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U.S. HYDRO Conference Proceedings

Hydrographic Manuals

Online Training

Introduction to Hydrography Distance Learning Module. An online, interactive distance learning module entitled “Introduction to Hydrography” has recently been developed by the Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET®). Personnel from NOAA’s Hydrographic Survey Division and the Naval Oceanographic Office provided technical guidance for the course content. The module is very introductory in nature and can be completed in approximately an hour. However, it does provide a good overview for new employees or for interested members of the public. The course can be accessed here Numerous others topics related to oceanography and meteorology are covered in similar modules and can be found here. There are no charges for these training modules, but registration is required.

The Hydrographic Academy is part of the Marine Learning Alliance and is a provider of marine education and training courses via distance e-learning.  Our innovative and award-winning products allow students to study for Plymouth University and IMarEST accredited post-graduate and undergraduate qualifications in Hydrography and other marine subjects and remain working and earning in their jobs. See more at www.mla-uk.com

Books on Hydrography

Hydrography E-Book. Second Edition 2003, Updated 2010, and based on IHO S-44 (Edition 4), this e-book was made available by Houston Chapter member Stewart Cannon who facilitated an arrangement with the authors for distribution to THSOA members. Download (PDF 6,085 k)

Standards and Specifications

IHO S-44

IHO S-57 IHO S-57, IHO Transfer Standard for Digital Hydrographic Data, can be downloaded from the IHO Downloads section. Information on the contents of S-57 and a wealth of information on the Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC) may be obtained from the Caris web site.

NOAA, National Ocean Service 2010 Specifications and Deliverables


The IHO Dictionary is available here interactively.


The Global Position System (GPS) is a subject near and dear to every hydrographic surveyor. Here are our favorite links !

Historical References

The Coast and Geodetic Survey Annual Reports 1844-1910 are a valuable historic reference. U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, Association of Field Engineers Bulletins . Beginning in June 1930 and continuing though December 1939, 13 were published. These bulletins demonstrate humor and professionalism and also serve as a valuable source of metadata for those interested in historical data.

General Instructions, Inshore Hydrographic Work of the Coast Survey (1878). This is the second set of "Instructions" (vice "Manual") published by the Coast Survey and the oldest that we have been able to locate. Despite the title it did include offshore work. The first set of instructions consisted of 28 pages and a probable date of 1860. Download (PDF 790k) See Note ** Hydrographic Manual (Edition 1) - J.H. Hawley. Published in 1931, 170 pages. Download (PDF 2,030k) See Note ** Hydrographic Manual (Edition 2) (Special Publication 143) - K.T. Adams. Published in 1942, 940 pages, a classic reference includes information on European instruments. For your convenience we have extracted and saved the Table of Contents and the Index as a separate document so you can see how the manual is organized and what topics are discussed: Hydrographic Manual (Edition 3) - Jeffers. Published in 1960, 238 pages. Download (PDF 3,844k) See Note **

NOTE **: THSOA in cooperation with NOAA's Office of Coast Survey, Hydrographic MetaData Project, has made these manuals available, in PDF (Normal) format. PDF Normal means that all text has been cleaned up and suspects corrected during the OCR phase. The Acrobat Reader FIND command can be used. Disclaimer: Although every attempt has been made to proof read these documents it is possible that typographic errors do exist. If you come across any, please e-mail us and we will promptly correct them.