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General information about 
chart presentation on ECDIS display



Scope of IHO ECDIS Standard S-52

Appendix 2 of the IHO ECDIS Standard S-52, “Colours&Symbols Specifications” (C&S Specs) and its Annex A, the “IHO Presentation Library for ECDIS” (PresLib) comprise a set of specifications, plus a symbol library, colour tables, look-up tables and symbolization rules, which link every object class and attribute of the ECDIS internal data base (SENC) to the appropriate presentation of the ECDIS display. The PresLib provides details and procedures for implementing the display specifications contained in the C&S Specs by decoding and symbolizing the elements of the SENC.

New editions of the IHO ECDIS Standard S-52, Appendix 2, “Colours&Symbols Specifications” and its Annex A, the “IHO Presentation Library for ECDIS” were released in January 2008.

The main changes in the new editions can be summarised as:

  • C&S Specs: existing Edition 4.2 replaced by new Edition 4.3

  • PresLib: existing Edition 3.3 replaced by new Edition 3.4

These new editions will bring into force all items in the two deferred amendments issued since March 2004, as contained in Maintenance Documents Nos 5 and 6, which include all changes agreed at the meetings of the IHO Colours and Symbols Maintenance Working Group (CSMWG), i.e. Rostock, 2005, Monaco,  2006 and Stavanger, 2007. MD No 5 and MD No 6 are issued together with the new package. MD No 5 provides the symbology developed by CSMWG to display the new objects and attributes introduced by the S-57 Supplement No. 1 (Edition 3.1.1) to accommodate newly introduced IMO features such as Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs) and Archipelagic Sea Lanes (ASLs). MD No 6 includes all changes resulting from the revised Performance Standards for ECDIS which were adopted by IMO in December 2006.

The authoritative “official” IHO Symbol Library is provided in a readable form as a word-processed file which forms an Addendum to the PresLib. This document provides, for each symbol, its shape and dimensions translated from the digital symbol file, its colour, the links to the paper chart symbology, as in IHO INT1, etc. The offsets of the pivot are explicitly indicated. The printable Symbol Library has about 600 pages, i.e. one symbol description per page. The Addendum is available for free download from the IHO web site (Standards & Publications > S-52).

How to get the Presentation Library

The entire Presentation Library is available in a human-readable form, as PDF files, on a CD-ROM: This is the authoritative "official" version.

  • 500 € for new subscribers,

  • free of charge for update of earlier subscribers, or active contributors to the IHO Colours & Symbols Maintenance Working Group.

ECDIS, like all other modern navigation equipment is constantly evolving and improving. This requires that underlying specifications such as the PresLib must be maintained to reflect these developments. The PresLib fees are used to finance and support the necessary maintenance.

A machine-readable digital version of the Symbol Library is also part of the package for those who would be interested in using it. This digital version is now maintained by private initiative of one of the ECDIS stakeholders from ECDIS industry. Requests should be forwarded directly to hannu.peiponen@furuno.fi

Application of the current Presentation Library

The grace periods from the issuing date of a new edition after which changes are required to be included in an ECDIS nominally are:
           - for new development                                                                one year
           - for new selling (already type-approved before date of issue)         one year

As an exceptional case, Edition 3.4 of the PresLib itself is to be set in force in conjunction with the S-57 Supplement No. 1 by 1. January 2008 to meet IMO requirements for depiction of archipelagic sea lanes and particularly sensitive sea areas. In addition, this issue of the PresLib reflects the consequences of the adoption of the revised ECDIS Performance Standard by IMO in 2006 to the chart presentation. The revised ECDIS Performance Standards of IMO itself will be set into force by 1. January 2009. However, the implementation of Edition 3.4 allows compliance with the changed requirements as far as chart presentation matters are affected, in advance of this date.