After 5 days of hard work, on Friday November 14th, it took place the Closing Ceremony of the 6th, Meeting of the Hydrographic Services and Standards Committee (HSSC6) of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), activity carried out in the city of Viña del Mar, and organized by the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy (SHOA), after several members of the Committee expressed their interest to carry the event out in our country, during the HSSC5 (2013).

The president of the Committee, Dr. Mathias Jonas, National Hydrographic Surveyor from Germany, expressed his satisfaction for the progress made during this meeting, in which one of the many topics discussed in detail was the reorganization of the Committee to make their work groups able to take efficient and effective care of the development of the “Universal Model of Hydrographic Data of the IHO” called S-100. This norm provides the framework for the development of the next generation of Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC), as well as other related digital products, required by the hydrographic and maritime communities and of Geographic Information Systems.

To Gilles Bessero, Director of the International Hydrographic Bureau, the Secretariat of the IHO, the important part in this activity is that through the debates and accomplished commitments, it is possible to define standards for the production of the Nautical Charts, for their consideration and implementation in every Hydrographic Office in the world. “During these meetings, the way Nautical Charts will be presented is agreed, if it is either in paper or electronically, that is to say, the symbology is revised and everything included in these products with the purpose of having an international level standardization".

Bessero explained that with this normalization, navigators from all over the world can trust in the Nautical Charts regardless of the place where these products are manufactured. “We take care that the symbols on a Nautical Chart made in Chile, Germany or any other country that has a coastal territory, are the same. The idea of the Committee meeting is to make sure that these international standards are met, by modifying them in the case that they need to be perfected, changing symbols or any other aspect that might affect the cartography".

The Director of the SHOA, Rear-admiral Mr. Patricio Carrasco, emphasized the fact that our country had been the host of such important meeting which is clearly a privilege and a commitment at the same time with the international hydrographic community. “Chile is a country with an extensive coast, where there are also channels and fjords that make necessary to produce especial cartography, very precise to provide security for the navigators. We incorporate the norms and the specifications agreed by the IHO and we apply them to our products, following the last technology available on an international level. This is evidenced by the students we have today who come from over 6 different countries and who are currently studying Hydrography and Oceanography with us, all of this is possible thanks to the technology with which we work and the experience we have on this topic”, he said.

By the end of the meeting important agreements were made which will allow moving the objectives of the Committee and the International Hydrographic Organization forward. Chile has been one of the Founder Countries since 1921.