A lot of navigators still rely on nautical charts to help them figure out their location, but what happens when they’re gone?
In this article, we look at the end of Nautical Charts and how they will affect sailors. We’ll go through what a chart is, why it exists, and how that process will change if the end of nautical charts becomes a reality. We’ll also talk about some alternatives to traditional paper charts for navigating.
What is a nautical chart?
Before we get into the future of nautical charting, let’s look at what a nautical chart really is. A nautical chart is basically any sort of printout on which you can plot your way around on the water. The actual concept of what makes up a nautical chart varies from one organization to another, but in general, it’s nothing more than that. You can also technically include the modern GPS devices that our smartphones use for navigation into this definition, but they’re not really charts in the traditional sense.
Nautical charts have been popular since the dawn of the modern mariner. Their design was simple, easy to use, and served their purpose well for centuries. But due to constant innovation by both sailors and navigators alike, nautical charts have become more complex in recent years. Our GPS-enabled devices are the latest step in the evolution of nautical charts but are not what most would consider a true replacement.
Why are nautical charts still used?
There are many reasons why legible paper charts are still widely used today. They’re pretty powerful tools for understanding how to navigate your path around an area. In addition to these positive aspects, they also provide a way to see what’s going on around you at all times.
These two benefits explain why nautical charts are still used by a lot of sailors today. It’s a shame that they’re unlikely to change much in the near future.
Why do nautical charts exist?
The traditional functions of nautical charts –and many other navigation tools –are really useful for helping people navigate through the seas and oceans. They’re almost like a primitive version of the modern-day GPS device, as they provide users with real-time information about their location, speed, and course.
But why do we still use nautical charts today? The answer lies in the ability of these charts to serve multiple purposes while still being relatively simple. We can’t survive in the modern world without a lot of data, and nautical charts are one of the most powerful sources of it. By giving us information about ourselves and our surroundings, nautical charts have been an essential part of our daily routines for years.
In the 19th century, mariners started using nautical charts for boating activities, but today it’s a huge market with many different users having a need for this type of data. From fishermen to military units on land, everyone has some sort of need for this source of navigational information.
How does a nautical chart work?
A nautical chart basically illustrates everything that you need to know about the waterway that it covers. This includes things like depth, obstacles, weather, and things of the like. These charts are pretty complex pieces of information, but they’ve gotten more so over time as users have gotten more demanding of their features.
The earliest paper charts helped mariners by working as navigational tools. They didn’t need complicated maps with scores of different pieces of information on them; they just wanted to know how to get from point A to point B. As time went on and technology changed, the need for more information became more apparent, which lead to the paper charts we use today.