Nautical Charts

Nautical charts contain information on water depths, navigational aids, shipping channels, and restricted areas. They may also show details of coastal settlements, shorelines, reefs, and other physical features. These charts are collected for research purposes and are not intended to be used for navigation. Most charts in the Earth Sciences & Map Library are produced by the National Ocean Service (NOS), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and their predecessors.

Search & find nautical charts

NOAA On-Line Chart Viewer: view online up-to-date NOS charts for U.S. coastal and Great Lakes waters and NGA charts for international coastal waters.

Historical Map & Chart Collection: view online historical charts of U.S. coastal waters from NOS and its predecessors.

In the library, National Ocean Service (NOS) Charts are filed by chart number at G3701.P5 svar .U51 [Case B]. These charts cover U.S. domestic waters and are produced by the NOS and its predecessors, the U.S. Coast Survey and the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. Our collection includes many charts from the late 1850s to the present. Use the indexes at our Circulation Desk and the Superseded Chart Conversion Table to identify relevant chart numbers.

Topographic Survey Charts (or T-Charts) cover U.S. coastal waters and were produced by the U.S. Coast Survey from 1835-1927. Our collection of T-Charts are filed at G3700 svar .U5 [Case B]. Use the index at our Circulation Desk to identify chart numbers for your area of interest.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Charts are filed by chart number at G9096.P5 svar .U4 [Case B]. These charts cover foreign coastal waters and are produced by NGA and its predecessors. Our collection includes the oldest and most recent charts for most areas of the world. Use the current and out-of-print indexes at our Circulation Desk to identify relevant chart numbers.

You can find other nautical charts in our collection by using the Advanced Keyword Search in OskiCat to search for subject keywords [nautical charts place name] (e.g., nautical charts japan). You can find other ocean-related keywords in the list of common subject keywords for maps.

Nautical charts can be difficult to find, so please do not hesitate to ask us for assistance.

Other nautical chart resources