The International Hydrographic Association (IHO) developed the S-100 Universal Hydrographic Data Model (S-100) to align with the future demand for digital products and services. In 2021, the IHO approved S-100 Edition 5.0.0 as the current industry standard framework for hydrographic data, in support of S-101 ENC replacing the legacy S-57 Edition 3.1 data standard formally adopted in 1992.
Under S-100, all your hydrographic data must be encoded in an accepted format, such as ISO-8211, GML, and HDF5. This data policy was developed to promote interoperability and machine readability of maritime S-100 based products while also standardizing two hydrographic portrayal processing engines. This framework is designed for the next generation of navigation charting products. For mariners, these advancements in navigation products directly correlate to their safety. In order for digital products within the vessel’s framework to continue relaying data effectively to the mariner, systems will need to be compatible under S-100 guidelines.
Once the S-100 product generation process concludes within the Hydrographic Offices (HOs), current datasets will be scheduled for obsolescence. Meaning HOs will publish an end-of-life date and stop updating S-57. Companies offering ECDIS, ECS, e-navigation, and PPU solutions will need to develop new tools, modules, and applications to continue to support mariners.
By early 2021, over 30 hydrographic products are already in development by working groups and international organizations such as:
- International Hydrographic Organization (IHO): S-101– S-199
- International Association of Light Authorities (IALA): S-201–S-299
- Inland Electronic Navigation Charting Harmonization Group (IEHG): S-401– S-402
- Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (WMO/IOC JCOMM): S-411–S-414
- International Electrotechnical Commission- Technical Committee #80 (IEC-TC80): S-421–S-430.
GeoNavigation Technologies (GNT) has developed products based on the S-100 framework known as the “FairSeas” commercial product line. These products were specifically designed to support the maritime community during the S-100 transition by offering an affordable alternative to costly development, integration, and compliance. Led by Dr. Ed Weaver, who actively supports the IHO S-100 efforts, the GNT team has spent seven years at the forefront of S-100 software development. These products provide solutions for maritime OEMs, HOs, mariners, and research and educational institutions.
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