NOAA Accepts ESRI-Based System to Modernize Nautical Chart Production

PLTS for ArcGIS—Nautical Solution Improves Efficiency and Quality Control when Creating Charts

Redlands, California—April 29, 2009—The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has formally accepted a new ESRI-based system that improves how the organization produces its national suite of nautical charts. The system, Nautical Chart System II (NCS II), will utilize ESRI’s Production Line Tool Set (PLTS) for ArcGIS—Nautical Solution to produce more than 1,000 paper nautical charts and provide complete coverage in NOAA’s equivalent Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC) format based on the International Hydrographic Organization S-57 standard.

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey initiated the project to develop an integrated production system with Fairfax, Virginia-based ManTech International Corporation and ESRI. In February 2009, NOAA accepted Nautical Solution as core to the management of hydrographic information and the production of digital and hard-copy nautical charts. Nautical Solution is a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) geographic information system (GIS) that creates and maintains nautical charts from a product-neutral, centralized database. Nautical Solution gives NOAA the ability to fuse existing databases and workflows into a comprehensive production system.

"The needs of the global navigation community are constantly changing, and our charts must adapt to those needs," said Captain Steven Barnum, Office of Coast Survey director. "The system we developed with ManTech and ESRI allows NOAA to continue being the provider of choice for accurate and timely navigation data."

The organization expects NCS II to decrease production time for charts significantly, by allowing timely and frequent updates. The streamlined workflows and improved data management will increase NOAA’s ability to respond to coast-altering events, as well as improve the accuracy of charts and ensure greater navigational safety and better coastal management. NOAA will have the ability to offer new products and Web services within NOAA and to end users of the data.

"This tremendous relationship between our organizations has allowed us to work together, creating a groundbreaking COTS-driven solution to NOAA’s complex and demanding charting requirements," said Jack Dangermond, president, ESRI. "We look forward to supporting NOAA and the hydrographic community for years to come."

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, understands and predicts changes in the earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to its surface to the sun, and conserves and manages U.S. coastal and marine resources. Many national hydrographic agencies around the world, like NOAA, rely on ESRI for the ability to maintain, control, and disseminate their data. ESRI’s Nautical Solution enables hydrographic and nautical data products to be created from a common seamless database, significantly reducing data latency, redundancy, and errors. For more information, visit

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Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at