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Digital transformation

Digital Transformation

At the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), innovation is a guiding principle for the bold digital transformation initiative now underway. This includes:

  • Work with relevant departments, agencies and industry to incorporate new technologies, as well as, the international community to implement new standards to ease into a new digital era of marine navigation.
  • Full modernization of traditional products and services.
  • Complete transformation to deliver high-quality data and digital services to our users.
  • Engagement with our stakeholders every step of the way; and
  • Data-driven services for more efficient shipping to boost Canada’s blue economy.

Digital products and services will support safe navigation

Our mission is to provide up-to-date, standardized hydrographic and geospatial information.

We do this by:

The benefits of digital go far and wide

Moving to fully digital collection, processing, dissemination, and delivery of data will significantly improve services to users through:

  • Providing users with the most up to date information they need, when they need it, using cutting-edge technologies.
  • Creating electronic navigational charts with updates automatically integrated, multiple navigational alarms, and the ability for enhanced paper charts.
  • Delivering digital products and services such as nautical publications that empower users in Canada and around the world.

Why now?

The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is moving forward with the development and implementation of new hydrographic standards, and CHS needs to make sure that its operations are fully aligned with those of the international community. The new data services are a critical component of e-navigation and will support the growing needs of the blue economy.

How are we getting there over the next five years?

Streamlining and strengthening our business practices:

  • Developing a new business portal to offer subscription services and make it easier than ever for users to stay up to date and stay safe on the water.

Consolidating our product portfolio:

  • Expanding coverage and increasing usage of electronic navigational charts.
  • Providing all nautical publications in a digital format free of charge.

Introducing new and dynamic products & services:

  • Collaborating with our partners to test and refine new product distribution methods such as S-100 and their use in the field.
  • Working with the international community to further develop and operationalize S-100 standards and associated products and services.
  • Developing an Integrated Water Level System and improved web services for tides, currents, and water levels data through a cloud application.
  • Integrating oceanographic models into dynamic current products to include things such as a 48 hour water level forecasts.

Enhancing our technical expertise:

  • Ongoing training activities to prepare a workforce that is ready to meet rapidly evolving challenges.

Transforming our databases:

  • Prioritizing the digitization of our data assets.
  • Using a continuous maintenance model to update our databases and derived products.
  • Moving from regional to harmonized national databases.

Modernizing our data acquisition methods:

  • Adapting and integrating new technologies and innovative ideas such as remote hydrography and the use of uncrewed surface vehicles as force multiplier.

Committing to increased engagement and communication:

  • Establishing more dynamic two-way dialogues and faster integration of user feedback.
  • Broadcasting informational updates on a variety of Government of Canada channels more frequently such as social media platforms.

Feedback on the CHS Digital Transformation initiative?

We want to hear from you. Let us know if you have questions, comments, or concerns about the Digital Transformation Initiative. This way, we can deliver products and services that meet your needs.

Contact us at:

All future Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) will be released on a gridded network.

All future Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) will be released on a gridded network.

CHS NONNA data portal showing Frobisher Bay, leading up to Iqaluit.

CHS NONNA data portal showing Frobisher Bay, leading up to Iqaluit.

St. Lawrence S-111 Surface Currents.

St. Lawrence S-111 Surface Currents.

Autonomous Hydrographic Vehicle performing a survey.

Autonomous Hydrographic Vehicle performing a survey.

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