Cartographic design of the electronic chart Most cartographic research relating to the use of “soft copy” display considered the simple reproduction of conventional charts, maps and mapping techniques on CRT devices. Although the resolution of the screen is the immediately noticeable difference between the paper and the video display medium, it is not the most important factor influencing the quality of the display. The value of the electronic chart’s development is not in simply imitating the paper nautical chart, but in providing a dynamic display which successfully combines the real-time location of the ship with radar/ ARPA/AIS returns and chart information. To maintain the visual simplicity of this more complex display, the data format, organisation and type of chart features shown, and the way they appear on the screen, must reflect the relative importance of the information to safe navigation. Unlike the static paper chart, the electronic chart can change the display and emphasis of symbols, based on actual real-time events and the viewing scale chosen. The computer-based algorithms of the electronic chart allow it to always include the least number of symbols which are most relevant to a given situation. This chapter describes the different types of electronic charts and electronic chart systems.