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Electronic Navigation Chart


Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) consist of digitized data that records all the relevant charted features necessary for safe navigation, such as coastlines, bathymetry, buoys, lights, etc of ships and marines.

The offers more than 15000 Electronic Navigational Charts from hydrographic agencies globally. Charts are available in different packages which are authorized by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO)

How it works:

Electronic Navigation Chart (ENC) and Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) combine to form a complete navigation system. ECDIS works as hardware whereas ENC contains the digitized data set of a cruise.

An ECDIS will convert the ENC and its updates into its own native System (SENC) format. The format is enhanced by the ECDIS manufacturer for the correct and efficient display of the ENC information. Within the ECDIS, the features and their attributes (for example position, color, and shape) can be selectively displayed and queried, creating the potential to customize the chart image displayed on the screen.

This not only provides ENC users with control over what level and type of detail they wish to see but can also be linked to other systems to provide additional functions such as automatic warning alarms and indications etc.

Importance of ENCs:

Since the beginning of maritime navigation, the navigator was forced to continuously observe celestial bodies by using radio signals and plot the resulting lines of position as a fix on a paper chart. Navigators would spend far more time taking fixes, working out solutions, and plotting the results than on making observations which was a lenghty process with very low accuracy.

Electronic charts have automated the process of navigating real-time positions by allowing the navigator to continuously observe the position and safety of the vessel. An electronic chart system can plot the position once per second to a standard of accuracy at least an order of magnitude better. Electronic charts also allow the integration of other operational data, such as the ship’s course and speed, depth soundings, and radar data into the display. Thus the navigator has a complete picture of the instantaneous situation of the vessel and all charted dangers in the area.

Types of ENCs:

ENC cannot work alone so it combines with ECDIS to perform the job. There are different types of ECDIS systems depending upon its. Some systems works for oceanic travel and some are used for inland water such as:

  1. Port Electronic Navigational Charts:

PENC is the type of navigation system that is used in ports for improving the safety and efficiency of navigation. It is the most suitable tool for navigating large military exercising of troops, and warships that require large-scale charts. PENCs can provide accurate topographic data.

  1. Inland Electronic Navigational Charts:

IENC navigation systems are used for navigating inland waters such as rivers, canals, lakes, etc. They contain specific extensions that serve a unique role in brown water transit.

  1. Bathymetric Electronic Navigational Charts:

This type of navigational system is used for the safety of the surface and sub-surface navigation. BENCs can work with an ENC or IENC.  They provide bathymetric data such as depth contours, depth areas, selected sounds, etc. This information is derived from a hydrographic survey dataset.

  1. Raster Charts:

These charts are used when ENC is not able to cover the whole voyage. It contains simple tools through which data can be stored electronically. These charts do not have more functionalities as compared to other ECDIS and ENC navigational systems. tech new mind


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