- Hydrographic Service
About Hydrographic Service
The main tasks of the Netherlands Hydrographic Service are charting the sea and publishing nautical charts and the related hydrographic publications. Its area of operations comprises the Dutch sector of the continental shelf and the waters surrounding the islands of Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.
To conduct hydrographic surveys, the Service has 2 ships at its disposal, HNLMS Luymes and HNLMS Snellius, which monitor and record changes to shipping lanes and the seabed on a daily basis. Not only changes in depth are recorded, wrecks and obstructions are also investigated accurately and charted if necessary.
The shore-based Hydrographic Office in The Hague is responsible for compiling the measurement data and further relevant information, such as buoyage and lights. All information is stored in a large database. All sea charts, the 1800 series (official sea charts of coastal waters and inland waterways), mariners handbooks, current atlases, tide tables and Notices to Mariners are created on the basis of this information. The sale of these maps and publications takes place through a network of agents.
At a national level, the Hydrographic Service collaborates closely with the North Sea Service of the Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) within the Netherlands Hydrographic Institute federation. Internationally, it operates within the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) in Monaco. The Hydrographic Office cooperates closely with its counterpart in the Royal Netherlands Army (Dienst Geografie Koninklijke Landmacht) and the Joint Meteo Group in Woensdrecht, which is part of the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
The Hydrographic Service not only produces sea charts and hydrographic publications, it also employs its extensive nautical expertise and knowledge to support the operations of the Royal Netherlands Navy. This support encompasses the provision of hydrographic, oceanographic, meteorological and marine-geodetic information.