While stocks of preprinted nautical charts will soon be a thing of the past, NOAA is expanding its Print-on-Demand program by adding five new firms to its approved list of POD suppliers. The agency has now authorized seven companies (OceanGrafix, East View Geospatial, Frugal Navigator, Marine Press, Paradise Cay Publications, The Map Shop and Williams & Heintz Map Corporation) to sell NOAA's paper nautical charts that are printed when the customer orders them — or "on demand." The information on the charts is still maintained by NOAA, and the charts are corrected with Notices to Mariners up to the week of purchase.
"Last October, we announced that NOAA would stop using the government printing and distribution system we originally adopted in 1861," explained Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey. "We asked private companies to help us transition from the government-run system to a robust and competitive market for paper nautical charts, and we are pleased with the results."