An interesting read, albeit not a huge surprise, from myfoxny that touches on the topic of NOAA doing away with printed nautical charts. This from the article… The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday that to save money, the government will stop turning out the traditional brownish, heavy paper maps after mid-April. See the official announcement from NOAA [PDF]: Effective April 13, 2014, government s tops lithographic printing of NOAA nautical charts.
Could these paper charts be obsolete soon?
The agency will still chart the water for rocks, shipwrecks and other hazards, but sailors, boaters and fishermen will have to use private on-demand printing, PDFs or electronic maps to see the information, said Capt. Shep Smith, head of NOAA’s marine chart division.
Still, NOAA sells about 60,000 of the old 4-by-3-foot lithographic maps each year for about $20 apiece, the same amount it costs to print them… It costs NOAA about $100 million a year to survey and chart the nation’s waters. The agency will still spend the same money, but provide the information in the less traditional way.