A User-defined Virtual Reality Chart for Track Control Navigation and Hydrographic Data Acquisition

  • Andrew Ternes
  • Peter Knight
  • Antoni Moore
  • Holger Regenbrecht
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


In hydrographic surveying dynamic electronic displays are used to assist in navigating the survey vessel to a desired waypoint or maintain a desired track. The visual display for the coxswain (the “driver” of the ship) is typically a two dimensional (2D) planimetric view which is oriented so that the vessel direction is facing up on the display. This can be confusing at times for the coxswain, as he / she has to relate the virtual desired track on the display to the surrounding spatial reality, sometimes with few references to aid the process. The coxswain has to mentally visualise the desired track as an invisible line across the sea surface and attempt to steer the vessel down the line. The objective of this project is to investigate the use of a three-dimensional (3D) nautical chart with intended users of the chart involved as a focus group at the design and feedback stages of its development. The intent of the project is to create a virtual environment that will aid in track control and other forms of navigation. It is proposed that the chart will increase the spatial and situational awareness of the mariner and allow intuitive and quicker decision making in running desired tracks for hydrographic surveys. The project makes use of a perspective view from the helm of a virtual vessel, modelled on the actual vessel used to trial the system. The mariners in the user focus group agreed that the 3D chart was effective, creating an enhanced cognitive appreciation of where the vessel was in relationship to its surroundings, while faithfulness to the 2D chart was also commented on.


three dimensional nautical charts virtual marine environment user focus groups hydrographic survey seamless bathymetry-topography Electronic Nautical Charts (ENC) navigation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Ternes
    • 1
  • Peter Knight
    • 2
  • Antoni Moore
    • 3
  • Holger Regenbrecht
    • 4
  1. 1.Hydrographic Survey & Spatial Data Port of Melbourne CorporationMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of SurveyingUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  3. 3.School of Surveying / Department of Information ScienceUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  4. 4.Department of Information ScienceUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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