[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 1 (Thursday, January 2, 2014)]
[Page 112]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31378]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Notice of Changes in the Development and Distribution of NOAA 
Nautical Charts and Publications

AGENCY: Office of Coast Survey, National Ocean Service, National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice to advise the public of changes to the printing and 
distribution of NOAA's nautical charts, including digital charts, and 
to seek public comment.


SUMMARY: NOAA is making significant changes to nautical chart printing 
and distribution, and is seeking public comment. This notice informs 
the public of the Office of Coast Survey's approach to expanding 
navigation products and services, and explains how mariners may 
continue to access the nautical charts necessary for safe navigation of 
U.S. waters and to meet regulatory carriage requirements.

DATES: Written, faxed, or emailed comments are due by midnight, 
February 3, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments by mail to Director, Office of Coast Survey, 
1315 East-West Highway 6216, Silver Spring, MD 20910; or by 
using the online NOAA Nautical Inquiry & Comment System at http://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/inquiry.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Visit the Web site (http://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov) or contact the Office of Coast Survey at the 
following address: NOAA, National Ocean Service, Office of Coast 
Survey, Marine Chart Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, 
MD 20910-32821, U.S.A.; telephone 888-990-6622; fax 301-713-4516; email 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NOAA is privatizing the printing of nautical 
charts. Regulations that govern nautical chart and publication carriage 
requirements remain unchanged. These regulations are found in 33 CFR 
164 and Title 46 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
    After April 13, 2014, NOAA-certified Print-on-Demand (POD) charts 
will be the only official source available for mariners to obtain NOAA 
paper nautical charts. NOAA-certified POD charts, available since 1999 
through certified POD partners, are official paper nautical charts that 
are up-to-date at the time of printing. These charts are considered 
``published'' by NOAA's National Ocean Service, and therefore meet 
chart carriage requirements.
    POD charts are currently available from NOAA commercial partners 
OceanGrafix (http://www.oceangrafix.com) and East View Geospatial 
(http://www.geospatial.com). If you are interested in becoming a POD 
chart provider, learn more at our Web site at http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/pod/PODpartner.htm.
    NOAA is also making nautical chart information available digitally 
in three new ways, and is seeking feedback on these three changes.
    1. For a three-month trial period (October 22, 2013 to January 22, 
2014), NOAA is providing free digital chart image files in PDF 
(Portable Document Format) file format. The free PDF chart files are 
available for public use. The digital charts are also available as 
NOAA-certified Print-on-Demand charts. NOAA will evaluate the usage and 
user feedback to decide whether to continue providing public access to 
PDF nautical charts. Please note that the free PDF charts do not meet 
chart carriage requirements under federal regulations unless printed to 
NOAA quality standards by a NOAA-certified POD partner. Download PDF 
charts at www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/pdfcharts.
    2. NOAA's Office of Coast Survey is providing high-resolution NOAA 
raster navigational charts (NOAA RNC[supreg]) for public testing and 
evaluation. The Office of Coast Survey is upgrading the image quality 
from the current 254 DPI to 400 DPI to improve clarity, readability, 
and aesthetics of this digital charting product. The evaluation 
dataset, which is kept up-to-date like the current RNCs, is available 
for download for Tampa Bay, Detroit, Long Island Sound, and Puget 
Sound. If no problems are identified or left unresolved, Coast Survey 
intends to upgrade all RNCs to 400 dpi by February 2014. Software 
product developers and RNC users are invited to provide comments or 
questions regarding this new service. Download the evaluation datasets 
at www.charts.noaa.gov/RNCs_400/.
    3. An online seamless viewer of NOAA's electronic navigational 
charts (NOAA ENC[supreg]) is available for public use at the Web site 
http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ENCOnline/. NOAA ENC Online 
optimizes the viewing of the entire ENC suite, using the display rules 
defined by the International Hydrographic Organization's S-52 
standards, Specifications for Chart Content and Display Aspects of 
ECDIS. The public is invited to provide comments or questions regarding 
this new service.

    Authority:  33 U.S.C. Chapter 17, Coast and Geodetic Survey Act 
of 1947.

    Dated: December 16, 2013.
Gerd Glang,
Director, Office of Coast Survey, National Ocean Service, National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
[FR Doc. 2013-31378 Filed 12-31-13; 8:45 am]