The International Maritime Organization (IMO), in collaboration with the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the French Hydrographic Office (SHOM), recently held a two-week training course in hydrography and nautical charting for the benefit of French-speaking African countries.
The training took place at the Regional Academy of Science and Sea Technology (ARSTM) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from November 19 to December 1, 2012. The trainers were two hydrographers and one cartographer from SHOM and the 22 attendees, representing 11 countries, were all professionals of the sea.
The main objective of the course was to train this group of professionals in modern techniques of hydrographic surveying and nautical charting, to promote the development, in each country, of capacities for port authorities to issue maritime products and to provide high quality hydrographic services that satisfy the minimum requirements to ensure the safety of navigation in the waters under national jurisdiction.
The training included theoretical and practical courses in topics related to hydrography: geodesy, underwater acoustics, tides, currents, and depth measurement. It also included a hydrographic survey in the Abidjan lagoon, with an ARSTM vessel on which the instructors had installed an all-in-one integrated system for shallow water exploration (SIREP), developed by SHOM.
The part of the course devoted to nautical charting was built on the principles of producing paper charts and Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) and was illustrated by various workshops and exercises. CARIS Easy View was used to introduce and discover the world of ENCs.