Excited by Automation Driven by Autonomous Vehicles

Hydro International Interviews Capt. Shep Smith
NOAA is one of the bigger organisations in the world that has surveying and charting in its portfolio. It’s an immense task as the USA has about 95,000 miles of coastline, important ports and a wide range of users – from recreational boaters to the biggest container vessels and tankers. The country also has to deal with environmental disasters like hurricanes and oil spills. NOAA is undergoing changes as the chart portfolio is ‘going digital’ and new initiatives such as using Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) for surveys. Hydro International interviews Capt Shep Smith, who generously gave an insight behind the scenes. NOAA is one of the bigger organisations in the world that has surveying and charting in its portfolio. It’s an immense task as the USA has about 95,000 miles of coastline, important ports and a wide range of users – from recreational boaters to the biggest container vessels and tankers. The country also has to deal with environmental disasters like hurricanes and oil spills. NOAA is undergoing changes as the chart portfolio is ‘going digital’ and new initiatives such as using Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) for surveys. Hydro International has interviewed Capt Shep Smith, who generously gave an insight behind... (read more)
2015-12-01 09:18:32

ENC Life Cycle

From the quality perspective, an electronic navigational chart (ENC) as a product is more demanding than its paper predecessor. Quality control and quality assurance of an ENC is a complex matter. The task of ensuring ENC quality during practical chart production is much broader than the direct implementation of standards. Obviously, to meet the ENC challenge, different life-cycle steps must be taken.<P> Electronic navigational charts (ENCs) consist of digitised data conforming to the International Hydrographic Organization's (IHOs) S-57 ENC Product Specification that records all relevant charted features necessary for safe navigation, such as coastlines, bathymetry, buoys, lights, etc. An electronic... (read more)
2009-03-27 12:00:00

The New IHO S-102 Standard

Charting a New Frontier for Bathymetry
Soundings and contours are the only official way data producers can push bathymetric information to the wide hydrographic community. The introduction of the S-102 standard for bathymetry will enable many possibilities within the community of bathymetry users. Liaising with the International Hydrographic Organization’s (IHO) TSMAD working group, the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) and the US Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVO) led the development and practical testing of this revolutionary standard, officially called the Bathymetric Surface Product Specification S 102. In partnership with IIC Technologies, GeoNet Technologies, and CARIS, CHS created one of the first prototypes of S 102 datasets, using the... (read more)
2012-05-02 04:49:07

OpenSeaMap – the Free Nautical Chart

The biggest worldwide geodatabase, made by the crowd
Nautical charts are expensive, and in many countries data are not always up to date. OpenSeaMap is an alternative solution which is free for anybody to use worldwide. Following the example of Wikipedia, the data are collected by volunteers and are visible on the chart within just a few minutes. OpenSeaMap involves experienced mariners, programmers and thousands of data collectors, all of whom are working to produce a nautical chart with comprehensive, relevant and up-to-date data for water sports which is open to everyone and free of charge. OpenSeaMap – the free nautical chart – covers oceans and inland waterways... (read more)
2013-03-26 01:57:05

Remarkable Achievements

International Oceanographic Commission Celebrates 50th Anniversary
The International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) turns 50 this year. Since the UNESCO Commission was established in 1960 the IOC has made some remarkable achievements with relatively small resources. IOC is successful in finding effective ways of co-operation with sister organisations, says Wendy Watson-Wright, executive secretary since last January. Ms. Watson-Wright, you took over as IOC Executive Secretary on 4 January 2010. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and why you decided to apply for this prestigious post?I spent 21 years in the federal public service of Canada, 19 of which were spent in Fisheries and Oceans... (read more)
2010-05-31 10:26:44

Navigate Hydrographic – the Nautical SmartChart

What is the core role of a hydrographer? To map the seafloor? Provide a precise position on the water? Some may believe it is to play with lots of expensive toys on boats, while colleagues are stuck in the office. While all those answers may be correct, I am asking about the core role of a hydrographer. I would suggest that it is collecting data to provide information that companies, clients and consultants rely on to make educated and accurate decisions. This is where our value as a professional service is demonstrated. However, here is another question - how do we present that information and, more to the point, could it be better? What is the core role of a hydrographer? To map the seafloor? Provide a precise position on the water? Some may believe it is to play with lots of expensive toys on boats, while colleagues are stuck in the office. While all those answers may be correct, I am asking about the core role of a hydrographer. I would suggest that it is collecting data to provide information that companies, clients and consultants rely on to make educated and accurate decisions. This is where our value as a professional service is demonstrated. However, here is another question - how do... (read more)
2019-12-19 11:20:59

The New Role of Hydrography in the 21st Century

Evolving from Charts to Geospatial Data
Traditionally, hydrographic data was used mainly for nautical charts. Hydrographic surveys are costly, and data should be used beyond navigation. Some have developed centralised hydrographic databases, but their only purpose is to produce charts. Hydrographic data should be used for other purposes too. Hydrographic data is the foundation for building a maritime data management system, in the framework of a Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure for broader use. Visionary organisations are already evolving their traditional roles and jumping onto the ‘Big Data’ ship and connecting to the World through web services. The use of Hydrographic data is evolving for good. When... (read more)
2014-05-02 02:15:19

ECDIS – Caveat Navigator

Is the Paperless Bridge a Hazard to Navigation?
Hydrographic data is at the core of ECDIS. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is of the opinion that the quantity and coverage of good hydrographic data around the world is mostly unsatisfactory. Meanwhile, the overall hydrographic data acquisition capacity of its member States is declining. Is there a proper appreciation of the quality and reliability of the data behind the image displayed on the screen? Does the digital presentation of nautical charts give a false sense of security? The paper chart or Raster Navigational Chart (RNC) displays all safety critical navigational information at once. The Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC) is... (read more)
2012-07-26 02:51:48

Backscatter - From Ping to Database

A Canadian Hydrographic Service Perspective
The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) is willing to make better use of the backscatter intensity data collected with their multibeam sounding systems. All the backscatter data collected during the last 2 decades were not systematically processed and maintained, so a lot of valuable information has not been used yet and is archived on tapes and disks. The intent of CHS is to make an inventory of this data and to process it to a minimum level so that it can be made accessible to its cartographers and to the scientific community. Backscatter information can be a valuable piece of information... (read more)
2014-05-19 03:00:47

Robust Data in Sensitive Environments

Cutting the Red Tape without Cutting Corners
There are settings where an unmanned survey represents more than a safe, cost-effective alternative; it may be the only option. Capitol Lake in Olympia, WA, USA, is such a location. In this article, we report on a recent survey that highlights the advantages offered by an unmanned platform operating in a highly public, environmentally sensitive setting. From their Sediment Management and Marine Sciences office in Seattle, WA, NewFields has been investing in USV research and development to expand services and client relationships for their local consulting and engineering offices throughout the USA. In 2014, the Seattle office acquired the Teledyne... (read more)
2015-08-06 03:17:33
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