Nautical products

Electronic navigational products

Electronic navigational products are used shipboard in an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) for real-time navigation. The electronic navigational products supported by the Nautical Solution consist of Digital Nautical Chart (DNC), Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC), and Additional Military Layer (AML). These products are supported out of the box. However, you can configure and implement your own product formats. Some of the products currently configurable with the Nautical Solution consist of Marine Information Overlays (MIO) and Inland Electronic Navigational Chart (iENC).

Digital Nautical Chart (DNC)

DNCs are stored in the Vector Product Format (VPF) as a vector dataset in tiled structure. There are four navigational purposes for the DNC product: Harbor (DNCH), Approach (DNCA), Coastal (DNCC), and General (DNCG). For more information on how to produce a DNC library, see DNC production.

Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC)

ENCs are stored in the S-57 IHO Transfer Standard format as a vector dataset in a cell structure. The ENC cells represent a nonsimple tiling structure in which the cells may overlap; however, the data in the cells (within a certain scale band) do not overlap. There are six navigational purpose scales for the ENC product; Overview, General, Coastal, Approach, Harbor, and Berthing. For more information on how to produce an ENC, see ENC production.

Additional Military Layers (AML)

AML is a unified range of digital geospatial data products designed to satisfy nonnavigational maritime defense requirements.

AML data is stored in the S-57 IHO Transfer Standard format. The objective of AML data is to provide information as overlays to standard charts or as defense-specific products in a single product range with no replication of information. This includes hydrographic data beyond traditional nautical navigation. The AML profiles included are

  • Contour Line Bathymetry (CLB)
  • Environment Seabed and Beach (ESB)
  • Large Bottom Objects (LBO)
  • Maritime Foundation and Facilities (MFF)
  • Routes, Areas, and Limits (RAL)
  • Small Bottom Objects (SBO)

For more information on how to produce an AML chart, see AML production.

Marine Information Overlays (MIO)

MIOs, originally called Marine Information Objects, contain information that is chart and navigation related but not essential for navigation that supplements information. An MIO is displayed in conjunction with an ENC by ECDIS. An MIO contains nonmandatory information that is additional to the mariner; this includes ice coverage, tide/water level, current flow, meteorological, oceanographic, and marine habitats/protected areas, which are not covered by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), and the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) standards. This information is based on the same S-57 IHO standard as the ENCs. A General Content Specification and Encoding Guide are currently under development. It is expected that MIOs will be aligned with the new IHO S-100 standard for hydrographic data.

Inland Electronic Navigational Chart (iENC)

Inland ENCs consist of waterways (rivers) used for transportation. Navigating inland waterways requires the most precise and up-to-date data possible, as it involves typically shallow areas, subject to tidal and/or seasonal fluctuations, and shifting navigation channels and river banks. The iENCs are stored in the S-57, version 3.1 IHO Transfer Standard format.

Cartographic navigational products

Hard-copy navigational products are the traditional method for shipboard navigation. All hard-copy nautical navigational products are supported through the use of preconfigured geodatabase models, production editing tools, symbology, geoprocessing tools, and import/export to product-specific formats. The hard-copy navigational products supported include general nautical charts following specifications from the IHO S-4 that can be printed or sent to color separation for offset mass production.


The Nautical Solution is not limited to supporting the products mentioned. The products listed above are supported out of the box; however, you can configure and implement your own product formats.

General Nautical charts adhere to paper charting standards set forth by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). The IHO established the S-4 chart specifications for the IHO and Regulations for International (INT) charts. The S-4 publication includes three supplementary reference documents (INT1, INT2, and INT3). INT1 references the internationally agreed-on product specification for symbols, abbreviations, and terms used on charts. INT2 depicts the borders, graduations, grids, and linear scales approved for use on Nautical charts. INT3 is a standard reference chart of a fictitious area with several examples of the use of the symbols and abbreviations on Nautical charts. The Nautical charts produced around the world have a distinctive look that is unique to each hydrographic office producing them because each hydrographic office uses its own variation of the INT1 symbols. ENC data is most commonly used in the production of these charts; however, other data sources may be incorporated. For more information on how to produce hard-copy nautical charts, see Nautical chart production.