GeoCoastPilot: A Better Way of Organizing and Displaying Information in Support of Port Familiarization


GeoCoastPilot is a research software application built to explore techniques for simplifying access to the navigation information a mariner needs prior to entering or leaving a port. GeoCoastPilot is intended to demonstrate what is possible with current technology and to facilitate technology transfer. We started with the question, "What might a digital application based on the NOAA Coast Pilot look like if other marine data sources were combined with it?" Along these lines, GeoCoastPilot introduces two new capabilities to existing marine information products: multiramas and microlinks. These capabilities are intended to help the user develop a more complete and integrated mental model of a port before encountering it for the first time. Operational benefits of GeoCoastPilot include: • decreased time in searching for relevant information; • fewer errors in interpreting the information; and • increased awareness of important navigation aids, hazards, and regulations. In order for commercial software applications to more easily adopt multiramas and microlinking, we advocate two paradigms for data collection and management. First, pertinent marine information sources should be tagged with consistent feature-level metadata. Second, simple mappings of object and attribute names between different information sources should be published and maintained without necessarily being tied to the requirements of any one information source.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

IEEE Oceans





Conference Date

Oct 26 - Oct 29, 2009

Publisher Place

Biloxi, MS, USA



Document Type

Conference Proceeding