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S411 ice charts for ECDIS

The sea ice charts in S411 format are intended for the use in an ECDIS (or another GIS). Please contact your ECDIS Provider if your system is still not capable for this.

Available actual ice charts are:

Actual charts as well as previous version are also available over ftp at

S411 background

Development was led by the BSH as a part of JCOMM/ETSI. It was adopted as version 1.0 by JCOMM ETSI-5, March 2014 with the latest version 1.1.0 (June 2014). Work is now ongoing to bring S411 in concordance with Version 4.0 of S-100 (still in draft). The official S-411 product specification can be found at JCOMM, IOC or IHO. The development version can be accesed over FTP here.

The S-411 is fully based on the IHO S-100 framework specification, Geography Markup Language (GML), Encoding Standard and the ISO 19100 series of standards. It is a vector product specification that is primarily intended for encoding the extent and nature of Sea Ice for navigational purpose. The application schema of ice information product contains 28 feature types with their attributes, enumerations, is based on the Ice Objects Catalogue (Version 5.1) and can be found in the ICE domain of the IHO Registry. Ice information datasets use S-100 Level 3a geometry which supports 0-, 1-, and 2-dimentional objects (points, line strings, polygons) The portrayal specification is based on Styled Layer Descriptors (SLD), follows OGC standards and supports 3 polygon portrayals, one according to the vessels ice capabilities, the second and third one being the WMO ice concentration/stages of development colour codes. Portrayals for line and point objects follow the WMO symbology and are implemented using SVG-graphics. Besides future ECDIS SDKs, the S-411 data can be read and presented using open source GIS software (an HowTo for QGis). Most S411 datasets were produced with python scripts using the shapefiles (specially SIGRID-3 files) from the corresponding national sea ice services.

♦ Background Information
››  Sea Ice Service of the World
››  Manual of Standard Procedures for Observing and Reporting Ice Conditions
››  SIGRID-3: A Vector Archive Format for Sea Ice Charts
››  Ice Chart Colour Code Standard

♦ Links
››  GMDSS-MetArea