The Dawn of Modern NOAA Paper Charts

For many many years traditional cartographers put to pen to paper, producing the beautiful nautical charts we've come to love and value in our homes and boats.  Over time, as graphic technology advanced, NOAA cartographers started, electronically, updating photographs (or Raster files) of their previous work. This was much more efficient and the raster files could be sent, digitally, to Print on Demand Agents like Frugal Navigator for distribution.

When GPS came on the scene, NOAA adapted a more modern digital file system (Vector files) for this purpose.  The vector files allow us to reduce and enlarge chart images depending on the device we use to read them.

Rather than maintain these two file systems, Raster and Vector, it makes sense, these days, that NOAA would mind their budget and get rid of the inferior of the two.

Starting in 2025, all NOAA charts, whether electronic (on your GPS unit) or on paper, will be derived from vector files

These new paper charts will look more modern but functionally they will be the same or better than the paper charts we use today.  Of course if you like the traditional look, Frugal Navigator will keep the old files around for artists and decorators. 

At the top of this page is a prototype of a modern paper chart (note: there is still work to do with those duplicated compass roses)

Of course, most of us are not going to quit boating 'til 2025 when those new charts come out.

If you've got a cruise in mind:

Shop now for your next voyage by using the catalogs in the menu above. Remember to click on the colored marker pins to go from catalog to the full chart view.