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NOAA seeks public input on end of paper charts

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The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is seeking public feedback on its five-year program to end all raster and paper nautical chart production. 

Ultimately, production of all NOAA paper nautical charts, raster navigational charts (NOAA RNC), and related products, such as BookletCharts, will cease. 

According to NOAA, sales of its electronic navigational charts have increased by 425% since 2008, while sales of paper charts in the same period have dropped by half. The agency is in the midst of a multi-year program to improve its ENC coverage. Access to paper chart products based on ENC data will continue to be available through the online NOAA Custom Chart application or third-party commercial data providers. 

Feedback from chart users and companies that provide products and services based on NOAA raster and electronic navigational chart (NOAA ENC) products will help shape the manner and timing in which the sunsetting process will proceed. Comments are due by midnight, Feb. 1, and can be submitted through NOAA’s ASSIST feedback tool here, or mailed to: National Ocean Service, NOAA (NCS2), ATTN Sunset of Raster Charts, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282.

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey is the nation’s nautical chartmaker. Originally formed by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807, the agency updates charts, surveys the coastal seafloor, responds to maritime emergencies, and searches for underwater obstructions that pose a danger to navigation. For more information, visit nauticalcharts.noaa.gov.

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