The Norwegian Mapping Authority Hydrographic Service is responsible for preparing and updating nautical charts, and covers all marine and coastal waters in Norway and around Svalbard, as well as polar waters.
NAUTICAL KNOWHOW: Nautical charts are a must for anyone taking a boat trip. Photo: Morten Brun
The Norwegian Hydrographic Service was established in 1932 and has operated as a division of the Norwegian Mapping Authority since 1986. The division has 145 employees and is based in Stavanger.
Official nautical charts
The Norwegian Hydrographic Service is the only authorised producer of official nautical charts in Norway, and vessels over a certain size are obliged to use these charts. As well as cartographical work, the Hydrographic Service is also responsible for information about tidal waters and currents.
The Norwegian Hydrographic Service is required to facilitate safe and effective navigation in Norwegian coastal and marine areas. The Hydrographic Service undertakes this task by gathering, administering, processing and publishing official maritime information to a range of user groups.
Charting the ecosystem
While safe coastal navigation takes top priority, the Hydrographic Service’s deep water database is also useful for other purposes, including coastal zone planning and administration of fisheries.
As a supplier of deep water data, the Norwegian Mapping Authority helps to improve knowledge of the structure, mode of operation and status of the marine ecosystem. This knowledge provides a framework for establishing sustainable management of coastal and marine areas in Norway.
International nautical charts
The Norwegian Hydrographic Service has operational responsibility for Primar, the international nautical chart service. This supplies official electronic nautical charts for international shipping on behalf of around 40 nations.
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