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Maps, Atlases, and Cartographic Resources

How to find and use maps resources at the James E. Brooks Library

Nautical Charts

What is a nautical chart?

"A nautical chart is one of the most fundamental tools available to the mariner. It is a map that depicts the configuration of the shoreline and seafloor. It provides water depths, locations of dangers to navigation, locations and characteristics of aids to navigation, anchorages, and other features.

The nautical chart is essential for safe navigation. Mariners use charts to plan voyages and navigate ships safely and economically. Federal regulations require most commercial vessels to carry nautical charts while they transit U.S. waters.

Since the mid-1830s, the U.S. Coast Survey (a NOAA predecessor agency) has been the nation’s nautical chartmaker. NOAA's Office of Coast Survey is still responsible for creating and maintaining all charts of U.S. coastal waters, the Great Lakes, and waters surrounding U.S. territories."

Office of the Coast Survey, NOAA provides historical charts back to 1807 when President Jefferson founded this agency.

Chart Locator, NOAA - an interactive site

Raster Charts, NOAA


Aeronautical & Flight Information


Aeronautical Information Services, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - civil aviation authority providing the foundations for flight in the national airspace system.

Aeronautical Information Portal, FAA - to make inquiries, submit data forms, etc.

Aeronautical Charting Meeting, FAA

Air Traffic, FAQ

Sectional VFR Charts

FAA Catalog of Products