ECDIS is evolving from a two-dimensional static display of chart-related data to a decision support system capable of providing real-time or forecast information. While there may not be consensus on how this will occur, it is clear that to do this, ENC data and the shipboard display environment must incorporate both depth and time in an intuitively understandable way. Currently, we have the ability to conduct high-density hydrographic surveys capable of producing ENCs with decimeter contour intervals or depth areas. Yet, our existing systems and specifications do not provide for a full utilization of this capability. Ideally, a mariner should be able to benefit from detailed hydrographic data, coupled with both forecast and real-time water levels, and presented in a variety of perspectives. With this information mariners will be able to plan and carry out transits with the benefit of precisely determined and easily perceived underkeel, overhead, and lateral clearances. This paper describes a Hampton Roads Demonstration Project to investigate the challenges and opportunities of developing the “Electronic Chart of the Future.” In particular, a three-phase demonstration project is being planned: 1. Compile test datasets from existing and new hydrographic surveys using advanced data processing and compilation procedures developed at the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center (CCOM/JHC); 2. Investigate innovative approaches being developed at the CCOM/JHC to produce an interactive time- and tide-aware navigation display, and to evaluate such a display on commercial and/or government vessels; 3. Integrate real-time/forecast water depth information and port information services transmitted via an AIS communications broadcast.


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