Ship operators can say goodbye to paper navigational charts, as the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ Institute of Transportation announced yesterday it had completed an electronic navigation chart system.
Center of Harbor and Marine Technology director Chiu Yung-fang (邱永芳) said the project was launched last year in response to a 2008 resolution by the International Marine Organization stipulating that all ships worldwide must be equipped with electronic navigation charts by the end of this year.
The new charts come in different scales and focuses. An overview chart, for example, covers the entire area around Taiwan, including the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台). The information comes mainly from harbor bureaus, the institute said, adding that no data came from the Ministry of National Defense.
Although the institute had yet to determine how much the system would cost, the system has drawn the attention of Jeppesen, a US-based aeronautical and navigational charting service provider — part of the Boeing family — which has expressed an interest in buying it, Chiu said.
The institute also showcased the automatic identification system that will help harbor authorities and shipping firms keep track of commercial ships in waters surrounding Taiwan.
Chiu said that the system had been made available to several government agencies, including the Coast Guard Administration, the Directorate General of Customs and the Navy.
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