HydrOffice QC Tools: Enhancing the Coast Survey Workflow
NOAA Office of Coast Survey
The review of hydrographic and cartographic data sets is still too often based on tedious and error-prone manual actions; however, these same characteristics make the work suitable for automation. HydrOffice QC Tools, a software suite of task-specific solutions, was developed to support the reviewer, with functions to ensure final survey products meet agency specifications, chart comparison tools to quickly identify dangers to navigation, and checks to ensure the validity of cartographic components prior to their application to nautical charts. One of the functions, Flier Finder—an automated technique to identify fliers in grids—has recently undergone a study to compare its effectiveness with traditional, manual grid reviews, and those results are presented here. The specific application of QC Tools to NOAA Coast Survey specifications has shown improved quality, timeliness, and user confidence in the reviewed data, and provided a training resource for new personnel. Additionally, it has driven the algorithmic interpretation of specifications that can establish the foundation for a fully automated workflow. Finally, the open source and modular design of HydrOffice makes these tools easily customizable to meet the requirements of any hydrographic office.
Matt Wilson is a physical scientist with the NOAA Office of Coast Survey. He received an MS degree in Ocean Mapping from CCOM in 2012, and an MBA degree from Penn State in 2016. He works at the Atlantic Hydrographic Branch in Norfolk, Virginia, where he is involved in data verification, ship support, and compiling data to nautical charts.