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Paper charts refuse to fold

Dec 10, 2013
The map folding room of the Office of Coast Survey during World War II. The office became part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1970.

The map folding room of the Office of Coast Survey during World War II. The office became part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1970.

Courtesy NOAA

NOAA’s announcement in October that it would stop printing traditional paper charts in bulk was enough to bring a tear to the eye of old salts everywhere. While most sailors now get their chart information electronically, for many folks there’s still no substitute for the real thing — whether it’s rolled out a table or hanging on a wall.

Lost in the nostalgia was the fact that NOAA is offering print-on-demand paper charts that are better than their predecessors. The agency has been working with private printers to take the charts up a notch, producing them in brighter colors so they’re easier to read and delivering them to your door. The POD charts are updated weekly and include the latest navigational corrections.

NOAA does not sell POD charts directly to the public. Instead, they’re available from NOAA's commercial partners, OceanGrafix and East View Geospatial. You can order yours by clicking here.

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