Since President Thomas Jefferson asked for a survey of the coast in 1807, Coast Survey has been the nationâs trusted source for nautical charts covering the coastal waters of the U.S. and its territories. The traditional paper chart is NOAA's signature product, trusted by mariners over the centuries as they navigate the Great Lakes and the coastal waters of the U.S. and its territories. (Traditional charts meet U.S. Coast Guard carriage requirements in U.S. waters.) Paper charts are available for purchase from chart sellers around the world.
Mariners need to update their paper charts
Coast Survey creates and updates traditional paper charts, which are printed by the Federal Aviation Administration. A new chart edition includes the latest nautical information available to NOAA up until the time of printing. NOAA produces new editions when navigationally important changes render the prior printing obsolete. During a typical year, NOAA may create 200 to 300 new chart editions.
The edition number and date (month and year of printing) are in the lower left corner of the chart. The dates of the latest Notice to Mariners and Local Notice to Mariners corrections are also listed.
The chart date is important to the navigator. When charted information becomes obsolete, further use of the chart for navigation may be dangerous. Natural and man-made changes, many of them critical, occur constantly. Navigators should obtain the latest edition of a chart, and correct their copies at regular intervals with changes published in the Notices to Mariners.
To determine the current editions of NOAA charts, consult the Dates of Latest Editions.