Essential ArcGIS Maritime vocabulary

Available with Maritime Charting license.

The following nautical terms apply to data, product, and workflow management.


A chart is a geographic representation of features and attributes for marine navigation that can be in hard-copy or electronic form. Charts can show natural hazards such as water depths and currents, human-made hazards, and navigational aids such as marinas, bridges, and human-made lights.

Complex Attribute

Complex attributes are aggregations of other attributes that are either simple or complex.

Display Scale Range

A range of values used to indicate the scales at which the data will be displayed in the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). The smallest scale is defined by the minimum display scale and the largest scale is defined by the maximum display scale.

Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC)

An Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC) is a digital navigational chart in vector format that provides corrections and other important updates to support marine transportation.

Feature Association

A feature association is a relationship that links instances of one feature type with instances of the same or a different feature type.

Feature Catalogue

A feature catalogue is a document that describes the content of a data product and is defined for each product specification.

Information Association

An information association is used to describe a relationship between a feature type, spatial object, or information type on one side and an information type on the other side.

Long Name (LNAM)

Long Name (LNAM) is a required object identifier that is a 17-character concatenation of the Producing Agency (AGEN), Feature Identification Number (FIDN), and Feature Identification Subdivision (FIDS) components. LNAM is used for every S-101 feature.

Maximum Display Scale

The maximum display scale represents the largest scale from the display scale range of the dataset.

Minimum Display Scale

The minimum display scale represents the smallest scale of the display scale range of the dataset.


Multiplicity is the number of possible occurrences of a property or the number of allowable elements that may participate in a given relationship. Multiplicity defines lower and upper limits for the number of values, whether the order of the instances has meaning, and if an attribute is mandatory or not. Format is: Lower, Upper ( ∞ is infinite) (order is sequential).


  • 0,1—Instance is not required; there can be only one instance.
  • 1, ∞—Instance is required; there can be an infinite number of instances.


Mandatory attributes have multiplicity of 1,1; 1,n where n > 1; or 1, ∞.

New Edition (EN)

A New Edition (EN) is an existing chart with extensive updates that is republished electronically or in hard copy. An ENC New Edition (EN) is a base file in the S-101 format.


A reissue is an ENC base file where the UPDN (update number) and EDTN (edition number) values do not change. Conversely, when a new edition dataset is produced, the EDTN usually increases by 1, and the UPDN rolls back to 0.

Revision (ER)

An ENC Revision (ER) is an update to a base file that is commonly called an EN. ER files are considered update dataset types in the S-101 specification.


S-100 is a flexible geospatial standard for hydrographic data. There are many product specifications covered by S-100, such as S-101 ENC and S-102 Bathymetric Surface.

Simple Attributes

S-101 uses seven types of simple attributes, as listed in the following table:



The value is a logical value: either True or False.


The value is an integer.


The value is a floating-point number.


The value is one of a list of defined values.


The value is general text. This is also defined as a character string.

Truncated Date

The value is a date according to the Gregorian calendar and allows for partial dates to be provided.


The value is a 24-hour time and may contain a time zone.


Includes a wide array of information used to drive the compilation or maintenance of geospatial data. Examples of a source range from surveys and imagery to blueprints, letters, and ASCII files.