Nautical Charts

In this activity, students explore the importance of nautical charts to navigation on ocean waters. A chart of locations can be downloaded online or purchased at NOAA or marine supply stores along with navigational tools needed to plot a course.

Students learn to read the chart’s major features after becoming familiar with its symbols. After this activity, students should be able to:

  • Identify major features and read the essential symbols and information provided on nautical charts.
  • Describe how using the information provided on nautical charts can help find your location and navigate on water.
  • Plot a safe course from one location to another using the chart’s compass rose, distance scale, dividers, and parallel rulers.