searchable Notes to Mariners database, known as NM Websearch (www.ukho.gov.uk/nmwebsearch/). There, they will be provided with instant access on their smartphone or tablet to chart status information.
“This is an invaluable means of checking how up-to-date a chart is before sending it on to a ship, as well as making it quicker and easier for a second officer to check the status of a chart,” said Jason Scholey, senior product manager with Charts for UKHO. “The QR code will also help from a compliance perspective by allowing Port State Control inspectors to scan the chart when they go on-board a vessel to see how up-to-date it is.”
A QR or ‘Quick Response’ code is a two-dimensional bar code with a higher storage capacity than a traditional bar code. This allows it to be used for a variety of purposes, including the storage of website URLs that can be scanned, read and directly accessed on a smartphone or tablet, using widely available QR code reader applications.
The UKHO will continue to add QR codes to its remaining standard nautical charts and Mariners’ Routeing Guides.