As this GeoPortal is launched, the Instituto Hidrográfico de la Marina (IHM) joins the long list of Government agencies making geographic data available under the Spanish Spatial Data Infrastructure (IDEE) as per Spanish Law 14/2010 on Geographic Information Infrastructures and Services in Spain (LISIGE), a transposition of European Directive 2007/2/CE (INSPIRE).
The aforementioned legislation and its associated requirement to support the growing need to use nautical geographic information for non-navigational purposes has resulted in this GeoPortal.
It should be noted that the main task of the IHM is the safety of navigation by means of the production and distribution of nautical charts and publications, as per Spanish Law 7/1986 on Cartographic Regulation. Consequently, the IHM is tasked with the production of official Government Nautical Cartography both in digital format and in hardcopy. However, the specific nature of this cartography, and specially the need for (weekly) constant updates and the associated commitment to safety, results in a very specific digital product (the Electronic Navigational Chart, ENC) which is internationally standardized for exclusive use on ECDIS (Electronic Chart and Display Information System) consoles on board vessels, which includes strong security measures to prevent unauthorized dissemination. Thus, the demand from society for digital nautical information could not be covered by this product due to two circumstances: first, that the IHM should not leave this internationally agreed security scheme, and second, that prospective users lack the necessary consoles to work with these products.
This situation and the lack of a GeoPortal such as this one resulted in the IHM resorting to ad-hoc on-demand products to cover each specific request for nautical information over the last few years. Consequently, this generated an increase in the workload and staff requirements in addition to the main task at
the IHM. Recent staff limitations have put on additional stress on the IHM.
This IDE-IHM GeoPortal offers a series of services related to nautical geographic information which no doubt will automatically satisfy many of the requests received up to date. The IHM intends to expand services offered by this GeoPortal, a task in which user feedback will surely prove invaluable.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It must be taken into account that the products offered here are products derived from the production workflow of official nautical cartography. For this reason, part of the information shown has great similarity with the information on official ENCs or paper charts. This should not confuse the user in such a way that the information shown can be interpreted as being valid to be used for any activity related to navigation, as this would seriously compromise the mariner’s safety. Official nautical cartography is updated weekly by the «Weekly Notices to Mariners Bulletin» which provides mariners with updates the official nautical cartography in his possession, to insert into it any new dangers that may have arisen. In addition, for more urgent safety information, Maritime Rescue (SASEMAR) uses the system of coastal radio warnings to keep mariners continuously informed. The update rate of this IDE is much lower, and in no way is sufficient to provide safety for navigation.
This IHM accepts no liability whatsoever for the use for nautical purposes of the information provided herein.