Free Worldwide Coastline Charts

Charts for Portable Navigator users -

NOAA Launch the GEODAS Windows Desktop Coastline Extractor

It is now possible to download the entire NOAA satellite derived coastline database and use their desktop extractor on your PC to generate subsets of the data for use with Portable Navigator.


Use the following link to download the GEODAS Desktop Coastline Extractor setup (5Mb) :


Use the following link to download the coastline database (about 150Mb) :


This is the shoreline index page. Choose the latest version of the shp file zip e.g. 09-Mar-2015 11:15 142M and download it


Note that the NOAA updates this data and changes these links from time to time. If they don't work go to the NOAA home page and explore the site. There is a wealth of coastline data available there now. Having installed the database and coastline extractor on your PC you can now obtain worldwide NOAA coastline data for Portable Navigator at any time without an internet connection, an obvious advantage when you are out on your boat! To extract a subset of data for use with Portable Navigator having selected the area in the GEODAS Desktop Coastline Extractor use "File / Save as" and select MAPGEN coastline format. Aim for a .dat file of size up to 100 kbytes. You can control this by choosing the resolution during the extraction process. The .dat file should be placed in the PN \Charts directory where it is ready for opening with "Pos2Cht.exe". Using this new extractor has many advantages over the previous method described below, including the optional availability of rivers, lakes and political boundaries. When saved, the shorelines, rivers and political boundaries are placed  in different .dat files enabling them to be converted separately to PN charts with different line styles or as different layers if required. The latest version of PN Survey includes a more detailed World chart derived from this new NOAA data set. It contains much more detail than the previous version including island and lake shorelines.

This conversion utility will create a PN chart file from the .DAT file just you captured. You may find the unzipped file in the /tmp/usr/ directory which the unzip process will create. This is because the path was included on the host machine when it was zipped up. If you find this all too confusing don't select the zip option in the Coastline Extractor, just download the file uncompressed; (however the file will be about twice as big).

Select the output file name to be in the /pnav/charts/ directory, to save moving it later, and run the conversion utility. The default settings will convert the file. Once you have configured the conversion program the paths are saved to it's config file so it is quick to use next time. Once you have converted the file, open it with Portable Navigator and view it. You should re-frame, zoom, and re-save it with PN to get the correct view on loading the chart. Now all you have to do is add waypoints and other layers if required to complete the chart.

Frequently asked question: What about Royalties ?   Basically there are no restrictions on it's "free" use, but you can't sell the data !

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