Rivers of Data – Inland Electronic Navigation Charts

Example of Inland Electronic Navigation Chart Overlay at Southwest Pass, Louisiana.

Nautical charts provide critical information to mariners in support of safe navigation. Historically these charts have been printed and distributed on paper, but modern communications systems allow for electronic charts that are able to be updated as new information becomes available. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coast Survey produces charts for coastal and Great Lakes areas, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers produces charts for America’s inland rivers through the Inland Electronic Navigation Chart program. The Inland Electronic Navigation Chart (IENC) program covers thousands of miles of navigable waterways. America’s inland waterways move millions of tons of commodities every year, and the work of surveying, charting, and dredging sediment is continually ongoing due to the dynamic conditions and constant change happening along any given river.

Rivers included in the Inland Electronic Navigation Chart (IENC) program include the Allegheny River, Arkansas River, Atchafalaya River, Black Warrior-Tombigbee Rivers, Cumberland River, Green River, Illinois River, Kaskaskia, Kanawha River, Lower Mississippi River, Missouri River, Monongahela River, Ohio River, Ouachita River, Red River, Tennessee River (Including the Tellico, Hiwassee, Clinch and Emory Rivers), Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, Upper Mississippi River, and the White River. Anyone can access the navigation charts for these rivers, which show depth contours, buoys, lights, known hazards, and reference landmarks.

References and Data.Gov Links:

Inland Electronic Navigational Charts (IENC), https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/inland-electronic-navigational-charts-ienc

USACE Inland Electronic Navigation Charts Homepage, http://ienccloud.us/

NOAA Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC), https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/noaa-electronic-navigational-charts-enc7cce5

NOAA Raster Navigational Charts (RNC), https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/noaa-raster-navigational-charts-rnc7af22

Marin Kress, PhD, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center