The S-100 framework is more flexible than the older, paper chart-based standard S-57 and includes the use of imagery and gridded data, enhanced metadata specifications, and unlimited encoding formats, and has a more flexible maintenance regime. This enables the development of new applications that go beyond the scope of traditional hydrography and includes high-density bathymetry, seafloor classification, and marine GIS. S-100-based products are therefore extensible, and future requirements such as 3-D/4-D data and Web-based services for acquiring, processing, analyzing, accessing, and presenting hydrographic data can be easily added when required. S-100 currently serves as the fundamental framework for datasets such as the new Electronic Navigational Charts (S-101), high-resolution bathymetry (S-102), water levels (S-104), surface currents (S-111) and marine weather (S-41X).
As more and more S-100 based product specifications are developed and released, NOAA is in a unique position to be at the forefront in operationalizing and disseminating these products. NOAA’s broad mission from providing Electronic Navigational Charts, water levels, surface currents, bathymetry, and marine weather forecasts, allows for the building of an integrated dissemination system. Presently, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey is working on operationalizing water levels in the S-104 format, surface water currents in the S-111 format, and has developed S-111 prototype data for several Operational Forecast Systems. Future plans include developing S-102 high-resolution bathymetry datasets, as well as to test S-57 to S-101 conversion algorithms. The other component NOAA is building out is an S-100 metadata database that will provide the backbone of S-100 data dissemination under the Precision Navigation mantle.