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McKeldin Map Collection

Guide to the map collection on the 4th floor of McKeldin Library.

About Nautical Charts

Nautical/navigation charts typically depict: water depths; shallow areas; navigable channels and passages; shoals, banks and bars; anchorages; fixed and floating navigation aids (e.g., buoys and lighthouses); underwater hazards and obstructions; buildings and manmade structures. Several types are available:

  • Domestic coastlines and inland waterways are charted by the Office of Coast Survey (OCS). Charts are organized into five geographic regions and shelved in map cases by chart number.

  • International coastlines are charted by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA). Charts are organized into nine regions and shelved in map cases by chart number.

  • Inland rivers are charted by the Army Corps of Engineers. Charts exist for several rivers in the U.S., including the Arkansas, Mississippi, Ohio, and Red.  These are located in the Government Information Atlas collection (with Superintendent of Documents call numbers).