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COASTCHART Call for Proposal is now open for competitive tender
The Invitation To Tender (ITT) on the DUE, "COASTCHART", Ref. AO4593 in the ESA Invitations to Tender, has been published today on EMITS with a closing date of 28 May 2004.
The European Space Agency (ESA) hereby invites all companies from DUE participating countries to submit a tender for the COASTCHART procurement.

If companies are not yet registered as an ESA bidder, they are invited to obtain access to EMITS by completing a questionnaire, which can be found at the indicated URL, section Registration Request.


Accurate and up-to-date coastal information is essential to ensure the safety of navigation, to prevent ecological impacts and to plan economical activities (e.g. harbour infrastructures, tourism, fisheries). The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has predicted a high increase in the transport of cargo and goods by sea over the coming decades. Due to this increase in sea transport, the knowledge of existing harbour infrastructures and of the nearby coastlines needs to be improved.

Up-to-date geographical coastal information is therefore a key concern. Around the world, there is a significant lack of coastal information. The shoreline is insufficiently mapped in several places and, when available, the coastal information is often out of date. This lack of geographical coastal information is a particular issue in West African countries. Within the IMO Conventions as the Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) convention and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), the responsibilities of the national governments are engaged if they do not develop any marine cartographic capacity.


The primary objective of the COASTCHART project is to specify, design, develop, demonstrate, qualify and transfer an information system for the provision of coastline products, derived from Earth Observation (EO) satellite imagery, that will support the work of Maritime Organisations in their activities related to the production of Standard Navigational Charts. The second objective is to demonstrate and qualify the COASTCHART information system by operating the system on the West African coast.

The following coastline products will be generated, validated, qualified and delivered during the COASTCHART project:

  1. High Resolution Coastline Restitution Products (at 1:50,000 scale), in paper maps and digital formats, for the overall West African coast composed of the following 15 countries: Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Republic of the Congo;
  2. Very High Resolution Coastline Restitution Product (at 1:15,000 scale), in paper maps and digital formats, for 14 key coastal areas (typically harbour infrastructures, maritime facilities and river approaches);
The Coastline Restitution product will contain multi-date geo-referenced vector objects that characterise the coastline. Each coastline object will be precisely geo-referenced and will have some thematic attributes associated that identify the type of coastlines, following the semantics defined in the S-57 standard available from the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO).

The COASTCHART products aim at supporting the hydrographic offices in the production of nautical documents. The generation of these marine charts is the responsibility of the hydrographic offices and is therefore beyond the scope of the COASTCHART project.

The COASTCHART project is seen as an essential data collection contribution to accomplish the charting goals of the hydrographic offices in West Africa. Updating the marine charts of the Western African coast requires considerable fieldwork. For the French, British, Portuguese and Spanish hydrographic offices that are active in West Africa, this typically implies the combination of in-house and contracted work efforts to provide a complete coverage of their respective African programs. Knowledge collected through the COASTCHART project should also help national governments to improve their ability to comply with the international rules and standards related to maritime safety.

COASTCHART User Partnership

The European Space Agency has involved, as partners of the COASTCHART project, some European Hydrographic Organisations that are responsible for the production of nautical charts on the West African Coast and that have a strong influence on a large community of worldwide hydrographic organisations:

  1. the French Naval Hydrographic and Oceanograhic Service (SHOM) with the support of a scientific partner, the University of Marne La Vallée (UMLV)
  2. the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO)
  3. the Portuguese Hydrogaphic Institute (Instituto Hidrográfico)
  4. the Spanish Hydrographic Institute (Instituto Hidrográfico de la Marina)
The four user organisations have agreed to an active contribution to the project execution. The participation of the “Instituto Hidrográfico de la Marina” was not yet confirmed at the time of the invitation to tender.

COASTCHART will be a 22 month project starting mid 2004. The invitation to tender can be found on the ESA EMITS web site.

Related links

EMITS: ESA Electronic Mail Invitation to Tender System

DUE Invitations to Tender in 2004

IHO: International Hydrographic Organization

Annex images