NOAA
Office of Coast Survey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce


June 5, 2019

Hi Coast Survey,

In advance of the upcoming World Hydrography Day on June 21, I would like to talk about the importance of the work we do at the Office of Coast Survey. We support a wide variety of activities, from developing new hydrodynamic models and surveying the nation’s waters to building electronic navigational charts and other products to support safe navigation. One of the common threads that ties all of this together is international standards developed by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

My main job at Coast Survey is to serve as the deputy division chief of the Coast Survey Development Lab (CSDL), but I am also honored to serve as the chair of the IHO's S-100 Working Group. S-100 is IHO’s framework for the standardization of maritime data products such as high-resolution bathymetry, surface currents, marine protected areas, and the new standards for electronic navigational charts. Now that the IHO has published Edition 4.0.0 of the standard, we are developing the S-100 Interoperability Specification, which provides a machine-readable mechanism for front of bridge systems to portray different types of data in a harmonious fashion.

However, standards are nothing unless you can develop and operationalize products in support of them. As global producers of data move toward leveraging consensus-based standards such as the S-100 framework, it can lead to lower implementation costs for the equipment manufacturer, which can result in a lower cost to the consumer and an increased uptake of the product.

CSDL is doing their part to help operationalize S-100 based products in the following ways:

  • Working on integrating S-102 high resolution bathmetry for navigation into the National Bathymetric Source (NBS) workflow.
  • Building out a Precision Navigation dissemination system using the S-100 metadata discovery framework for machine-to-machine data discovery.
  • Operationalizing S-111 surface currents from operational forecast systems.

To learn more about S-100 and system implementation, tune into our presentation on Tuesday, June 18, at 11 a.m. (EDT). Both Neil Weston, technical director of Coast Survey, and myself will kick-off the first NOAA Nav-cast, a quarterly webinar series that highlights the tools and trends of NOAA navigation services.

Julia Powell
Deputy Division Chief, Coast Survey Development Lab