I am learning effectiv use of OpenCPN. For that, one needs charts. So I have downloaded - among others - the charts for the south china sea.
The first good thing about the charts that they seem to understand why free information flow is important:
"It was the view that if the SCS ENC could be freely and widely available to mariners, it would further enhance the safety of navigation in the region. This in turn could reduce the chances of environmental damage from grounding and oil pollution, which have tremendous cost impact. The EAHC decided to provide the SCS ENC to users free of charge. "
I would add that when there are more users of a chart, there is higher likelihood that errors and new hazards to navigation are reported.
I nearly forgot about the charts, when I got an email noting about updates, suggesting that I would download them.
Now, that is a service, which puts the East Asia Hydrographic Commission one step even above NOAA.
Well, NOAA makes coastal charts available for free. It is a great service.
I understand that making other charts available is very difficult due to copyright reasons. However I believe if NOAA would try to negotiate, lots of charts could be made available, perhaps by forming an alliance similar to the EAHC.
Sending out notices about chart updates is technically an easy task, but undoubtedly another one to do, and there might be more important ones, as a prudent mariner will actively look for updates and notices to mariners.
Well, I am not a US taxpayer, so all I can do is to humbly point out how US citizens would benefit from NOAA chart service extended (for example tp the Caribbean), and how the world would be a nicer place for all of us by that.