Fear not! Paper charts not going away despite what media may say!

Photo by Flickr/simplebitsday
Photo by Flickr/simplebitsday

Ok…I’d like to set forth the facts that seem to be somewhat missing this week following the recent announcement from NOAA that they will cease printing paper charts.

Fact: NOAA will no longer print paper charts and sell them in the printed format via local agents or retailers.
Fact: NOAA has clearly made the decision to exit the printing business.
Fact: NOAA produced charts will continue to be printed and sold by commercial entities.
Fact: Paper nautical charts will continue to exist since everyone will still be able to buy a paper chart that is up-to-date and drafted by NOAA.
Fact: Paper nautical charts will be printed by “print-on-demand” retailers, and will actually be more accurate since they reflect all current Local Notice to Mariners and Chart Updates
Fact: A majority of non-government chart users have already switched to print-on-demand charts anyways, so many will see absolutely no change.

So…is it really a sad day? Not really….

For more, be sure to read the FAQ by NOAA on the topic.

3 Comment

  1. sid fujinari says: Reply

    It’s true, as most US Government publication which had it’s Government bookstore in major cities as the H.O. pub.no. 9 The American Practical Navigator, by Bowditch. However, the prices are easily doubled or tripled than when it was printed by the Government. Charts were from the Defense Mapping Agency, then NOAA, now prices will jump.

  2. Totally agree it is not a sad day…technology is not always better. We teach chart reading and navigation at Florida Maritime Training Academy and doubt seriously if paper charts could ever go away.

  3. It would be a little ridiculous to say there are not longer going to be paper chart available because technology exists which means they are no longer required. Computers exists, smart phones exists, e-mail exists, online magazines and news papers and ebooks exists but we still have paper formats and printers!

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