Guide to the Nautical Solution

The ESRI Nautical Solution allows you to efficiently manage nautical data, products, workflows, and quality for navigational information.

Managing nautical data

Managing nautical data involves getting data into a geodatabase and maintaining the data in a geodatabase. In the enterprise production environment, data is loaded into the central database and maintained there. Changes are then synchronized to the production geodatabases. In the desktop environment, data is loaded and maintained in the production geodatabases.

Importing data

Legacy data can be brought into the geodatabase(s) through various mechanisms. The common mechanisms are described below:

  • The S-57 to Geodatabase tool imports S-57 data into the geodatabase.
  • The Data Interoperability extension allows you to directly copy and paste features from various formats into the geodatabase while working in an edit session.
  • Features can be compiled, or digitized, from scanned paper charts, satellite imagery, and aerial photographs. A variety of editing tools are available for compiling data from raster images.
  • The Production Mapping Data Loader uses a database, with the appropriate schema, as a cross-reference database to search for source data and loads the data into an enterprise or desktop geodatabase.
  • The Convert VPF Data to Geodatabase tool allows you to import data from VPF format into the geodatabase.

Managing nautical products

Nautical products are managed with the product library for both enterprise and desktop production environments. If you are using the preconfigured product library XML workspace provided with the Nautical Solution, you can start creating products. If you are not using the product library XML workspace provided, you must have already created and configured the product library to start creating products.

The Nautical Solution includes tools product management tasks such as cartographic finishing, exporting, and publishing.

Finishing cartographic products

With cartographic products, finishing refers to a wide variety of processes, such as generating and placing annotation, rotating and displacing representation symbols, adding surround elements to the page layout, or applying second edition edits. All these processes serve to make the chart more accurate and legible.

Exporting and publishing

The Nautical Solution provides tools to export and publish cartographic or electronic products.

Managing nautical workflows

Hydrographic Offices (HOs) are responsible for production and distribution of nautical data, including the preparation and provision of digital data and updates to ensure that mariners can obtain the most up-to-date Electronic Navigation Charts (ENCs), AML, DNC, and paper charts available.

To ensure the highest quality of their products, HOs require establishing controlled workflows and quality management systems. The variety of source data, the constant changes in the marine environment, and the need for safer maritime routes and hydrographic data availability make the production process a complex workflow.

Workflow Manager and Task Assistant Manager provide an ideal set of tools to allow a hydrographic office to design their production processes and employ repeatable, standardized workflows that can be monitored and controlled in a production environment.

ArcGIS Workflow Manager

Workflow Manager is a GIS workflow management system and an extension to ArcGIS. Workflow Manager helps standardize and streamline production processes, optimizing efficiency and helping ensure quality products and services. Workflow Manager is a highly configurable application, providing an array of tools and functions to allow you to define a system for managing work that best meets your unique business needs.

Hydrographic Offices can implement Workflow Manager to

  • Define and document workflow processes.
  • Manage GIS data and simplify versioning workflows.
  • Assign work and track project progress.
  • Maintain a history of completed tasks.

An example Workflow Manager workflow is illustrated below.

Workflow Manager workflow

Further information on leveraging Workflow Manager as a workflow management solution and instructions for configuring your solution are available in the Workflow Manager User Guide. Workflow Manager must be installed to access the user guide.


Workflow Manager can be integrated with Task Assistant Manager to further streamline production processes.

Task Assistant Manager

Task Assistant Manager provides tools for designing and executing step-by-step tasks within ArcMap. The application is composed of designer and user components. The designer component provides tools to configure workflows consisting of a series of manual and automated steps that must be executed to successfully complete a task. Optionally, the designer may choose to populate help content for each step. The user component provides a workflow interface where users click steps in the workflow to complete their task.

Task Assistant workflows may be implemented to

  • Streamline production procedures within ArcMap.
  • Transfer domain and technical knowledge to novice users.

An example workflow is illustrated below.

Task Assistant workflow

Further information on Task Assistant Manager is available in the Task Assistant Manager Desktop Help, accessible from the Help menu in ArcGIS once Task Assistant Manager has been installed.

Managing nautical quality

Maintaining quality data is critically important to any hydrographic organization or agency. The Nautical Solution offers a variety of ways to run quality control checks on your data while stored in the geodatabase. Data quality is relevant to several aspects of the Nautical geodatabase. See S-58 checks for a list of checks supported by the Nautical Solution. See the Data Validation and DNC section in the DNC production guide book for information on DNC validation checks.

Attribute validation

During your data collection efforts, the attribute values you enter for a specific feature can be checked through the runtime validation functionality.

When you use the Data Reviewer checks, the existing data is validated via the check configuration stored within the batch job file. However, when you create or modify a feature within the Nautical geodatabase using the Feature Manager, a series of runtime checks are performed based on the attribute values entered within the Create Attributes and Update Attributes tabs.

These runtime checks are stored in Reviewer batch jobs. To use these batch jobs, you must have a product library with a product class defined. The Nautical Solution comes with preconfigured Reviewer batch jobs for ENC, NIS, AML and DNC products. The ENC and NIS batch jobs have been configured to support the S58 4th edition validation standard. Each of the six AML vector products (CLB, ESB, LBO, MFF, RAL, SBO) has a batch job configured to verify mandatory attributes for each product at version 2.1 of the applicable AML product specification. The DNC batch jobs have been configured to support the requirements of the DNC Specification, MIL-PRF-89023 and the VPF Specification, MIL-STD-2407.

In addition, the existing features in your Nautical geodatabase can also have their attribute values validated by running the batch jobs using Data Reviewer.

With Data Reviewer, you can create batch jobs that will run a series of checks.

Running the Nautical Solution batch jobs is performed using the Data Reviewer Reviewer Batch Validate tool. Any errors found during the runtime process are directly written to the Reviewer table, which allows you to zoom, select, and symbolize features found in error.

Geometry validation

All geometry validation on data stored in the Nautical geodatabase is performed using a spatial batch job file through the Reviewer Batch Validate tool.

S-57 relationships and S-58 checks

The S-57 Relationship check verifies that all existing hierarchical and collection relationships are valid.

The Nautical Solution offers its own Data Reviewer checks designed to meet the S-58 validation specification standards:


Printing or plotting your data is another technique to perform a quality review. ArcMap gives you the ability to print your data stored within the geodatabase to the size and scale of your hard-copy source. See printing and exporting for more information.