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How to use free NOAA data

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More than two dozen of the world’s top maritime app and navigation system developers met with NOAA experts in October to learn more about the vast amounts of NOAA data available for free access and use.

During the first NOAA Navigation Industry Day, attendees learned how NOAA data could add functionality to navigation systems and maritime apps. Program leaders demonstrated data sets and new formats that are not yet in widespread use, and solicited feedback on ways they can improve products and services, particularly in distribution formats and protocols.

Some of the presentations focused on NOAA charts, which are available for free in both raster (BSB) and vector (ENC) formats; NOAA’s chart tile service, which NOAA will soon release for online use; high-res seafloor surveys, also available for free; sea surface temperature data, which can be used to locate the Gulf Stream or finding fishing spots; tide and current predictions and models; weather data, forecasts and models; and buoy data such as wind speed and wave height.

For more details, visit www.nws.noaa.gov/nextgen/industry.shtml

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