Electronic Chart Display and Information System
An Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) is a geographic information system used for nautical navigation that complies with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations as an alternative to paper nautical chart. IMO refers to similar systems not meeting the regulations as Electronic Chart Systems (ECSs).
An ECDIS system displays the information from Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC) or Digital Nautical Charts (DNC) and integrates position information from position, heading and speed through water reference systems and optionally other navigational sensors. Other sensors which could interface with an ECDIS are Radar, Navtex, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and depth sounders.
ECDIS provides continuous position and navigational safety information. The system generates audible and/or visual alarms when the vessel is in proximity to navigational hazards.
ECDIS (as defined by IHO Publications S-57 and S-52 is an approved marine navigational chart and information system, which is accepted as complying with the conventional paper charts required by Regulation V/19 of the 1974 IMO SOLAS Convention as amended. The performance requirements for ECDIS are defined by IMO and the consequent test standards have been developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in International Standard IEC 61174.
In the future, the ENC will be part of a product specification family which is based on the "IHO Universal Hydrographic Data Model", known as S-100. The product specification number S-101 has been assigned to the ENC.