The Norwegian Hydrographic Service (NHS) is conducting a prototype development project for a print on demand service, intending to facilitate chart users ordering updated nautical charts from the Hydrographic Service. This service will make charts updated with the most recent Notices to Mariners, normally published every 14 days, available to users at their request.
This will help to save the user time and eliminates the need for potentially error-prone manual updating of the printed charts based on the Notices. Current plans are to have a print on demand service available in 2010, phased in on an area-by-area basis. Provided it is updated with the aid of the Notices to Mariners, NHS says that a chart supplied using such a service will be equivalent to the printed chart in respect of the requirements of the IMO/SOLAS. The service will be offered to users through authorised Print on Demand suppliers.
NHS has also launched a new project to allow navigators to 'trace' corrections published in the Notices to Mariners to their nautical charts.
For example, a new subsea cable could be traced onto a transparent overlay under the system, so the navigator can trace the cable onto the chart instead of having to plot a series of coordinates describing the same cable.
The Tracings service will be offered to all users who subscribe to the printed and/or digital versions of the Notices to Mariners.