Map and Chart catalog 5: United States Bathymetric maps and special purpose charts 

Map and Chart catalog 5 
United States
Bathymetric maps and special purpose charts
NOAA, January 1984.
frontside detail (left)
frontside detail (right)
backside detail (left)
backside detail (right)

Hello everyone, 

I hope everyone enjoyed the first snowfall this year! When I was looking into the nautical maps, I noticed that all of the nautical maps are numbered and I’ve also found quite a few map catalogs. Since today most map catalogs could be accessed digitally, these physical map catalogs appear to be less important for map users. Nonetheless, they are well designed and so I think it would be interesting to highlight one of these physical map catalogs for this week’s Map of the Week.

A map catalog is the collection of information of maps that allow people to quickly identify the specific map they want. This catalog of “bathymetric maps and special purpose charts” was published by NOAA in 1984. This specific catalog contains information about bathymetric maps such as marine boundary maps, storm evacuation maps, and charts of tidal currents and marine weather service. The catalog itself is very visually straightforward. The coverage of each map was outlined on the base maps in different colors. Maps or charts of different themes are mapped out on separate base maps. The map number, publication year, scale, contour unit, and even the availability of the maps are listed. Interestingly, the price of each kind of map is also listed. Today, one can access map catalogs through the interactive Chart Locator on NOAA’s website (; play around with the website if you are interested!

Moreover, it should also note that both sides of this sheet are printed with maps and catalog information; feel free to take a look at the backside on our website “Vassar Geospatial Mapping Hub” 🙂

Have a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Yidan Xu ’24