End of paper charts?
US NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has announced that it will no longer print traditional paper nautical charts.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's office - which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of over 1,000 nautical charts of US coastal waters - has announced that, from 13 April 2014, the Federal Government will no longer print traditional paper nautical charts.
Since 1862, lithographic nautical charts have been printed by the US Government and sold to the public by commercial vendors. NOAA explains that the decision to stop production is based on several factors, including declining demand for lithographic charts, increasing use of digital and electronic charts and federal budget realities.
NOAA will continue to create and maintain other forms of nautical chart, including increasingly-used print-on-demand (POD) charts, which are updated paper charts available from NOAA-certified printers.
NOAA electronic navigational charts (ENC) and raster navigational charts (RNC) are also updated weekly and are available for free download from the Coast Survey website. NOAA will also announce a new product of full-scale PDF nautical charts, available for free download on a trial basis online - see Office of Coast Survey site below.
Details from NOAA below.