The Electronic Chart: Functions, Potential and Limitations is a textbook for ECDIS use and training. IMO is referring to the third edition of the book The Electronic Chart  in its Model Course 1.27 for Generic ECDIS training. The book may be used either for self-teaching or in conjunction with ECDIS training as a reference book. Mariners, ECDIS producers/developers, maritime authorities, ECDIS trainers/teachers and maritime students/ECDIS trainees all over the globe have been using this handbook.

The book has been written by the highly respected authors Horst Hecht, Bernhard Berking, Mathias Jonas and Lee Alexander.

Collectively,  this 3rd edition is intended as a comprehensive textbook on ECDIS in which each topic is systematically built upon using information covered in earlier chapters. The book can also be used selectively as a handbook, with various ECDIS-related topics covered in a stand-alone manner. In addition, an effort has been made to cite references to international standards and requirements and to mention sources of further information about a specific topic. On a cautionary note, it does not replace a user manual for a specific type of ECDIS equipment.

The CD-based ECDIS demonstration software can be operated on a personal computer. It can be used by individuals or in conjunction with ECDIS training courses.
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More info about The Electronic Chart

  • Structure and ContentDesigned to meet the specific needs of the ECDIS stakeholder community.

    The book is structured into five major parts, each building sequentially upon the last:

    Part A (Chapters 1 - 6) 
    introduces the subject and explains the basic fundamentals that make up an ECDIS, ranging from architecture to electronic-chart data structure and methods of display.

    Part B (Chapter 7 - 13) 
    describes the primary functions of ECDIS and its practical use, presenting a comprehensive account of ECDIS use in practice, including its potential, requirements and limitations from the point of view of a navigator. ECDIS functioning is explained based on the ECDIS fundamentals.

    Part C (Chapters 14 - 15) 
    details the means and process of providing the electronic chart data required to use ECDIS worldwide. This includes official services for ENC data provision, distribution and updating.

    Part D (Chapters 16 - 18) 
    discusses the need for and primary objectives and content of ECDIS training. It gives guidance on how to design training courses, including simulator training, supported by ECDIS Demonstration software developed by a leading ECDIS manufacturer (Transas Marine).The IMO ECDIS training requirements and a cross-reference between training subjects and book chapters are given in the Appendix.

    Part E (Chapters 19 - 24) 
    describes key aspects of ECDIS beyond its practical use, such as adequate backup arrangements, safety issue considerations, regulatory and legal implications, and some economic aspects.

    The book concludes with an overview of supplementary information layers and other uses of ECDIS, and an outlook on future development.

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  • AuthorsHorst Hecht, Bernhard Berking, Mathias Jonas, Lee Alexander

    Horst Hecht
    is retired vice president of the German Federal and Maritime Agency (BSH) and, as predecessor to Mathias Jonas, former director of the BSH Hydrographic Department. He was involved for many years with ECDIS standardisation in numerous bodies of IHO and IMO. He is now active as a hydrographic freelancer and as a senior scientific advisor on marine GIS issues to a major geospatial software company.

    Dr Bernhard Berking
    is a lecturer on training courses in ECDIS use for navigators and pilots. He is a retired professor for navigation at ISSUS (University of Applied Sciences Hamburg) and was visiting professor for Electronic Navigation Systems at the World Maritime University. He was also chairman of the Maritime Commission of the German Institute of Navigation (DGON) and expert member of the German delegation at IMO.

    Dr Mathias Jonas
    is director of the Department 'Nautical Hydrography' of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), Hamburg and Rostock (Germany). Before that, he established the world's first legal ECDIS type approval and was head of production of national nautical publications including electronic chart data for many years.

    Dr Lee Alexander
    is research associate professor of Electronic Charting at the University of New Hampshire. He serves on several international committees and working groups dealing with electronic charting, AIS and e-Navigation. Previously, he was a visiting scientist with the Canadian Hydrographic Service and a research scientist with the US Coast Guard. He is also a retired US Navy Captain.

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  • Customer reviewsA 'must read'

    Michael Bergmann, Director Maritime Industry, Affairs and Services at Jeppesen:
    "If anyone wants to understand 'Electronic Charts' in the maritime environment this book is a 'must read'. Not only does it touch all major aspects, it is also easy to read. Most importantly it also highlights the limitations and addresses key aspects, like need for update. Within my team it is mandated to read and it should be in reach for anyone dealing with maritime electronic charts. "

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  • Bulk ordersEducation, training, workshops, etc.

    If you think you would like to order ten or more copies of The Electronic Chart, please enquire about our attractive discount offers.

  • IMO approvedInternational Maritime Organisation

    It was the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) decision to introduce a carriage requirement for Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) beginning in 2012. IMO's first task when it came into being in 1959 was to adopt a new version of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the most important of all treaties dealing with maritime safety.
    IMO has also developed and adopted international collision regulations and global standards for seafarers, as well as international conventions and codes relating to search and rescue, the facilitation of international maritime traffic, load lines, the carriage of dangerous goods and tonnage measurement.

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