Nautical Charts Will No Longer Be Printed
WASHINGTON, DC—Nautical charts have accompanied ancient mariners onto the deep blue seas for more than 150 years, but come next April, they will be printed in the United States for the last time. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the paper charts will be deep-sixed, with the 2014 printing being the last.
The 4x3-foot ocean maps are being tossed overboard because the Federal Aviation Administration—which took over chart-making in the 1990s—recently informed the NOAA it will cease production of the charts to save money.
According to the NOAA's Shep Smith, the agency will continue to chart the water for rocks, shipwrecks and dangers. Sailors will have to rely on private printers, PDFs and electronic maps to view the information, Smith told The Associated Press.