Clear course set for improved nautical chart program
News for the Department of Transport
Key changes will be made to the Department of Transport's (DoT) nautical chart program to improve access and assist navigation following successful consultation with skippers and other users.
Earlier this year DoT announced it would review the program to confirm the ongoing need for the local production of nautical charts and provide a plan for the future which accounted for the changing needs of the State's boating community.
DoT Coastal Infrastructure General Manager Steve Jenkins said almost 300 chart users had participated in a consultation process and there was overwhelming support for the continuation of the program.
"The feedback received also provided valuable information to assist decision making about short-term and long-term improvements that will dramatically increase access to the charts," Mr Jenkins said.
DoT produces nautical charts for a large portion of the WA coastline and they're available for free download to the public. The agency's valuable data is also used by a number of chart plotter distributors under a licence agreement.
In response to the review DoT has made immediate improvements to its website to allow easier access to the free charts and provided tips for printing. In the longer term all of DoT's 58 charts will be converted to an international format that will allow simple integration into chart plotter systems.
Mr Jenkins said the conversion of all DoT charts would be completed during the next two years giving DoT the option to adopt an online distribution service similar to one available in the United States giving users access to the most current information in a customised format and layout.
"The planned improvements will deliver charts in a universal digital format, boosting their application via free download or using retail products," Mr Jenkins said.
"The consultation with key stakeholders and the boating community has provided valuable information and strong support for the retention of the chart program which is very pleasing for the dedicated team of skilled cartographers engaged in the work on a daily basis."
DoT's nautical charts are available on the Coastal data and charts section.
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