ECDIS transitional period completion: analyses, observations and findings

Abstract

During the past three decades, the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) evolved from its initial purpose to a complex navigation support tool. The transition from paper to electronic charts represents a substantial step in navigation, contributing to the reduction of the navigator’s workload, ease of execution of navigational tasks and integrated information and data fusion. In the system handling, Masters and Officers of the Watch (OOWs) are experiencing various issues ranging in their nature. The proposed paper represents a segment of a systematically carried out research among ECDIS stakeholders. The aim of the ECDIS EHO (Experience, Handling and Opinion) research is the development of an educational framework and the improvement of the Maritime Education and Training (MET) processes. This is to be achieved through a specific approach, proper communication and subtle educational, practical and research activities that have developed through time and research segments accomplishment, always striving at the user-centred, often neglected issues and their solving. The research methodology has been described in the respective chapter, together with the questionnaire which represents one of the main research tools. This segment of the research refers to opinions and attitudes of Masters and OOWs towards ECDIS mandatory implementation period completion, as collected from the ECDIS EHO questionnaire. The answers to the questions regarding the system role as a justified replacement of paper charts and the features of the means of navigation when compared with another have been categorised and discussed. Individual knowledge has been examined concerning new technology perception and understanding of the ECDIS system. The analyses and answers processing and accompanying comments have revealed certain illogicalities referring to the acceptance of the system as a mandatory, primary and often only, means of navigation. The level of acceptance and opinions regarding two means of navigation features have differed among respondents, irrespectively of their seagoing experience, navigational rank, ECDIS experience and the level of education. The analyses have revealed the need for the adaptation of ECDIS Education and Training to a particular navigational rank regarding engagement with the system. A new approach of the targeting methodology has been introduced and conducted. Critical groups of respondents have been identified and elaborated further. The research has resulted in the organisation of a new ECDIS MET course at the Faculty of Maritime Studies of the University of Rijeka. Considering the obtained results and the ongoing system development, findings and solutions have been presented in the conclusion chapter, together with the means of their achievements and the further work.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Nevertheless the regulations, certain flag state administrations and shipping companies require an Emergency Set of Paper (ESP) charts as an ultimate backup.

  2. 2.

    During 2018, an insufficient sample of answers was collected. Therefore, this year was not considered as a relevant one for the analysis.

  3. 3.

    The recent year (in time of writing) has not been considered in this research due to insufficient samples.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to all the officers of the navigational watch on their time and willingness for the fulfilment of this research, discussions and their opinions. The authors believe that their answers have an immense significance for the appropriateness of the research deliverables.

Funding

This research has been financially supported by the University of Rijeka under the Faculty of Maritime Studies projects.

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Correspondence to David Brčić.

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Brčić, D., Žuškin, S., Valčić, S. et al. ECDIS transitional period completion: analyses, observations and findings. WMU J Marit Affairs 18, 359–377 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13437-019-00173-z

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Keywords

  • Maritime navigation
  • Digital navigation
  • Paperless vessels
  • ECDIS Education and Training
  • Knowledge transfer
  • ECDIS EHO