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Learn About Nautical Charts - - float planfloat plan
Each NOAA nautical chart contains a vast amount of information unique to the geographic area that it covers. While each chart is unique, it is assembled using standard conventions that are understood by the mariner. This section gives some background information on some of the standard elements that go into compiling a NOAA chart. Much of the information was taken from The American Practical Navigator, Bowditch, Pub No. 9, 2002.

What is a Nautical Chart?

NOAA's Suite of Nautical Charts
Sailing Charts
General Charts
Coastal Charts
Harbor Charts
Basic Chart Elements

Chart Projections

Types of Scales
Title Block
Chart Number and Edition

Sounding Datum

Types of Source Information That Appears on Nautical Charts
Dates of Survey Coverage Appearing on Charts
Horizontal Datum
Source Diagrams
Bottom Features Shown on Nautical Charts

Elevations Shown on Nautical Charts

Charted Bridge Clearances
The Compass Rose and Magnetic Variation
Channel Tabulations
Hydrographic Survey Techniques and Nautical Charting
Cartographic Generalization
Deconflicting Information on Nautical Charts