Marine Information Objects (MIOs) consist of chart- and navigation-related information that supplement the minimum information required by ECDIS to ensure safety of navigation at sea. As related to the use of Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC) data, MIOs are additional, non-mandatory information not already covered by existing IMO, IHO, or IEC standards. Such information includes ice coverage, tide/water level, current flow, meteorological, oceanographic, and marine habitats. A Harmonization Group on MIOs (HGMIO) has been established between IHO and IEC to recommend additional data and display specifications that may be incorporated into future editions of IHO and IEC standards. This paper discusses the scope of MIO activities, particularly as it relates to the challenges of converting a wide variety of MIO-related information into suitable data formats for use with a type-approved ECDIS. This includes information that will be provided via shipboard Automated Identification Systems (AIS) and Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) centers. In particular, there are significant challenges related to developing data formats that deal with time-varying information (i.e., X, Y, Z and time), simultaneous display of MIOs with other chart and navigation-related information, and the means/process to disseminate in a timely manner.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

U.S. Hydrographic Conference

Conference Date

Mar 24 - Mar 27, 2003

Publisher Place

Biloxi, MS, USA


Hydrographic Society of America

Document Type

Conference Proceeding