Paper nautical maps appear to be on the way out as digital tools are increasingly used for navigation. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued paper nautical charts for more than a century and a half, but that practice is scheduled to come to an end in April. Digital maps provide clear advantages, but their paper cousins still carry nostalgic value. "The look and feel of nautical charts on traditional heavyweight paper is iconic to coastal America," said Shep Smith, chief of the Marine Chart Division in the NOAA's Office of Coast Survey.
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