Similar to the evolutionary process for living organisms, marine navigation systems are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated. Both by design and function, shipboard and shore-based navigation systems are no longer individual equipment components operating independently. Instead, the trend is toward integration, data fusion and synergy. One example of this are new Performance Standards being considered by IMO to achieve a “harmonized” presentation of all navigation-related information on the display of an integrated navigation system (INS). Unlike a dedicated display for ECDIS or radar, the new INS displays will be a task-oriented composite presentations that enable the mariner to configure the display for an operational situation by selecting specific chart, radar, radar plotting aids (ARPA) and AIS information that is required for the task-at-hand. This paper gives a brief overview of the trend toward the development of INS. In addition to a brief summary of IMO performance standards for navigation equipment/systems, specific mention is made about a BSH (Germany) report on the “Functional Scope and Model of INS.” A discussion is provided about the challenges of providing navigation safety information that goes beyond traditional boundaries of products and services. Currently, many agencies continue to produce individual products and services on a component basis. Hydrographic offices grapple with trying to provide multiple products and services for paper charts, raster navigational charts (RNCs) and electronic navigational charts (ENCs) while a same time, Coast Guard and Maritime Safety agencies focus on improving Aids-to-Navigation (AtoN), Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), AIS networks -- and more recently, port security. In some respects, the continued concentration on separate products and services represents an organizational reluctance to change. This in turn, results in a fragmented, sub-optimal approach to the safety-of-navigation caused by the inability to provide mariners with “seamless” information at reasonable cost. In particular, hydrographic offices must be willing to recognize that chart information can no longer be considered to be separate, individual products. When it comes to the provision and use of chart-related information for use in an INS, the focus needs to shift to what information is actually desired, how it will be provided, what other information it will be used with, and whether it is truly up-todate.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Canadian Hydrographic Conference

Conference Date

May 28 - May 31, 2004

Publisher Place

St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada


Canadian Hydrographic Association

Document Type

Conference Proceeding