Mariners and navigators earlier only had the option of paper charts with which they used to navigate their way in the ocean. Navigational paper charts were the sole thing they had for ship navigation. It would have been unthinkable back then that a day would come when these paper charts would be replaced by smart digital nautical charts.
These digital electronic charts certainly have an edge over paper charts in ship navigation. Here's how:
One of the biggest advantages of digital sailing charts over paper charts is their availability. Gone are the days when it was required to determine (from the charts catalogue) what charts would be required for a particular voyage. Such an arduous task it was! These digital charts are available even when voyage orders are received at the last minute. The entire ordering process has become seamless and takes hardly a couple minutes.
With ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) becoming the primary source of navigation, it has given mariners and navigating officers the ability to plan and summarize the passage and voyage much faster and efficiently that what they could with paper charts. Reporting data such as distance to go, distance covered, average speed, etc can now be covered effortlessly and real fast.
Before paperless navigation came, charts has to be usually corrected manually by skilled mariners and navigating officers, which often took a huge amount of their work time. Even when a navigating officer had those master skills to correct a chart with speed and accuracy, there was a possibility of the occasional erroneous correction. Well, as they say, "to err, is human"! With paperless navigation, the scenario has dramatically changed and now, navigating officers receive weekly updates to the electronic charts via e-mail. So, all he has to do is download them and upload on the ECDIS.
With paperless navigational charts, all information is not just processed and displayed in real time, but it is also easier to get all the necessary navigational information at a glance. This is just not possible with paper charts.
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Author's Bio- The author is an avid blogger and this article talks about sailing charts.