China has more frequently updated its ocean charts in the past couple of years along with the fast development of its harbors and sea routes, a maritime official said. China finished an electronic database of 98 ocean charts of 23 harbors and sea routes along its seaboard after a comprehensive mapping and surveying work was launched in 2003, said Liu Gongchen, deputy director of China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) of the Communications Ministry.
China used to update the navigation maps every three to four years, Liu said, but in the past couple of years, China has updated the maps of the estuary of the Pearl River in south China and northern China’s Tianjin port every year. The map for the estuary of the Yangtze River was updated even faster, normally every three months. The maritime safety administration also announced changes alongthe seaboard twice a month to provide accurate information for vessels at sea. “Major ports in China have been in constant expansion in the past few years, with new sea routes and berths emerging, such as northern China’s Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao and Qinhuangdao ports,” said Liu, “which leads to frequent updates of sea charts.”
MSA has a mapping and surveying team of 700 people scattered innorthern China’s Tianjin Municipality, eastern China’s Shanghai Municipality and southern China’s Guangzhou city in Guangdong Province.
Advanced equipment was bought from overseas to help improve theaccuracy of the mapping work, which has already brought China’s mapping and surveying technique up to the international standard, Liu said.